Réunion

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Réunion
<map lat='-21.125497636606266' lng='55.46722412109375' zoom='9' view='0' height='320' float='right' />
Information
Country:
Flag of France
France
State: Reunion
Population: 850,996
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Reunion 21.12S 55.51E.jpg

Réunion is an island situated in the Indian Ocean. It is directly administrated by the French government, and as such, is a part of the European Union, but not of the Schengen space. Therefore, citizens of certain countries should check whether they need a visa in ahead.

This makes the island a super expensive place, specially when compared to all countries around. But you might not have to spend a coin! Although there is barely no nomad-hitchhiker-backpacker in the island, Reunion is a hobo's paradise. Hitchhiking, dumpster diving, fruit harvesting, busking and wild camping are a marvel here.

Cities

Hitchability

European consumerism hit hard this small tropical island, and the insane number of vehicles and traffic jams are one the island's current major issues. Ironically, combined with the relaxed mood of most reunionnais and zoreils (foreigners), this makes the island a paradise for hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking use to be very common in Reunion. Luckily, it didn't disappear completely, and you'll might see reunion youngsters thumbing every now and then. Public transports are rather expensive and unreliable.

It's generally easier to hitchhike at the lowlands (les bas), specially on the west, then in the highlands (les hauts).

The ring road

One road goes all the way around the island. It is an expressway from St Benoit (East) northward to St Denis (north) and then to St Paul (West), St Leu (West) and St Pierre (South-West). This road is always easily accessible from the various city centers using the appropriate bus network, hitchhiking, or just walking. You can hitch on the access roads or roundabouts. And you can easily hop from one petrol station (aire de service) to the next.

The highlands

The island has the shape of a cone. From the ring road, you can catch smaller roads uphill that take you in the highlands. Those are overly easy to hitchhike, since they are rather slow.

Be careful, it rains easily in the highlands, on the east side in particular.

Hitchhiking a sailing boat

Hitchhiking a sailing boat is a good to way to get to and out of Reunion. The main marina is in Le Port, where you can drop your note at the Capitanerie and La Voilerie (sail repair shop), and expect to walk for kilometers between the new and the old marina. The other marina is in St Pierre, smaller, friendlier and prettier - and you only have one dock to walk. In september - november, many "tour-du-mondistes", coming from Asia and sailing around the world, could be able to take you towards South Africa and South America. From December to May is the cyclone season, with much less sailing traffic. As always with boat hitchhiking, expect to spend anything from 3 hours to 3 months to find a boat! But there can hardly be a better way to travel in these islands as that of those pirates that flourished here in the XVI century.

Resources

Check Nomadwiki for info on visa, accommodation, showers, food, internet access, public transport, busking, places to visit or Trashwiki for dumpsters .. and share your wisdom :)

WikipediaW.png Wikipedia has additional encyclopedic information on Réunion