Hello! Welcome to another podcast from As you can see, this week we’re in a rather special location, up on Reunion Island’s erupting volcano, Le Piton de La Fournaise, which has currently been erupting for the last four weeks, and apparently it’s the fourth eruption this year.

Now, as it’s been going for so long, I said to myself “James, you MUST get up there as quickly as possible before the eruption stops”, because usually they only last for a few hours or a few days, but this one has been going for four weeks, and I said “if I don’t go now, I’m going to miss it!”

So, up at the crack of dawn: 2am alarm clock, a two-hour drive from St Paul, then an hour and a half’s jog round the crater to this spectacular viewpoint called Piton Bert, and here for sunrise. As you can see, the summit of the volcano is here, and here we have the vent which is where the magma is coming up, and of course you can see it flowing all the way down the mountain. And it’ll continue until it goes out to sea.

I must admit it is a very spectacular and humbling experience – I’ve been here for fifteen years on the island and this is possibly one of the most emotional moments I’ve had. To see nature in all its glory like this is a real privilege. I can even feel the heat coming off from the volcano here and I am probably 500-600 metres away. As you can see I’m on the top of a cliff looking down. If I show you to the left – there you can see the cliff. I’m not going to venture any closer. Last week somebody did venture closer and they fell all the way down to the bottom. So…I won’t do that.

OK, look forward to seeing you all again for another podcast at I can promise you, it won’t be as spectacular as this one.

Anyway, good bye and see you soon!


rather = plutôt
location = lieu
quickly = rapidement
to last = durer
a few = quelques

to miss = rater
crack of dawn = l’aurore, l’aube
sunrise = lever du soleil
vent = fissure
to flow = couler

humbling = qui rend humble
heat = chaleur

cliff = falaise

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