A Surprise Hike

Marcus is one of my best friends in Reunion. I’ve known him for years and I enjoy spending time with him. Despite our different characters we always get on, whether we’re singing karaoke at home, or taking advantage of the happy hours down at the pub we always have a great time. Until the day he invited my family and I to a picnic in Langevin.

The instructions were simple: Meet at the carpark at eleven, and walk over to the picnic area for a spot of lunch. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It was anything but.

As I mentioned before, Marcus and I are quite different. I am a very homely person, I enjoy inviting friends over for cocktails and rougail saucisse. I like listening to music and conversing with friends at home. Telling jokes and having a laugh with people. The occasional picnic with friends and family too but nothing too strenuous.

Marcus, however, is a very sporty person. He’s very rarely at home and his car boot is full of sports equipment and swimming paraphernalia, just in case he finishes work and decides on an impromptu dip in the lagoon.

We arrived at Langevin at eleven, met Marcus, and started looking for the picnic area. “It’s just over there,” he said “it’s not a long walk.” Like fools we believed him. Twenty minutes later, my frustration got the better of me.

“Um, Marcus, I thought you said that this would be a walk. This, my friend, is a hike.”

“Nonsense,” he retorted “this isn’t a hike, you should come with me next weekend to Mafate, now that’s a hike.”

We walked on jagged rocks, under canopies, and climbed over large steps. At one point we reached a cliff-side path with an unprotected fifteen metre drop down to a raging river. If this is a “walk”, what the hell is a hike?

We arrived at the spot a little before twelve. Admittedly the hike was worth it. We swam in the freezing water of the Langevin pools, ate, drank and had a great time. The waterfall was spectacular too and there was no shortage of birds and strange insects to discover.

Arriving safely at our cars in the afternoon I thanked Marcus for the adventure. He laughed it off and invited us for a beer at the pub the next week.

“With pleasure” I answered. “Do we need to bring anything special, like a parachute or scuba gear?”


despite – malgré
to get on – s’entendre
to take advantage – profiter de
a spot of lunch – un casse-croûte
anything but – tout sauf ça

to have a laugh – blaguer
strenuous – difficile
car boot – coffre de voiture
dip – baignade
fools – imbéciles

hike – randonnée
jagged – dentelé
to reach – atteindre
drop – vide
pools – bassins

waterfall – cascade
shortage – manque
to thank – remercier
scuba gear – équipement de plongée

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