After the cyclone had kept us stranded at the island of Anjouan, we arrive back on Grand Comore the day before our departure. It seems inevitable we now miss out on some of the things we had wanted to see on this biggest island of the archipelago. Then, we calculate we could actually at least see one of the sights: Lac Salé, recommended by a waiter in the newly opened Indian restaurant in Moroni. It is a crazy idea: find a taxi, leaving town early, drive up to the lake, and back to the airport to be dropped off in time for our flight back home. After the heavy storm and rain of the previous days, we wake up on a clear blue sky, and felt a pang of regret that we had to leave, with a feeling that we could have seen more of the green, volcanic islands of the Comoros.
In many parts, the roads on the Comoros are in a dismal condition, and driving is slowed down by huge potholes. Moreover, we are stopped by the police, who complain about the shabby appearance of the driver's licence of our driver. For a short while, I am afraid that our little plan would not work out when the officer threw the pink paper on the road and the driver switched off the engine, but fortunately, things are settled, and we continue north. Near the village of Mitsamiouli, we see a beautiful stretch of beach and turquoise sea, and not far beyond that, a remarkable hill rises before our eyes, with big chunks of black volcanic rock on its slopes. We have arrived; the driver parks his car, and after calculating how much time we have until we have to head back to the airport, I start hiking around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction.
When I reach an open space and look back, I realize that hiking around the entire lake is easily possible in the time I have. I am curious to see what is on the other side of the high volcanic cone, and when I come closer, a beautiful stretch of coastline opens up before my eyes. White beaches, a sea in all shades of blue and green, coral, and small bays lined by volcanic, black rock. No matter how peaceful the island is now, when you take a closer look at the landscape with the many telling signs of its volcanic past, you realize that once upon a time, this must have all looked very different. The views from the rim of the crater are great: inside, the green water of the lake, then the green ridge with scattered volcanic rock, and beyond, the sea and beaches. I am back at the car well ahead of time, and making our flight is easy.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lac Salé (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lac Salé.
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