The jungle clings to the towering cliffs like a 1,000m vertical garden shining with tropical flowers, a sprinkling of pink, yellow and purple jewels among the emerald foliage.
As we round a bend, a skein of whitewater appears, tumbling more than 600m to the forest floor, showering the surrounding palms and ferns like rain. This could be Eden, I think. If not for the perfectly paved road winding up the valley past the occasional wooden bungalow and car, it will be easy to mistake this place - Salazie, a lush caldera on the French island of Reunion - for virgin territory.
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