New Caledonia

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    • Day 142

      Ile des pins

      January 16, 2020 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      On a passé 5 jours et 4 nuits sur l’île des pins où on a eu le temps d’à peu près tout faire.
      On a loué un scooter sur une journée pour découvrir l’île (plages, grottes, lagons...) on a fait une sortie en pirogue et piscine naturelle.
      On a fait une sortie bateau pour découvrir les différentes baies, fait pas mal de snorkelling et fini par manger une langouste sur un îlot. On a visité les baies autour du camping et on est allé voir le couché du soleil en haut du mont N’ga, le plus haut de l’île, et puis on s’est fait plein de potes au camping.
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    • Day 5

      Landfall and an Itinerary Change

      January 31, 2020 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      It was an eventful day that started at breakfast with a significant announcement - Our itinerary had changed.

      Our upcoming stops at Mare and Lifou were cancelled due to health precautions..

      A day or two ago, there was an announcement for anyone showing flu like or "coronavirus like" symptoms, especially anyone who had recently visited mainland China to report immediately to the medical centre..

      This leads to only one conclusion. Someone has contracted coronavirus, and began their transformation into a vicious, flesh craving zombie, and is currently held securely in a holding cell, deep in the bowels of the ship in top secret.

      Lifou and Mare aren't comfortable with this, so we're denied access to these places. Disappointing, given these were the two NEW ports for Nat and I, not yet visited. On the flip side, in lieu, we'll head to two other ports; tomorrow to Port Vila, and Sunday to Mystery Island, both in Vanuatu. So at least that's a second country for Ryland and one new Port for Nat and I.

      Ryland loved his visit to trip to Isle of Pines (starting 9am by tender). He was incredibly well behaved really. It was a difficult task though... We had to bring two backpacks, towels, snorkels and fins, a pram and have two hands on a wriggly youngster.
      Straight off the bat, he was more than happy to dish out high fives to the locals, putting on a traditional/tribal dance display.

      It was a hike to our swimming beach.. The pram struggled with sand and routes underfoot. We were initially greeted with a gentle rain, which cleared soon into a mostly sunny, warm day. We set up on the beach under the shade of a palm.

      Ryland LOVED the beach, he was all smiles and making a constant dash for the waves. He's a very hardly, open, resilient little fellow that takes well to new things. He spent a lot of time happy in his pram on the beach watching the world go by. Today wasn't easy though juggling everything. Junior actually got very cold very quickly in the water so we couldn't swim together. We took it in turns snorkeling but didn't see much.. I was especially frustrated by my snorkel leaking terribly despite trying to adjust it.

      Travelling with a young one, it's doable but not all round desirable. It's hard work, but rewarding. It's limiting but you do get those diamond in the rough moments that are so precious and probably better than moments you'd have as a couple. The look on his face on the beach today was priceless.

      There was a huge queue to catch the tenders/ lifeboats back to the ship around 2.30. By the time we boarded Ryland was absolutely cactus.. a minute after setting off, he'd fallen asleep in my arms, limp as a dead carrot.

      By the time we were back on board, an overdue lunch gave junior a second wind to take him through to a dinner and sleep time around 6pm. We counted the cost of some rookie sunscreen errors.. Nat forgot her back (or to ask me to do it) and I forgot my shoulders.. both scorched. Ryland was just a little sun-kissed about the face and belly.

      We decided to lock in a spontaneous semi-sub ride and snorkel for tomorrow's new destination in Port Vila ($69.95pp/ u3 free). Dinner was a breeze tonight with Ryland passed out in the cot by 6. Looking forward to something new tomorrow!

      ** In absence of a video on Isle of Pines I've attached one from Mystery Island with very culturally similar content.
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    • Day 117

      Île des Pins en solitaire 🌲

      August 28 in New Caledonia ⋅ 🌬 21 °C

      Me voilà pour un séjour de trois jours sur l’île des Pins en solitaire !
      Arrivée lundi dans la matinée j’ai loué un scooter pour me déplacer sur l’île. En selle jusqu’à Vao et ses baies: Saint Maurice avec son monument entouré de totems qui commémore l’arrivée des premiers missionnaires. Et la baie de Saint Joseph qui sert de point de départ aux excursions en pirogue.
      Je me suis aussi rendu au cimetière des déportés, aux vestiges du bagne et sur la route j’ai pu voir la mairie de l’île.
      Mardi c’est l’excursion en pirogue ! 1h30 de ballade sur l’eau et 30min de marche dans la forêt pour arriver à la piscine naturelle de la baie d’Oro. Des couleurs irréelles avec les fameux pins en fond 🤗
      Le dernier jour la météo n’était pas au rendez-vous … La pluie m’a forcé à quitter la tente de bonne heure pour aller me réfugier dans la salle tv. Les gens avec qui j’avais sympathisé là veille y étaient aussi, ils m’ont appris à jouer au ramy 🃏
      Le soir l’avion a finalement était annulé à cause des conditions météorologiques … Donc tout le monde s’est jeté sur les hébergements, évidement pas question de dormir en tente cette nuit ! Le prix des bungalows étant assez cher pour être seule nous avons partagé avec le couple avec qui j’étais. Nous voilà donc, la famille Moulin 😂 Notre vol est reprogrammé le lendemain à la même heure, 16h50, donc encore 24h à attendre sous cette pluie battante.. C’est assez frustrant mais les parties de ramy nous ont aidé à tenir le coup ahah
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    • Day 6

      L'Île des Pins

      February 20 in New Caledonia ⋅ 🌬 25 °C

      The Isle of Pines is another of the islands in the New Caledonia archipelago. It is located southeast of Noumea (see another post).
      The 1st picture is taken from the plane on the approach to the small airport. Much of the island's coast is similar, and most of the island is wooded.
      The next 3 pictures are at the Hotel Kou Bugny where I stayed. The 2nd picture is of part of the buildings; the 3rd looks along the beach here; and the 4th looks out across Kuto Bay where the hotel is located. To the left you can make out the pier where the ferry and small ships dock. The Kou Bugny is a good place to stay.
      Across a narrow peninsula from Kuto Bay is Kanuméra Bay in the 5th picture. The coral rock island to the left is a sacred island to the native people here.
      The 6th picture is a small road intersection with a number of local carvings. I saw several similar sites in my limited tour. There are a few in the picture of the hotel, too.
      The 7th picture is just a road through the local vegetation. It is typical of the south part of the island where I stayed.
      The 8th and 9th pictures are of an interesting feature. This is the piscine naturelle or natural swimming pool. The pool is salt water cut off from the ocean by a barrier of coral rock. The 8th picture looks across the pool. The area toward the other side that is more colored is where the water is deepest. This is an area of crystal clear water with lots of fish and coral. I stood and watched schools of fish swim around me. At one point I got nipped on the leg, probably because I got too close to a nest. The place is spectacular.
      The 9th picture is nearby. It is a shallow area that connects back to the ocean. It has a current like a river that I'm guessing relates to tidal action.
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    • Day 143

      Ile des pins

      January 17, 2020 in New Caledonia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Encore quelques photos

    • Day 5

      Ile des Pins- Isle of Pines

      August 25, 2017 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      One of the small islands around Grande Terre.
      We toke a boat called Betico,quiet expensive but cheaper than the plane.Perfect beginning:we've seen a toutrle from the boat!!
      We slept in a traditional house: the gite (indigenous house but really modern for the satisfaction of the guest).
      The water and the sand are unbelievable! Coconut trees and pines in the same, wild, place!!
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    • Day 86

      Vers la piscine naturelle, Île des Pins

      April 24, 2019 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Alarms off at 4:45am in preparation for us to catch the (pleasantly surprisingly on-time) 5:30am bus to the Nouméa Ferry Terminal. Our 7:00am Betico 2 ferry to l’Île des Pins left the dock about 10 minutes early - good thing we adhered to the 60-minutes prior check-in time! The two-hour boat ride started off OK, but as the seas got choppier, both Mommy and Davy spent the last 45 minutes or so staring into seasickness bags. (Incidentally, Qantas has the best airsickness bags we’ve seen so far and boy are we glad that they gave us some spares!)

      Fortunately, heads cleared quickly when we got to the Island. Our morning destination was the natural swimming pool in the northeast part of l’Île des Pins. Access was via a little kiosky hut by the Méridien staffed by a local islander. Since rates for day visitors from cruise ships vs. those who could name a local hotel varied by a factor of 2.5, we were glad the nice lady let us by on a Nouméa AirBnB - counting both kids at the child rate as well.

      Because the tide was rising, we had to ford a small stream in order to get to the pool. It was a rather hilarious sight - the great migration of a pack of 20-odd tourists bravely fording the knee-deep stream to get to the Piscine Naturelle! None of us knew how deep it was, or would be, or could be, and so we all proceeded with excessive caution - Meg in particular, who seriously doubted our navigation capabilities.
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    • Day 86

      Beaches of paradise: Kuto and Kanuméra

      April 24, 2019 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Well there are some amazing beaches out there in the big wide world - and we are even having a chance to visit quite a few of them on this very World Tour! Probably, however, not many quite like Kuto and Kanuméra Bay on l’Île des Pins in New Caledonia. Curious that this beautiful island started off its existence on French colonial maps as a penal colony. What an awesome “punishment” to be sent out to live in paradise! It would have been a lot tougher when you had to figure out how to farm your own food and build your own shelter from next to nothing. However, given the moderate climate, still seems overall like not a bad deal when you think about coming from Middle Ages France with snobby nobles, ever-increasing taxes, the fighting of wars, the plague and such.

      Kuto Bay is right by the dock, where the Betico 2 ferry drops off, and next time we visit the Island, we shall certainly have to think really hard about staying at the gite right there on the beachfront (Kou-Bugny) for a couple of nights at least! The sand is of the finest white powder, the warm, calm waters range from pale sky to turquoise to marine blue, the avenue of grand palm trees provides ample shade and the local community is welcoming. We didn’t have long to stay and enjoy the beautiful environment that nature had created for the lucky people who call l’Île des Pins home, but we did collect some cool bits and pieces to build our own unique sandy souvenir of this wonderful day shared on paradise island.
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    • Day 9

      Jour 7 - Depart a l'ile des Pins

      December 29, 2019 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Réveil a 7h, décollage a 8h direction l'île des Pins, un petit îlot au large de Nouméa

      20min de vol à bord d'un ATR d'Air Calédonie

      Nous arrivons a notre hôtel dans un petit bungalow traditionnel en forme de case Calédonienne Puis direction la plage de sable fin.

      On fini la journée en se promenant dans la baie de Kuto au sud de l'île
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