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  • Day8

    France in the South Pacific

    February 3, 2020 in New Caledonia ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Our final port of call wouldn't be out of place in the South of France. Unlike our other stops so far, Noumea is a large Westernized city, one of the largest in the South Pacific.

    A swim free day today. Instead, a leisurely, family friendly rise on the Tchou Tchou train. This was what it sounds like - an open, slow moving train that would take us around the city and stop off at a couple lookout points. Ryland loved it, again his little brain took to absorbing the unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds all around him.

    The first lookout stop sat between the two days of the island, with a view of Duck Island, where Natalie (Hendrik) and I snorkelled some three years ago. We were treated to a glorious 32c day today, with mostly clear blue skies.

    From here, further through town and up the hillside for spectacular views overlooking Noumea. Ryland got some time to run around and stretch his legs here before we made the 40minute journey back. From the ship, we went on to catch a free shuttle into the city centre to explore on our own. This took us around Coconut Square (central gardens), some side streets, shops, supermarket and port side market place.

    We spent a couple hours enjoying our last free time on dry land, buying a couple small souvenirs and some crepes and cold drinks before heading back to the ship. I'd enjoyed learning about the Kagu bird of New Caledonia (on the Tchou Tchou Train) - a bird that forgot to fly over the years (due to no predators) and now uses its wings to climb trees.. and barks like a dog, so I bought a nice small painting of one. I can't help but think I'd much rather explore the rest of the island (the Grand Terre) rather than just wander the now familiar-ish streets and patterns of the largely Westernized city of Noumea. Grand Terre is actually a huge island, and from the ship, so much of it looks so wild/untouched and enticing.

    Showers, lunch and an afternoon nap set us up for our usual evening routine. Feeding Ryland in the buffet 5.30-6, then bathing him in his inflatable bath in the shower base, dusking, and getting him to sleep in his pram for dinner in the restaurant - "island theme" night tonight.

    There was a slight delay in the ship departing Noumea tonight, due to a passenger requiring medical attention and hospitalization on the island. I feel on track for that myself, really struggling with a cough/head-cold right now. It hasn't impacted my enjoyment of ports, but is really draining me.

    Three days at sea ahead still to enjoy, before we're home again in Melbourne.
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