Grande Terre

Tontouta (New Caledonia), 04.09.2013

New Caledonia had always been a dream destination of mine. I had seen two of the five major islands, and they were indeed very, very beautiful. It was time to see the mainland, or better the main island, that promised to be quite different. Grande Terre is over 500km long from one end to the other, and you can almost drive all around it. The mountains in the middle were covered in clouds, as it was winter here. On arrival at Magenta airport I picked up a rental car and went to wash my laundry at the Moselle marina’s shopping mall.

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Le Paradis d’Ouvea

Ouvea (New Caledonia), 01.09.2013

Opening Google maps in the hotel lobby on arrival, the blue dot of the GPS signal told me I was at a place called “paradise”. When I booked this hotel, I thought its name (le Paradis d’Ouvea) sounded a bit cheesy. But it actually is a pretty accurate description of the place, and I saw it the moment I stepped out of the restaurant veranda onto the beach.

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An Isle of Pines in 50 shades of blue

Kuto Bay (New Caledonia), 29.08.2013

By now it should be clear that I found Sydney to be a perfectly clean and organised spot, so I’ll skip the descriptions of the airport and how I got there. My flight out of Australia with Aircalin, New Caledonia’s international carrier, was late. First half an hour, then more and more and more. Basically I spent most of Tuesday on Sydney’s airport, enjoying free WiFi, restaurants and reading, before we finally boarded. A crew member had gotten sick apparently, and the plane couldn’t take so many people on board, so the airline had to find volunteers to stay behind. All this took three hours. Once airborne, flying eastward, the sun went down quickly delivering an amazing array of colours from red to dark blue, with all shades in between, over an endless sky. We landed in Noumea in the dark, and yet another perfectly clean and modern airport welcomed me. Continue reading “An Isle of Pines in 50 shades of blue”

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