[103rd Cruise Report]Call to Noumea (New Caledonia)
The Ocean Dream has arrived in Noumea, the capital of New Caledona. Located on the south of the island, this is one of the most urban and industrial cities of the South Pacific.
As we arrived early in the morning, we first head to the market. Located right by the water, there was an amazing range of fresh fish laid out!
The locally grown vegetables and fruit look delicious too!
This mountain of coconuts is a scene special to such a tropical location.
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France, and so there are many cafes – even a stylish cafe like this in the middle of the market. It seems like it is a local custom to drink these bowl-sized (!) cafe au lait here!
And, the baguettes are delicious! While greeting with “bonjour,” we can enjoy French bread and coffee. This is a bit of a peculiar feeling, in such a tropical location.
We become more and more hooked on the charm of the morning market. Looking at the souvenir corner just next door, the colourful cloth and hand made accessories are very tempting.
The market closes around lunch time. From here, we go for a wander through the centre of the city, first of all to the Place des Cocotiers, or Coconut Tree Square.
First we take a break under the music kiosk, where orchestra and band performances are held. In the middle of the Pacific, the sun is very strong around lunch time.
From there we head to the F.O.L. Hill. Just in front of Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, you can look out over the beautiful ocean. It’s so blue!
And in the afternoon we head to the next town, Anse Vata. To get there, we take this cute Tchou Tchou Train!
Just ten minutes to the south of central Noumea, Anse Vata spreads out along the beach, and is known as one of the grest sightseeing spots of New Caledonia. Matching expectations, the coastline continues on as far as the eye can see.
Walking a little bit and taking another relaxing break is a great way to travel, hehe. So, let’s try some Italian gelato, popular also with locals! It forms a beautiful rose shape, without using any artificial scents or colouring.
And now we head to our final destination. That is the island which can be seen in the distance from the ship, Ilot Maitre!
Once arriving, you can tell why Ilot Maitre was once known as “Escapade Island.” A scenery like none we have ever seen before stretches out in front of our eyes. This really is an escape from the everyday.
Here, the only bungalows over water in New Caledonia are floating over the sea, with beautiful graduations. Just… wow…
The ocean is almost completely transparent, and it is easy to discover the fish swimming in the water, just from looking from above.
Spending time in this beautiful paradise, it is easy to lose track of time. We wish that we could stay here even longer! It’s just such a wonderful place.
On the way back from Ilot Maitre to the ship. Once again, here we can enjoy the incredible sunset scenery. It is so breathtakingly beautiful, that it stops us in our steps. What a day to enjoy relaxing in this resort atmosphere, surrounded by nature.