New Caledonia

New Caledonia was a very frustrating bust because I had caught Steve’s cold and was in bed for two days.  This cold, which one of our dinner partners also has, is particularly nasty.  It goes immediately to the chest and hangs on and on.

2014 09 18Caledonia 5In the afternoon I finally got out of bed and went on deck to take a few pictures.  All the places we had been prior to Caledonia had tropical vegetation everywhere so it was surprising to see Caledonia with very few trees but still very green.

2014 09 18Caledonia 12There were many sailboats in a harbor across the way and from what I was told the city is more modern than Suva.

We were docked among many containers and the cruisers had to take a shuttle through the port to the edge of the city.  There were so many intriguing tours around the city of Noumea, which is the capital city of the French territory.  Noumea is the most “westernized” city in the Pacific Islands region.  Although Noumea has more sunshine days than any other Pacific island capital, and some excellent beaches, it is not currently a major tourist destination.  The cost of living is high and there is no cheap air travel to get here.  However, Noumea is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the Pacific by investment from France.

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I wished this was a better picture because the scenery was beautiful across from the ship.  These were all fingers of green jutting out into the bay and reminded me of southwestern Ireland.  The bay was huge and looked like we were surrounded by land with just a small opening to the sea.

2014 09 18Caledonia 1Steve took the shuttle to the city to purchase some cold medicine in a pharmacy.  The ship sells cold medicine at three times the normal cost and what both of us tried didn’t work.  I wanted Steve to take a tour but all he did was take pictures of clothes to show me.  If I liked something he wanted to go back and buy it but I didn’t look at the pictures until the next day and then it was too late.

2014 09 18Caledonia 2New Caledonia, so far, is the only place in the Pacific that I really would like to return too. (Puerto Vallarta doesn’t count because Mexico is in a class of its’ own high above the rest).