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New Caledonia

New Caledonia - Anse Vata New Caledonia
Anse Vata beach. This was really close to where mum and dad stayed. It is the main beach in Noumea. This is the next beach - on the Baie des Citrons. You could be topless if you wanted.
New Caledonia - Petanque New Caledonia - Centre Ville
People playing Petanque by the beach at Anse Vata. The "court" is like a kind of coarse sand, or crushed rock. There might be three games being played on each court. In the heart of the "Centre Ville" of Noumea was a lovely garden with this bandstand at the top of the whole park.
New Caledonia - Petanque New Caledonia - Centre Ville
These are more people playing Petanque at Anse Vata beach. In the park at Centre Ville - there was a little cafe overlooking this pond stocked with golden fish.
New Caledonia - Museum New Caledonia - Centre Ville
This was originally the Hotel du Ville (Town Hall, to you non-French speakers!). It is now a great museum with interesting information on how New Caledonia was colonised. In the park there are fountains, statues and, if it is fine, a little "market" with stalls selling jewellery, clothes, liquors and handcraft stuff.
New Caledonia - American Memorial New Caledonia - boats
The Americans had a big presence here during the war. This memorial in Noumea is dedicated to those who gave their lives defending New Caledonia and the pacific. Noumea has more boats per capita than anywhere in the world - well, that is what mum said, but she has NO statistics to back up her statement. They were everywhere though.

New Caledonia - Noumea

New Caledonia - Noumea Cathedral
Bougainvillea is used a lot in Noumea as a hedging plant. It looks beautiful. InsideSt Joseph's Cathedral in Noumea. The cathedral is very European in style - basically Gothic.
New Caledonia - Noumea New Caledonia - Noumea
The Hippodrome (Racecourse) was in a lovely setting, with a lake in the middle. It was just behing Le Lagon Hotel where mum and dad stayed. The view over Noumea from Ouen Toro.
New Caledonia - Noumea New Caledonia - Noumea
From Ouen Toro in the other direction - towards Baie de Sainte Marie. A colonial military barracks close to the centre of Noumea.
New Caledonia - Noumea New Caledonia - Noumea
More boats - most of them looked to be VERY expensive yachts and cruisers. This is in the Baie de la Moselle very close to the city markets. Mum thinks this is Ile de Sainte Marie. It is from Ouen Toro and you could see lots of boats moored in the shelter of one of its bays and there was a lighthouse at the end. At first she thought it might be Amedee Lighthouse but she doesn't think so now.
New Caledonia - New Caledonia - Dancers
This was dad's first lunch. Mum said it looked VERY suggestive - with the little bit of cavair on top of the two mounds topped with pink salmon! Dad said he hadn't noticed until mum said - NOT very likely!! This Dance Troupe, called We Ce Ca performed in the Le Lagon restaurant on hte first night mum and dad had dinner there. They are Melanesians - the indigenous people of New Caledonia.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
The stunningly beautiful Tjibaou Cultural Centre. It is a half hour bus ride from Centre Ville in Noumea - set on a hill overlooking the ocean.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
It is a Performing Arts Centre and also a museum and gallery. There are also research facilities. The outer structure is made from timber, held together within a steel framework.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
The grounds also have a number of traditional, and not so traditional, sculptures. In one section there are samples of the houses built by the different indigenous peoples. Mum thinks this one is the design for the people from the Loyalty Islands.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
This is the entrance to the Centre. Mum thinks this is one of the great buildings of the world - one of the very few that are architecturally distinctive. It was designed by Renzo Piano.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
Overlooking the Centre itself is a statue of the Kanak leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou. He was assassinated in 1989. Just another view.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Mont Dore
And yet another! Mum liked it and took lots of photos!!! This is part of a Trappist monastery outside Noumea in Mont Dore. It is also a school.
New Caledonia - Tjibaou New Caledonia - Tjibaou
This is the inside of the Loyalty Island house - with beautifullt decorated central pole and a fire pit. I told you - she REALLY liked it!
New Caledonia - Mont Dore New Caledonia - Grand Sud
Back to the Trappist Monastery - these are ruins of some of the earlier buildings. The Grand Sud - the southern part of New Caledonia, where the landscape is not at all "lush", the earth is red and the vegetation stunted.
New Caledonia - Grand Sud New Caledonia - Grand Sud
It has a number of experimental wind farms on the mountain tops. Still in the Grand Sud, but over the mountains and towards the north coast of the island, is Yate Lake - formed as part of the hydroelectric scheme which supplies most of New Caledonia with power.
New Caledonia - Grand Sud New Caledonia - Grand Sud
The Lake is part of the Blue River National Park. Another view over Yate Lake.
New Caledonia - Grand Sud New Caledonia - Grand Sud
This is called "the drowned forest" - resulting from the flooding of the river valley for the power scheme. Another view of the lake.

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