Hiking Accross GR1 New Caledonia
Cary and I arrived from Nuome New Caledonia via my dad driving us with a rental car to the GR1 French hiking trail. We tried to take the bus the day before and waited three hours to find out that the bus was not coming today. So instead of waiting around a second day we had my dad drive us to the trail head on the south end of New Caledonia to a town called Prony. Prony is a very small town that once was a large logging operation. The logging supported by the labor of the french convicts.
My dad taking a break from driving enjoying the outdoors.
Ready to head out into the wild New Caledonia back bush.
We entered the old settlements of the french loggin camps and this was the remains of the prison that housed the logging convicts.
The island is now swallowing up the old past ironically by tree growth.
After a few hours the trail leading us away from the ocean to the old mining waste lands became iron red and slick.
We happened apon these stray dogs that I think were white but now iron red.
Among the blood red landscape was a waterfall were we filled up our water bottles and relaxed.
After several hours of hiking we reached the top of a peek looking north west out over the old chrome mining valley and hopefully the campsite.
Along the trail spider webs would be blocking our path. You had to be on your toes to see the webs and we didn’t want to fight these spiders.
Nearing our first night campsite we enter a dead forest and the trees had alot of charm and beauty.
The hut that was at the campsite had been stripped apart and I think burned as fire wood. We still set the tent up on the deck of the old hut and spent the night.
We filled our water bottles from the near by stream and enjoyed the evening sunset.
We began our hike early because the sun goes down at 6pm and then up at 6 am. So with nothing to do you sleep or hike. So by 7 am we were off.
The trail was once again steep and wet with all the rain coming down as we hiked today.
After 6 hours of hiking we reached the top of the next mountain and looked back at our progress.
We still had a long way to go to get to our next campsite so we dug deep and kept hiking. The rain continued to keep up wet to the bone.
Crossed over a swamp in the valley and this little river. We then had to begin our last mountain climb of the day.
As we hiked up the Moutain we entered a botanical forest full of birds talking and singing.
We climbed for over 2 hours to get to the top of this beast and the pain was beginning to show.
Looking out over the valleys and mountains we hiked over.
We finally made it in a little less then 12 hours and 30km later. Glad to be out of the rain.
We started out early again with a rough night of sleep and wet cloths we hiked 2 hours to enter the “Parc Provinicial de la Riviere Bleue” aka the reserve park. It is still raining hard.
From all the rain the trail was very slick and tough to climb or descend. The views we great between the rain clouds and mist.
At this point on the map Cary and I decided to call it quits and turn around. We still had 60km to go and that would tak us at least two more days. Cary’s feet were so blistered up he found it hard to wake. I rolled my ankle and had a bit of a limp. We hiked back to the main entrance and stayed the night in the hut. Still completed 15km for the day.
Woke up to the sound of these birds and rain. We didn’t sleep very well again because the the rain made the temperature very cold and we just slept for minutes at a time. So glad happy to be heading back to civilization.
We hiked 3km to the road and then began our 50km hike back to the Noumea city. After 2 hours of thumbing for a ride a nice man on a bus stopped and picked us up. It was a bus for the mine workers that was heading back to Nomea city. They drove us all the way to the port and we got off. I was happy and very tried, but it felt good to at least complete half the trip and put 60 pr 70 K’s under our belt.