Well it’s time to leave the main city Noumea in New Caledonia and head to the island of Pines. It is south of the main island of NC but still a territory of New Calediona. The island is full of caves, birds, coral reef, and many local native that can take you out in outrigger conoe to see the wonders within. should be a good time and then we will travels to the Loyaute Island Mare to do some scuba diving. Then off to Vanuatu Island to see the activity valcanos. I will be out of wifi service but will post via SSB radio to share updates and events.
One last picture before I go. I got a haircut! Not bad for talking to the hair stylist that only spoke Vietnamese or French.
Well see you later!
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.
Well the wind forecast for sailing is very weak. So instead of sitting around the boat fixing things as always Cary and I will go off on a 80km hike for 3 or 5 days. We will get to see the New Caledonia outback and hopefully get to see some cool things. That said I will not post on the blog for a few days.
We are also getting one of our winches re-machined so it will work better. I guess all the sailing and heavy weather bent the winch plate if you can believe that but we did. My dad and a nice French man is working it out.
The old maintanece company that maintain the boat had used 5200 glue on all the bolts so it took us two days to remove the winch. All I can say is that is stupid, stupid, stupid!
Desending down to 84 feet to go through a old French navy ship 150 feet long. I saw no guns but did see the 50 cal. Shields. It was very cool to see the ship come into view as we desended down onto its deck.
This ship was sunk by the navy to make more habitats for reef fish. But all the same it was fun to dive on. On our way to the ship there was old canon shells on the bottom of the reef that had not exploded but were not dangerous to be near.
Ok lets go inside!
We entered the port side of the main deck where we went down inside to the dinning hall. DJ my dive master had me sit down for a picture. We then went toward the after of ship through a long hallway.
I looked right and left into the kitchen, watch stations, and berths and out onto the stern sub level deck.
Exiting from the ship looking up into the sun and DJ taking pictures.
You can see what DJ was trying to capture some really big subjects.
Ok so now on another dive that same day we dove on on this 200 foot processing fish boat that was sunk by the French Navy, I guess the French Navy get bored and blows stuff up!
Looking over the deck at 50 feet. This was a bit more shallow of a dive and very comfortable.
O WAIT LOOK WHO IT IS?
A whole bunch of french divers, o wait CARY?
Yup looks like Cary.
Cary’s first picture diving. Good job buddy on your dive cert.
Me Clowning around in the pilot house of the Navy Ship. Always the captain above or below, lol!
Waiting for the dive boat to come pick me up out in the middle of the ocean.
Last look at New Zealand as we make our way to New Caledonia, only 900 nautical miles away. It should take 7 to 10 days to sail there and hopefully we will have wind to get us there.