This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

24 December 2005

Ile des Pins: Queen Hortense's Cave

Leaving Vao, we drove up and across the island (quickly done as the island stretches 14 km by 17 km and there only one or two main roads) to find a simple (and welcome) lunch on the Baie d'Oro.

Afterwards, we went in search of Queen Hortense's cave. According to Lonely Planet, "when Kunie leader Chef Vendegou died in 1885, the husband of his daughter was officially the new grand chef. However, Vendegou's daughter, Hortense, had the stronger personality of the two and was regarded as the leader. Popular local legend has it that, between 1885 and 1886, Queen Hortense was forced to hide in a cave with her protectors while intertribal battles raged over the issue of her gender." Though the cave turned out to be discreet and rather comfortable as far as caves go, we weren't sure a year in a cave would be much fun.

Photo by Sophie-Alix Kilcoyne, 2005.

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