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".

01 February 2006

A New Caledonian Gem: La Rivière Bleue

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.
In early January, we set off for the Parc provincial de la Rivière Bleue (Blue River) with a couple of friends. We had been told that it was beautiful and well worth seeing. About an hour outside Nouméa, we drove into the 90 sq km nature reserve, equipped with a map and more than a few bottles of water. It was a very hot day and we were happy we had started out early. By mid-day it was impossible to keep walking in the direct sun.

The soil is bright red (stripped of its nutrients by years of mining), and the stunning blue river had evaporated to almost nothing at all (it is summer in this part of the world - and we had not had much rain). But dismayed we were not, as the park was nearly empty and we had the mountains, waterfalls, hiking trails, thick forests, birds and swimming holes to ourselves. We resolved at the end of our day (about three hours of hiking, a well-deserved picnic lunch, more hiking and a dip in a mountain stream before trekking back) to definitely come back when the river had returned.

More photos and tales of la Rivière Bleue to follow ...

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