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".

19 March 2006

Pareo-Tying in New Caledonia

Two weeks ago , we returned to the paradisical Phare Amédée. Loyal readers will recall that Phare Amédée is one of the popular sites to marvel at sea snakes and reef sharks here in New Caledonia. This time, we took Sophie and her best friend ("Mag"), and our wonderful friend Mary who was visiting from Australia, to the little ilôt 45 minutes outside Nouméa.

Highlights of this particular visit included front-row seats for the folklore dancing show (more of our fire dancer!), a session on how to climb coconut trees and a session on how to tie pareos (sarongs) - see Sophie, above, modelling one such pareo during the pareo-tying demonstration.

We generally wear pareos at the beach here in New Caledonia, but I've been told that you see far fewer of them here than in Tahiti. Here, it is unacceptable to walk the streets or go into town, shops or restaurants wearing a pareo or just shorts (for our male friends). The local population (the Kanaks) frowns on bearing one's skin in public - though one does see many a topless (and sometimes practically bottom-less) sunbather at the Baie des Citrons (Bay of Lemons).

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.

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