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".

21 May 2006

From Anse Vata to Baie des Citrons

This has come to be a daily view as winter approaches. In an effort to take advantage of the cool, bright days in Nouméa, I have taken to walking this stretch between Anse Vata (Nouméa's windier beach which is home to our many windsurfers) and the Baie des Citrons (the beach more frequented by sunbathers) more often. Pablo and I also join our friends Caitlin and Dorian for walks along the Anse Vata three mornings a week. Suffice it to say we have become addicted to the view, the fresh air, the wind, the sun and the great company. Heaven help us when we will return to Europe in 2007!

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.

12 May 2006

A Good Old-Fashioned Triathlon

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.
On 23 April, 152 triathletes participated in Nouméa's International Triathlon (for great photos, results and more - in French - see I can't say I've ever been in a city when a triathlon was being held. It is inspiring to be surrounded by so many athletes. It makes you just want to get out there and run (okay, so I've started speed-walking recently; running is soon to come)!

Apparently it was a great event with the swimming, running and biking all taking place in a morning. Laurent's friend Bruno (above) managed to beat his military colleagues' times on his own. A few of them had formed a team, and he beat each one of their times. He finished 72nd out of 152 participants, completing the triathlon in just over 2 hours 24 minutes. Biking was his greatest strength (10 km) - he finished 58th! Wow - I'm impressed.

The question is: will Laurent sign up for next year's triathlon?

05 May 2006

New Caledonian Cuisine

Admittedly, due to having more time and enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere here on the island (which was untouched by the rumoured tsunami of last week - thank you, Tonga!), I have come to cook more often than in Paris. But I have not been cooking traditional New Caledonian fare - I suppose largely because I have been learning how to bake cheesecakes, roast sweet potatoes, and barbecue pineapple and mango skewers dipped in coconut -- all things that we have the ingredients for and everyone in the family likes. From time to time, I have tried a few New Caledonian recipes (found in the backs of TV guides next to pet tips and Sudoku), but I have not mastered one I could tell you about ...

Laurent, however, did manage to serve up a New Caledonian dish just a few nights ago, however. Our neighbour had given him some fish that he had been barbecuing: Laurent was only too thrilled to cook it up in a coconut sauce that night. It looked delicious, it must be said, but I let Laurent and Sophie share it out. When all was safely chewed and swallowed, he asked Sophie if she liked the fish. "Yes, good," she said. "Do you know what it was?" A wave of panic flashed through Sophie's eyes. "Oh no ... Laurent - you didn't ..." Yes, he did: he cooked up something Sophie and I would not normally eat, probably, and called it fish.

Turns out it was this.
The neighbour had caught six of them in the bay just outside our door that weekend. Six black tip sharks. Happily swimming around our bay. How's that for local cuisine?