Maré – New Caledonia

After the overcrowded, polluted and stuffy Hong-Kong, I needed fresh air!

Yes, like that! (oooh Sister!)

Staying in Australia?? What for! So thank you so much, Quantas, for having offered me a return ticket for paradise for ONLY AUD 750!!! Yes I know… I went to paradise for ONLY AUD 750!! Amazing, uh? Baah, admit it… you are just jalous!

We landed in Tontouta, international airport of New Caledonia, on january 25th. After 10 minutes in the airport, you understand that even if this country is legally french, it’s a completely different way of life.

You know, when you see people on TV with hawaiian shirts? Laying on the beach with a blue and pink cocktail? Well, it’s not really like that 😉

Let me just introduce you New Caledonia inhabitants. Three ethnies have to be distinguished: the Kanaks, original inhabitants; the Caldoches, descendants of the convicts that used to be incarcerated on the island; and the “Zoreilles”, meaning people like you and me, from metropole. New Caledonia is at the core of a perpetual fight between the two first ethnies. The Kanak’s mentality is quite special. The islands belong to clans, and the family spirit is very strong. Often, the head-men from the differents tribes meet to speak about the issues that they can face. They also play the role of judges in trials (even if the French law is the official one, they have their own as well).

All the land belong to someone, so if you want to go for a walk, you often have to pay EUR 10 as a right of way.  You also have to ask if you want to go to the beach. And don’t even think about buying a piece of land to build your own house if you are a Zoreille… After France colonized New Caledonia, Kanak fought to have their land back, and keep it jealously. If you rent a house, you still have to do “la coutume”: you must thanks the proprietary to welcome you on his land, by bringing him a “manou”, a piece of clothes that has a strong symbolic meaning, and biscuits, or chocolate…

However, this culture based on community is also so nice: want to go somewhere, but don’t have a car? No problem, just hitch-hike. They will all stop. Have a car and drive all around the island? Don’t look surprised if everyone wave you.

 During our trip, we visited Maré and Isle of Pines. Actually, New Caledonia is composed of the main land (including Noumea), the 3 Loyaulty Islands (Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa) plus the Isle of Pines.

 We first spent one week in Maré, with Antoine’s sister. Aaaaaah laying on the beach all day long! But nothing goes without effort so… before arriving to the beach, you first need to walk one hour and the half on fossilised coral. To give you an idea, fissilised coral looks like lace, sharp, uneven. Truth, if you do one step wrong, you can really injure yourself.

But I survived, and I arrived to this beach, with my native inhabitant friend [click on a photo to enlarge it!] :

   

Lucky us, a cyclone decided to say hi while we were on Maré! Fortunately, it finally changed its mind and went to bother some other unlucky people. As we are rebel, we decided to ignore it (noooo don’t worry dear parents!! I took care!), and went for a walk through the forest to put down the sea once arrived on the beach. Here are some photos of our trek.

 

 And last but not least, maybe the most paradisiac beach ever. No coral near the shore, but go a little bit further, and it’s so amazing…

 

To rest a little bit from this tiring, tiring life! We went to the restaurant. If you plan to go to New-Caledonia, remember that you can NOT directly go to the restaurant saying ” Hi, it’s me, I’m hungry!”. Surprising? Not really… They go fishing in function of the demand (they have all made business school, where they were taught about the just-in-time concept. Yep, truth!), the food is always fresh and at least, you know where it comes from. We wanted to eat fruit bat (roussette) but it was impossible, so we ate Nemo and his family (Yes, I’m ashamed)

Next step: Ile des Pins!!

 

Responses

  1. […] Coralie Crusoe in Maré – New Caledonia […]

  2. ooooooh! c’est pas vraiment la le paradis! tu dis ça parce que t’as pas encore fait le tour de l’île cocotte! You have to know that THE paradis, the one, is where you are!

    Show your tan face, make me jalous!

    Have fun! kiss

  3. Oooh! Comment ça c’est pas le paradis? Tu veux comparer avec Issy-les-Moulineaux, niark niark niark ^^
    Pis j’vais aller faire un tour du côté de chez Swann… euh de la Tasmanie, alors j’vais avoir un nouvel aperçu…!

    Apparemment le coup du menton qui tremblote a marché, t’es venue sur mon blog, t’es trop biiiieeen comme fille! Allez, juste pour le fun, je le refais :S héhé zoubi

  4. j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte.j’ai pas honte. j’ai pas honte. j”ai pas honte.

  5. waou cest cool ce que tu fais cocote va a funculo

    el sbinto

  6. En parcourant le blog j’ai apprécié la prose de ta sister, quelle richesse de vocabulaire, les descriptions sont hyper envoûtantes, tu as dû te régaler à la lecture!!!! on ne s’en lasse pas.Surtout
    ne lui fait part de ces compliments elle en rougirait
    La vie à St-Raph.continue avec quelques bains,j’avoue ne pas,pour le moment,y trouver le plaisir d’antan il est à noter que le temps n’est pas des plus régulier.Gros bisous du midi.


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