Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wandering Wednesday - Lifou, New Caledonia

Lifou is an island belonging to New Caledonia and a popular destination on P&O Cruises. So, when we took a cruise with friends in 2009 around the south pacific, it's no surprise we landed at this small, picturesque island.


This was our first view of Lifou as we came close to anchoring - a scenic headland with a pretty little church. The cruise line offered a number of different sightseeing tours, but being intrepid travelers (and wanting to escape the other passengers) we made our own fun. Firstly, we bartered with a local bike stall to rent us some bikes.


Then, we just took off for the day! No maps were needed, we just made our way around the island, through rainforest and villages, passing many houses and even a couple of churches...



We made it all the way to the other side of the island - right up to a lovely lookout before ditching the bikes and making our way down a steep hill to this snorkeling cove. This was when we realised the value in making our own tour - one of the sightseeing tours to these cliffs arrived while we were snorkeling. Yes, they got to ride in an airconditioned bus instead of cycling up a steep hill in the heat BUT they had 5 mins to admire the view before boarding, and had to watch us enjoying the water instead of being in there admiring all the fishies themselves!


After working off a few of the cocktails we had been enjoying on board, we returned the bikes in favour of some relaxing at the beach where we had landed. There was food, entertainment and a market featuring local handicrafts.





The beach here was picture perfect - the sand soft and white and the water was gloriously warm, not to mention crystal clear.



I have to admit, I didn't really want to get back on the ship when it was time to leave. Perhaps it was the thought of facing more motion sickness, or perhaps it was the beauty of this little south pacific gem, I just don't know...


Happy wanderings :-)

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