I have found my sea legs at last and bounded out of bed for my sacred cappuccino. Our cabin is internal, so it is pitch black 24 hours a day. This is a godsend! The darkness allows hubby a chance to sleep in without the little ones waking.
When I came up on deck I was amazed that it was such a beautiful day. It was all blue skies and none of the wind that had seemed to have followed us from Brisbane. The pool was still closed as the seas were still quite large. I now love the movement of the boat, I find that it adds to my relaxation. I sit and enjoyed the quiet of the Lido Cafe and my deliciously strong coffee. I had noted that the sunrise stretch class was schedule for 7.30am with “body conditioning” to follow. After my huge banquet at La Luna yesterday I was determined to check out the morning exercise classes.
When I arrived at the class I had to try to slip inconspicuously into position in the circle. The class had commenced right on time! Our trainer took us through a half hour of stretching and then we moved onto Body Conditioning. It was a gruelling workout which was made a little harder by the rocking of the boat. At the end of the hour I was really pleased I had participated and decided to add these classes to my morning ritual.
I met the family at the buffet for breakfast. I decided that my tummy was well settled and it was time to try the breakfast buffet. I made myself a plate which included baked beans, mushroom omelette and garlic mushrooms. Absolutely delicious! Naturally I had to include a croissant since we were in french waters!
The children began nagging to be allowed to join their friends at Turtle Cove, the onboards kids club. We relented and took them down to level 6, only to find that there is a children’s concert in the show lounge in only an hour. Right or wrong the children didn’t want to stay with us! We left them at Turtle Cove and told staff we would collect them for the concert.
The four kids clubs are separated into four age groups, from 3-17 years. They two younger kids clubs have a turtle and shark as a mascot. These mascots were singing and dancing with the teachers from kids club in a one hour performance. Periodically all the children also sang and danced on stage.
Every child was in awe during the performance.
Believe it or not it is time to eat again. Once again we go for the easy option at “the trough” aka Sol de Cafe.
We return the children to their friends and find a comfortable spot at the Oasis Bar where we can watch the islands of New Caledonia appearing before us.
It is around 4.00pm when we arrive in Noumea. The teenagers are booked on a catamaran tour of the bays. We went through the disembarking procedures as a group and Mr GG and I saw the big boys to their bus.
Our tour wasn’t due to leave for another hour so we decided to go adventuring on our own. Armed with a map and some high school French we wandered through the streets of Noumea. I have been to France twice and I absolutely love the French language and food! I was determined to explore both! Something I have noticed is that when you see a sign in French it looks like it is an invitation to eat. Hubby would say, “look, there’s a bakery of there!” When we would get closer it would be something as mundane as a laundry mat.
We went into a few stores but being that we were still very close to the port I couldn’t find anything to excite my tastebuds. I did find a huge home wares store but the owners was very distrusting and after I snapped this quick picture I was told to put away my camera.
Pictured above is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Noumea. It is a wooden rotunda which is positioned in the village square. There are also quite a lot of statues which naturally remind me of the European heritage of the city.
Even with such a short glimpse of this country I find that it is so unlike other pacific Island that I have visited.
Mr GG and I make our way back to the meeting point for our tour, on the dock beneath the boat. We are surprised to find the cafe by the port has fairly quick free Wifi. I make a bunch of quick facebook and twitter updates as hubby purchases a No 1 Beer, the local’s choice.
The beer gets the better of me and I have to sample a mouthful. I think it’s a must when visiting a new country to try the local brew. No 1 is a pale ale and I find it is very much to my liking.
It is 5.30pm and still about 30 degrees so the last of hubbys beer goes down quite quickly. I note that Heineken are behind the brew and I am suddenly not surprised that I like beer. I have always had a soft spot for Heineken, perhaps it has something to do with one of my first independent holidays to Amsterdam. 😉
We board the bus and begin our tour of the cities historical landmarks and look outs. I never realised that New Caledonia played such an important part in the Second World War. We received a commentary along the way which was both interesting and surprising. The only city in New Caledonia is Noumea, most of the remaining land is natural habitat or very small villages.
From our vantage points at Notre Dame de Pacific we are afforded an amazing view of the city and port area. It is a beautiful day with blue skies for as far as the eye can see. We move onto the Ouen Toro Lookout which has another spectacular view, this time over the various island which form New Caledonia.
It is moving onto dusk when we arrive at La Coupole in Anse Vata Bay for the Wine and Cheese tasting.
To Be continued…