After the ship docked, Colleen and I went ashore to check out the Hospitality and Visitors’ Centre: a two storey building with markets on the upper floor and tourism operators plus a snack bar or two on the ground floor.
As we only had from 3pm to 10.30pm in port it was difficult which of 14 tours on offer to book for.We settled for The Tchou tchou/Bumble bee train in the hope of managing some shopping time in the city centre.
However, we went on a bus ride with a local (Michael’s buses) who gave far more interesting insights(being of Melanesian race) than the Dutch lady who was our tour guide on the Tchou tchou train later.
Our very short stay made me realize that Noumea needs more than a six hour visit, and it is up near the top of my ever increasing Bucket list.
Seeing all the street and shop signs in French made me realize that French lessons are also a MUST before returning. as so few were bi lingual.But hey! so many Australians have only English, why should I expect other nationalities to cater for my ignorance!
Michael, who has a sister living in New Farm in Brisbane was an excellent guide, only too happy and patient to answer my questions about Kanak culture.Aboard with Michael, we learned about the Protestant Temple (I had never heard protestant churches ever referred to as temples before this trip.)
Along the curvy, hilly, roads, and driving on the opposite side of the road to that which Aussies are accustomed to we passed the Notre Dame de Pacific lookout, the Latin Quarter, and finally had French pastries and a soft drink at the Ouen Toro lookout before witnessing a magnificent sunset before returning along the water’s edge of Limon Bay to the Maritime area . Later, on the advice of our Dutch guide, we returned by taxi to Limon (Lemon) bay for Dinner at a very popular restaurant…….and that drama I will save for my next posting!