Lifou Island

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Lifou Island is part of the Loyalty Islands, which is part of New Caledonia, and Noumea is the capital.

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We approached the island and anchored. The tender boats from Ruby Princess would take us ashore to the small piers.

The island is 80 km (50 miles) long and 16 km (10 miles) wide, and is famous for coral, tropical fish, turtles and views. The populations is currently around 10,000 people.

The French took control of New Caledonia and the surrounding islands in 1853 and they remain as part of France today.

Maureen & I had visited the island some years ago when we cruised the area with P & O Australia, and at that time, because we were with our grandchildren, we spent our time ashore on the beach and swimming. This time we planned a little site seeing, and to take in the views.

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As we came into the bay to anchor I took the above picture and planned to climb to the top to visit the church, which I found out was called Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel.

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It didn’t take long for the tender boats to made ready to take the passengers ashore.

DSC05858rOnce ashore we found a small market selling locally designed textiles.

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Lifou Island, being part of New Caledonia, which itself is part of France, the local signs were in French and the locals spoke French, as well as their own language, and could be understood in English. The people are Kanaks, and their culture is still maintained despite the arrivals of other cultures.

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We walked up a small hill to reach the road that would take us to the chapel.

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If you wanted a cool coconut drink, they were $3 AUD or 200 Pacific French francs.

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This guy couldn’t care less if he sold a coconut or not – he was happy.
Picture thanks to Ken.

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After a walk of about ten to fifteen minutes we came across the path that led up to the chapel. The climate was humid, but tolerable, so I started up the rise which didn’t feel all that bad until I moved further up and realised that it was getting steep, and I could see how steep – so I chickened  out, and Maureen & I sat at the bottom waiting for our friends to return.

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Too steep for me – picture thanks to Ken

The palm tree on the right in the picture that shows the beginning of the climb had an unusual ‘fruit’ or seed, I’m not sure which, but I took a picture . . .

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It wasn’t a pineapple!

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On our return to the pier area we listened to a choir of locals – there is something in the harmony of the Pacific islanders when they sing as a choir  the link is of the New Caledonia Choir.

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We saw this monument, but we were unable to find out if it had a significant meaning – it was located within an area that was fenced off, so we couldn’t get in the check. Perhaps it indicates the way to St Francois -Xavier church.

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The locals had a large map to allow visitors to get an idea of where to go and what to see.

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We decided to return to the ship for lunch, the tender boats ran a continuous ferry service so one didn’t have to wait too long.

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This is not a trick – but as I walked along the small pier to the tender boat, I looked over the fence and saw a turtle – out came the camera and I took a few shots, but none captured the turtle – but I’m happy to say that I saw it, and was surprised that it was so close to the beach considering all the human traffic around.

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A tropical beach & the sea enslaves my imagination  . . .

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Home James, a cold beer awaits . . .