Monday, April 03, 2006

New Caledonia Photos - Mare Island

My final stop in the Loyalty Islands was Mare, the smallest and most isolated. It was by far the most difficult for hitchhiking, and after my plane landed I was worried I would have to walk all night to get to my campsite. Fortunately a truck owned by the Mormon missionaries came by and I jumped aboard. Once again I was the only tourist, but it was cool to live with a Kanak family and see how they live. I don't think I'll ever figure out their primary school schedule, it seems like they go maybe 3 days a week, and whenever they don't feel like having school, they just cancel. A very different pace of life from anything I've seen, thats for sure.

Here is my own private beach. It took about an hour to reach, and as far as I could tell no one had been on that beach in years, as the reef was too dangerous for fishing, and there were no fruit trees to pick. So I claimed it as my own.

Joseph, my gracious host, brought this turtle up from the beach one night after he was done spearfishing. Don't worry, he was released unharmed back into the ocean, but believe me he weighed a ton.

La Rousette, or flying fox to us anglophones. That is the little hand reaching for my knife from beyond the grave...needless to say, it was every bit as disgusting as it looks, and sounds.

Here is my Mare campsite, which was actually the first time I slept in the hammock between two coconut trees. It worked great, although it was a little disconcerting listening to the skull-cracking thud of falling coconuts during the night, but definitely worth it.


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