Moving on up to a delux apartment in the sky

When I started my trip I had originally planed on staying at a decent hotel once every one or two weeks. Nothing super fancy, but just nice.

So far, I really haevn’t done that at all. My luxuries have been in the form of single rooms at the hostel.

Well, I decided to go for broke here in Noumea. I’m staying at the Meridien. Three days of luxury before living with mosquitoes in off beat islands.

Before you go to a place, you only can read about it in guidebooks or on the web. It isn’t a substitute for being there. I really had no idea what to expect in New Caledonia. The only thing I ever recall reading about it was riots they had years ago against the French (and that will be part of a very long post I’m going to make soon).

Let me just say New Caledonia is really much more than I expected. The island is beautiful and I can see why Noumea is called “Paris on the Pacific”. This could easily be in the south of France.

It isn’t just a nice city “for the Pacific”, it’s just a plain nice city.

I can see why the French are so reluctant to give it up.

I’m off to take photos of Noumea. Being eight hours behind (16 hours ahead) of everyone you know is really becoming difficult.

Oh, on the advice of one the readers of this site, I’m going to postpone going to Papua New Guinea until I’m in Indonesia or Australia. The flights to PNG from the Solomons are too much of a pain in the ass, where as from Australia they are reliable and frequent.

Je suis en Nouvelle-Cal├ędonie

First, the airport here has free wireless internet. Even if it wasn’t a nice airport (which it is) that alone would make it the best airport in the Pacific.

Once again, the French are the biggest sticklers at Immigration check in.

I’m off to find a place to stay (yeah, I don’t have that yet. I just sort of trust that here in the French summer is not the peak of the tourist season)

My plan for the next few days is to explore the environs of the city and try to eat some descent French food. No big trips into the heart of the island are planned…but you never know.

I once again have to deal with the dreaded Pacific Franc (XPF).

NEW Caledonia

I’m at the Nadi, Fiji airport and about to leave for New Caledonia.

I’m glad I spent the last two days in Fiji. If I hadn’t, my opinion of Fiji would have only been shaped by Nadi, which honestly, is a shithole. Suva and Lukaota are much nicer cities.

I got my Kiribati visa and some books to read, so my mini Fiji mission has been accomplished.