I was actually able to jump out of bed as opposed to my usual struggle. I guess dancing right before bed time will help you sleep? We were running right on schedule and there were no problems with the tendering process so everyone was able to get off the boat in a reasonable amount of time. We had some time to kill before we needed to meet with the tour guide so we spent it looking around at the market stalls set up at the pier. There were lots of ladies offering really cheap massages or hair braiding. I decided I wouldn’t get mine done yet as a) I wasn’t sure what style to get and b) I didn’t know if I needed my precious francs for Noumea yet.
We met with our tour guide and group, hopped on a bus and was taken to the tropical forest. I hadn’t really thought this tour through, I have a major phobia of butterflies and somehow over looked the fact that a tropical Forrest was the ideal habitat for butterflies. As a result I did not bring a safety pareo with me to put over my head and shoulders. It was too late now though, the pareo was back on the ship and I was about to commence the tour. I took a deep breath in and plunged into the wilderness! There were actually zero butterflies in there and for that I am very grateful!
The tour guide Terri, was very helpful. He explained everything so well, I was amazed how many languages he knew (Kanak, French and English). He was extremely funny as well and made the tour very entertaining. We learnt about many different plants, some with amazing abilities such as preventing leukemia, curing a women’s womb, band aids, you name the ailment, they had a plant that could cure it!
The secret grotto was great, the cave was very small…I have a feeling it’s huge but you would have to be a serious caver to explore it all. There were some beautiful shawls up the back of the cave. There were also some hand paintings and some totem poles as well. After that we were shown traps to catch various critters, for example a coconut crab, which is HUGE. It took 20 years to get that big, but some have been found to be 50 years old that they are enormous!
We saw a two wild pig traps and a bird trap. Which I was able to operate. After that we were given some refreshments and had a bit of a chat before the bus took us back to the pier. David and I decided not to bring our swimmers with us on this trip ashore, which was a shame as there were kayaks and canoes available for hire. We went for a walk and took a few photos, there was a massive cue to get back on the ship. I guessed it was because there was a severe lack of food available on the island. We gave up and decided to join the cue and eventually got back on the ship for lunch. I was starving and helped myself to a big buffet lunch.
After that I think I was too stuffed to move! We were both pretty exhausted from walking around all day and decided to head back to our room for a nap. It was the best things for us as we woke refreshed and ready to party the night away. We headed to Empire of dinner where we found it was Caribbean night! Everyone was wearing their best Hawaiian shirts and fake leis.
We had a wonderful night but once again needed to turn in early as we had an early start in Noumea the next day. Not because we booked a tour but because we wanted to hunt down some free WiFi and we weren’t sure how to go about it.