Monday, 17 August 2009

The Isle of Pines

Wow - it's been more than a year since we arrived here in Noumea. With baby two about to arrive, and Charlie's parents over for a visit, we decided to take a few days out over on the Isle of Pines. Which was stunning.

It's mid-winter here and when I booked the tickets and hotel the agency asked me if I was sure I wanted to go in the deepest, darkest, depths of winter. Well, being a good kiwi girl at heart that just seemed like a bit of a challenge...would the weather be ok? We did get a bit lucky - and winter here is pretty tame. We lounged beside the still blue sea at about 23 degrees and in the sun it was up around 25. It was fabulous. We didn't spend much time in the water - I only did one snorkel in the natural aquarium but it was the perfect temperature for walking around and lounging too.

The best parts of the trip were probably the walk up the river to the Natural aquarium. It's only a 15 minute walk, but it feels like an adventure because you can't the see inlet when you start. It's glorious walking out and seeing the water open up in front of you. We lunched at the Meridien afterwards (Laughing at the reaction of our guests to a $NZ 50 hamburger - it's amazing how you start to become immune to the silly prices!) and decided that our accommodation at Oure Lodge was way nicer.

Oure Lodge is at the far end of a beautiful sheltered bay. I loved walking through the gardens around the bungalows with Max, chatting to the cat and watching the butterflies come and play chicken with us and enjoying the shade of the banyans. We'll be back with bubba two, to show her this lovely place!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Putting roots down here

I always think it's nice to leave a house with a little more soul than when you moved into it...we're staring here early. A lemon tree was put into the garden a few weeks ago and Max loved digging the hole with daddy, watering the new tree and running around outside in his gumboots. Next on the list is a herb garden and vege patch. We just need to find a way to kill all the snails here first! It's wet and feels cold (17 degrees at night, 22/23 degrees during the day) and the snails are loving it.

We also welcomed ourselves to our new pad with a little housewarming brunch. There were probably more kids than big folks here and the resulting chaos of kids outside and adults inside watching the rugby (NZ lost...) was very entertaining. Hopefully there will be more little parties like that one - this place seems to just soak up lots of people.

Finally, we went to a wedding that had me scratching around in the wardrobe for something suitable to dress me and the bump. The trusty pregnant wedding dress did the trick - even covering this large little baby!

Things have been busy with the France-Oceania summit. I'd hoped for a little visit from Mr le President and his wife (I'd have been out at the parade checking out her chic clothes!) but it wasn't to be. For me, aside from having an absentee husband for a few days, the biggest impact has been all the protests, road blocks and even more strikes than usual. Hopefully our trip to the Ile of Pines next week won't be affected. Our fingers and toes will all be crossed!