Yesterday I touched down in New Caledonia’s La Tontouta Airport (after a bit of a delay caused by Auckland’s heavy fog) and stepped out of the plane into a beautiful, tropical, blue-skied day. After a mini-tour of the city’s suburbs courtesy of my airport shuttle, I arrived at my AirBnB and went for a walk down to the lovely Baie des Citrons and the local supermarché. I definitely perused the aisles for longer than I would usually, I think it’s a great thing to do when you first get to a new country. Back at the apartment I threw together a quick lunch with the pain de campagne, charcuterie, tomates, and fromage that I had bought and enjoyed it on the terrace with an Orangina (so good). As for the rest of the day, I didn’t end up doing much as I got a really bad headache! So I decided to leave more exploring for the next day.
This morning my very nice AirBnB hosts took me along with them to Noumea City Market in Port Moselle where they were getting their weekly fruits et legumes and some delicious looking freshly caught tuna! They bought me a firi-firi, which is a Tahitian donut that reminds me a lot of Maori fry bread back at home. I didn’t take any pictures at the market but it runs six days a week so I’ll definitely be going back, camera in hand.
After visiting the market I set off on a walk down the Baie des Citrons and followed the coast around to Anse Vata, where I eventually stopped at an ice-cream shop called Amorino for a cornet à glace which was meticulously scooped into a rose formation. I think this technique allows you to choose more flavours, which is quite clever. I chose coffee, chocolate sorbet, and salted caramel.
I’ve been trying to use French where possible to get some good practice in, however today I found there were a lot of people from a cruise ship around, so I think the people at the shops I went into just heard my accent and replied to me in English. I did tell my AirBnB hosts that I worked for an “Agence de Travail” instead of an “Agence de Voyage” and that I had been to Europe three days ago rather than three years… Language learning is all about trial and error though, right?
The highlight of my day was visiting the Aquarium des Lagons in Anse Vata, which I’d definitely recommend to anyone visiting Noumea. I took way too many pictures and I’ll end this post with a few of my favourites. I’m quite excited to go snorkelling around the reef sometime in the next couple of days and hopefully I see a few of these guys! (Okay, maybe not the sea snakes or sharks…)