The Wonders of New Caledonia
Arriving in Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, the hubby, kids and I were greeted with fresh flower garlands by beautiful island women and then whisked off for a private tour of nearby Amadee Island. The island’s impossibly white sand beaches and crystal blue waters are postcard-worthy. We had good fun playing in the surf and looking at the exotic fish and corals. We peeked into Amadee’s landmark iron lighthouse, which was built in Paris in the 1850s, disassembled, shipped to the island and then reconstructed piece by piece. Amazing!
We also got these French men to drop and do #xmas25squats with us!! ;)
The next day, we sailed to Lifou, another picture-perfect island full of coconut palm and banana trees - both are incredibly nutritious, full of the good stuff to stay healthy and fit! I found out that one of the main exports here is copra, which is the dried meat of coconut that is used to extract coconut oil, another great product to keep everything from your skin to your hair beautiful and supple. Then, we hopped over to Vila, yet another breathtaking island in the archipelago! Here, we spent a day at the Ekasup Cultural Village, where the kids and I learned how the forest provides shelter, food and medicine for the local communities. Everything is handmade and nothing is wasted - a good lesson in recycling and being mindful! A lovely woman taught my daughter Mietta to use seashells to scrape banana puree onto broad banana leaves -- this puree turns into powder and can be stored, sometimes for a year. Cyclones and storms are common and can be devastating, so keeping a good store of food is important here!
Zali's new besties. A child's smile is worth more than all the money in the world. Priceless. pic.twitter.com/ydgqEB2dSR
— Dani Stevens (@1DaniStevens) December 16, 2015
We ended the day wading through lush forest streams and pools before ending up at the Mele Cascades, where the waterfalls are so beautiful it seemed unreal.
Now to my favourite part: the food! We had the chance to try some delightful meals, along with plenty of fresh fruit, refreshing coconut water and scrumptious seafood salads, spiked with plenty of lime to keep the meals flavourful and light... perfect in the hot tropical sun! Prawns, lobster, crab and mangrove oysters are freshly-caught by there by islanders and taste divine. One of the local dishes is boungna, where fish or chicken is wrapped in banana leaf and over hot stones buried in sand.
It was such a fantastic family trip because we all absolutely love learning about new cultures!! All this has kept us fueled for the next adventure, we can't wait to explore other parts of the world and learn new things. In the meanwhile though, we're still basking in the sheer excitement of the Carnival Cruise - so much so that the kids are still feeling sealegs (a term they have now just learned!).