|view from my room in Nouméa|
|New Caledonia's national emblem.|
Since it was such a last minute trip, I booked the accommodations and thought I'd figure out a ferry or a flight to the island once I had arrived. Bad idea. The ferry only served twice a week and the 2 flights a day were booked solid. The concierge at my hotel laughed along with (or maybe at) me while we tried to figure it out, until he finally suggested my final option... Helicopter.
So the next morning I met my pilot at the hotel's helipad.
"-Where is everyone else?
-No one else, just me.
-Seriously? Usually I have four fat tourists.
-Then I guess that means I get a longer flight? Less fuel right?"
He laughed and agreed. Not only did he show me the coolest shaped atolls between Nouméa and Pines, he also gave me an entire aerial tour of the island before landing in a grass field, just a quick buggy ride away from my hotel.
|Oure Tera from above|
|my cute bungalow at Oure Tera|
|The island is nicknamed "l'ile la plus proche du paradis," or, the closest island to paradise. I really couldn't phrase it any better. My days were spent snorkeling, swimming, tanning, and hiking all by myself. One note... Ladies beware. As a French territory I assumed topless sunbathing was acceptable, and it is, on the main island. I was unaware that on the Isle of Pines the locals are extremely Catholic and topless tanning is frowned upon. Luckily I was approached by a fellow French tourist who informed me of this before I offended anyone. The hotel was perfect, right on a pristine beach with great snorkeling. The cabins were sweet and tastefully decorated.|
|my honeymoon with myself|
|Let's go gogglin'!|
I did manage to get a plane back to Nouméa, and the pilots invited me up into the cockpit for the ride :)
|landing back in Nouméa|