Sunday, 19 June 2011


The Pacific Dawn arrived in Lifou early on Tuesday morning.
We had an early tour, so were up early and had breakfast before heading to
our meeting spot for our tour.
Lifou is also in new Caledonia and is french speaking.
It's quite primitive compared to Noumea.
The people live in grass huts and life is quite simple.
The day the ship comes in is obviously their big day of the week.
Pay day, so to speak!

Lifou doesn't have a harbour or anywhere for the ship to dock.
So, they anchor in deeper water and all passengers are taken to the
mainland by tender boats. They seat about 100 people.
Depending on your tour time, depended on what time tender you got on.
We were the 2nd tender boat of the day. The boats ran all day to and from the ship.
We saw them getting the tenders down early in the morning.
It's quite the process.

After the trip over, we were welcomed with a local band.
I love their bright coloured clothing.


Here's the jetty that the tender ferries you to...

Here's Jase and the kids.
You can see the Pacific Dawn in the background.
Such crystal blue water. It's beautiful!

We headed off on our tour, just after arriving.
Today was a Melanesian Adventure.
Our first stop was a Catholic Church, that was built back in 1898
by the missionaries that taught the locals the good word.
They are an extrememly religious nation, even today!

Next we headed around the corner to the Chief's Hut.
The Chief's Hut is bigger than anyone else's. It's not for sleeping in though.
This Chief is responsible for around 17 different villages in the area.
Instead of going to court about a problem, you go and see the Chief, along
with the leader of the 17 villages. They sort it out.
The Chief is held in very high regard and would never be disrespected.
Not as bad idea for sorting things out!

It's a custom to wear a grass hat when you enter.
We were handed a hat by a young boy when we walked into
the Chief's Hut gate. Funny part was, Zac's was too big and
mine was too small, so we swapped once we made our way inside.

After the Chief's hut, we walked through a back gate and came across
some ladies organising food and men around a fire.
We were all handed some coconut water from a coconut!
I'm not a coconut fan, but tried it and it wasn't that bad.
Can't say I finished the whole drink, but it was refreshing.
I passed on having it cracked open and eating the coconut inside!

Our guide was telling us about how the Melanesian people make
a meal. One of the ladies was preparing a chicken with various vegetables.
I've never tried a yam, so I had to try that. Just like potato and their
sweet potato was yummy too. Not orange like ours.
The kids loved the chicken. Was very yummy.

It's all wrapped up in banana leaves. Must be what keeps it all so
moist, during the cooking process.

After it's all wrapped up, it's time to put it in the ground.
While the women are preparing the food the men were seeing to the fire.
There was no fire to be seen, only coals.
So, the food is placed on the coals, then it's loaded up with layers of dirt.
It keeps the heat in and it cooks away.

After it was cooked...One they'd prepared earlier(LOL) was
unwrapped from the banana leaves and we were able to try some.

After our tour we headed back to the village.
The kids were busting for a swim. The water was so crystal clear.
A little on the cool side for Jase and I but it didn't faze the kids.
I swear they'd swim in arctic waters!

After a swim we headed up to the village.
There was plenty going on. There were some locals singing...

After the singing some of the ladies sat down and did some weaving with
palm leaves. They made hats, bags and this lady whipped up a basket in no time.

By this time, Jase, the kids and Nadine decided to head back to the ship.
My sister Kellie was keen to walk up to the church on the hilltop and see the view.
So, the two of us set off. We took a wrong turn to begin with, but eventually
found the right one. It wasn't too far. Only about a 15 min walk each way.
It was the last bit up the steep hill that was the killer.
Burning thighs...get the picture??

Here's the little white church on the hill that we could see from the ship...

Here I am standing outside it. We made it!!!!
Such an amazing view from up there.

After our walk we headed back to the village and down to the jetty.
This was just before we hopped on the tender back to the ship.

Another busy but very fun day in paradise!
I headed back to the ship for a nana nap. Aunty Kel bribed the kids to go
to Kids Club so I could have a snooze. After all, there was a big sundae
in it for them.They happily obliged and I got a snooze!

That night was Pirate and Cowboy night. Always fun dressing up
although I have no pics. Not sure why?
After dinner we went to the Pirate Show and it was fabulous.
Hands down the best show on the Cruise!
Very audience interactive and lots of laughs!

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about Port Vila!

Chat soon,

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