Sept. 18 – penitentiary, chocolate and lumpy pillows

Day one of our extended road trip around Grande Terre ie mainland New Caledonia.  We drove up the western side.  We found a grumpy sculpteur in Boulouparis, an old penitentiary at Teremba Fort in LaFoa, and a patissier/chocolatier in Bourail.  It wasn’t so easy to find lodgings so we settled for La Nera in Bourail which had the distinction of lumpy pillows, an extremely friend cat named Hercules, loads of mosquitoes around our feet and a great omelette and crudite for dinner.

next day we headed north through Poya and Pouembout to Kone where we spent the night at high-end La Nea.  Adorable bungalows and great food plus plenty of time for scrabble.  Next day we continue north through Voh, Koumac, Poum on up to Boat Pass where we stayed at Relais de Poingam.  This was sort of a cross between a gite (modest hotel) and a campground – night and day difference from La Nea but the rooms were clean with mosquite nets covering the beds and funky/beautiful bathrooms built outside the rooms.  Ours was a high wall of slate collected from the road works by the owner and really very pretty.  The owner was friendly and very accommodating considering we’d called at the last minute and got the last two bungalows.  Dinner was impressive.  A roasted deer over a BBQ but plenty of things for me to eat as well.  And the drive up was really something with constantly changing terrain of black red to red to beige and white earth, interspersed with many different pines mingling with palms.

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