Sept. 23 – the big chicken, waterfalls and churches in Hienghene

The drive across Grande Terre was pretty spectacular despite the overcast weather and rain.  The scenery changed from rolling hills and exposed earth to higher elevations, jungle growth and monolithic rock formations.  The windward side of the island has grand vistas of beach and surf.  We arrived in Poindimie where we bought baguettes at the gas station, picnicked along the road and then checked into our new lodgings at Koulnoue.  As soon as we dropped off our stuff we headed out to Hienghene.  This is the home of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, New Caledonia’s pro-independence leader.  It’s a sweet little village at the mouth of the Hienghene River with amazing rock formations including the Linderalique rocks of towering black limestone.  We drove north to the top and then a bit south to the free car ferry that crosses Riviere Ouaieme and on past numerous waterfalls, such as Toa, and several large churches.

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