20 July 2007

Nouméa Day 2 & 3 - City Center & Beaches

DAY 2

At the bookshop (Librarie Montaigne) near Place des Cocotiers, I was tempted to buy Al Gore's book in French.



Giant chessboard in the Place des Cocotiers.



Coco Glacé – recommended by Lonely Planet for ice cream and crepes, tested and re-recommended by yours truly – in the Place des Cocotiers.



Hôtel de Ville at the bottom (west end) of the Place des Cocotiers.



Looking at Ile aux Canards on the left from the beach at Anse Vata, and Ilot Maître farther away on the right.



Five minutes by yellow water taxi gets you to Ile aux Canards for a round-trip fare of 900 francs (about $9 US) where they have chairs, umbrellas and a snack/coffee shop.



I met up with two local Rotarians who were very kind and took me on a tour of the lower part of the peninsula Nouméa sits on. Dominique is a Rotarian of Nouméa Ouen Toro and Christian is the President of the Nouméa Rotary Club, still a men-only club.



Sunset over the Baie de Ste Marie from Mount Ouen Toro, a 132-meter hill at the southern end of Nouméa.



Plaque showing Rotary Nouméa Ouen Toro meeting time at Hôtel Le Méridien.



The grounds of the five-star Hôtel Le Méridien – the most expensive place to stay in Nouméa but by far the most beautiful, too.


DAY 3

Sunday morning: the last time climbing down (or up!) these stairs that go all the way down to street level, where you can see the cars.



Moved into the (Best Western) Hôtel Le Paris for my last night in Nouméa – breakfast was included in the morning and the room had a bathtub. Also voted the most French hotel line outside of France. Fantastic.



My last visit to the market where there is music on the weekends and dancing children to create an obstacle course.



For dinner on my last night I headed to Baie des Citrons (the city center is completely closed at night), and picked the restaurant La Boucherie & Cie, decorated in everything cow. Perfect. Very touristy row of places, but the food here was very tasty and the staff's recommendations were excellent.



A glass a red wine to finish the evening at Ethnik, just down the way from the restaurant.

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