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Australia 2012: South sea islands

Our last three stops before returning to Sydney were Lifou, Ile des pins and Noumea. My favorite was Ile des pins, but Lifou was very picturesque. Thee was a greeting dance by native residents and a market full of souvenirs. i was glad to find some purportedly free trade goods, cloth bags made by local women. I bought a coconut with a straw, drank the milk, then took it back to the vendor so he could open it with his machete and I ate the inside. On my way back to the tender to return to the ship, I was alarmed to see a coconut crab tied to a post, along with a sign offering pictures for a few francs. I gathered shells on the beach in Lifou and swam in the ocean in Ile des pins. Also on the latter island, I took a hike up toward a point called Pic n’Ga but didn’t quite make it to the top – it was very hot and the path was steep. In Noumea, I took a tour of a mangrove forest just as the tide was coming in to deliver schools of fish and to activate the small brightly coloured crabs. I have many, many pictures, but they will have to wait for a faster Internet connection.

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