Fine fog lingered over the Island as our ship approached land, not exactly the image your mind projects when you covet an Island escape. Again, a tender boat transported all onto Lifou; every time I am in a tender boat, my mind drifts to the unlikely event of an evacuation and having to find refuge in this tiny vessel with a substantial amount of people, what do we eat? Is food hidden somewhere?As our feet touched down on Lifou, a mist still draped it’self over us and then cleared, although the clouds still remained in view, the ocean did not surrender to the grayness overhead, continuing to project staggering hues of blue.Stalls fashioned as huts selling an array of souvenirs, women braiding hair and offering massages were awaiting not far from the pier. I succumbed into the tourist that I am and purchased a wooden Seahorse hoping that Australian customs would not confiscate and later partially braided my hair.Prior to our trip I had attempted to create a list of of potential French words I might require, Combien- how much? Ou sont les toilettes- where is the toilet? Ou est le navire-where is the ship? Yet, English was spoken by all and sadly, no attempts were made by me to speak French.We joined a tour offered by the locals and made our way to a church, picnic spot, a family hut and a ‘museum.’ We try and do the tours as soon as we can when we arrive to give ourselves enough time to get back on the ship in case of misadventure. After our tour concluded, we ventured into a rain forest, to the ‘Lue Jajinyi’ a short steep-ish walk into a dark cave with water, my friend had a go at the leap of faith (do this at your own risk!).
I resorted to spending most of my time taking photos along the coast as my other travel companions explored more of the Island. In hindsight, I should have spread out a towel, relaxed or gone snorkeling.