Day 03 – (16 Dec 2015 , Wednesday)
Finally, we got our rental car. Not a very big car but sufficient for our travel. It’s a Renault-Clio. Silver in colour, manual, 4 doors and a big trunk. Reasonably new car too. We rented the car for CFP $4 12 00 (16 Dec-26 Dec). The cheapest we have found and the best thing is that they can deliver the car to you and pickup in Noumea. Easy! However, the guy really only speak French. If you don’t it can be a struggle.We were lucky that Christopher still remember his basic french. So that helped.
I really think it’s hard to get by in New Caledonia Without minimal french if you are backpacking. And, they talk real fast too.
After getting our car,we pretty much pushed -off after checking out from the hostel at 10 am. We have decided that we will head south first since many french locals have recommended it. So, South we go!
The drive was o.k. Not too interesting! A mix of the outback in Australia and sometimes it reminds us of part of village life in Malaysia. The road here are not in good condition.Especially after Plum. And, we noticed that people generally do not follow the speed limit. We were caution being tourist. So we obey all speed requirement which totally makes us stand out among the local impatient drivers.
South Caledonia is not as beautiful as we have heard or perhaps we have been so spoilt with New Zealand’s beauty. Finding a decent and affordable accommodation was a struggle too. We finally settled for a Gite at St. Gabriel as recommended by the lady at the Visitor’s centre. It was one experience that I do not wish to repeat.The bungalow cost an arm and a leg. Really old. There were at least 5 stray looking dogs roaming the area. Each with heaps of flea on their fur. Again. I wish to never think of this place again. It was quite a nightmare.I was getting miserable at this point. Wondering what have happened to that long tropical beach holiday that I was longing for.I really tried to be upbeat and look for the positive.But it seem really bleak. At this point, I kept wondering if we should have gone to the nearby islands. Well, we can’t do much now since we have rented the car.
l went to bed really early. Wishing the nightmare would just disappeared.
Sigh! Day 03