End of the crossing
We arrived in Nouméa on Sunday night the 5th at 3am and to finish our crossing well we’ve hit another storm. As the Marina office was closed we stayed at the anchor for the night. Such a relief to be able to sleep without being shaked all the time. In the morning I made my first radio call to book a berth in the marina. We arrived under the rain but I felt so grateful to can walk on the ground and to being safe at our destination. I heard lately a few stories about people crossing between NZ and New Cal a few days after us and had serious troubles as well like a boom broken for example.
First mission, finding some french baguette, croissants, pains au chocolat, pâté, saucisson, sea salted butter… mission done on the second day after a day of sleep.
Welcome back in France
My first impression about New Caledonia, it’s like Imported France pretty much every where. Cars, food, shops, signs, police, banks, supermarkets…. That’s funny in a way an anoying in another especially when the public offices like customs or immigration are open just in the morning or the post office open from 11am to 3 :30pm.
As well after living two years in english culture countries I realise that in France we are a bit messy. Indeed, trashs here and there on the ground, graffitis on the walls, no one is waiting the green light before to cross the street, a lot of wonderings people in the street, even at some point the feeling of insecurity that I totaly lost during the past 2,5 years. Welcome back in France!
The first week we met Leeloo and Joy, my friends from Wanaka. They are looking after a house of Leeloo’s collegue. Here, there is a lot of house sitting because when no one is here, it appears that there is people braking it to steal stuffs. It’s great to have all the time someone in the house. So we started with chilling out in the swimming pool.
We spent the week in Nouméa and haven’t been out of the city. My bicycle stayed packed on the boat. We listed what must be fixed on the boat before to leave again. The main problem is the engine creating a white smoke when warm. The mechanic will be able to come in 10 days only then if he has to order parts it might take longer. Way longer. My Australian visa is expiring in early September so I don’t really have the time to stay long in Nouméa.
A new plan
I finally met Thibault who is working on a sailing boat. I told him my story and that I was maybe looking for a spot on a boat to go to Australia. The captain is not here at the moment but as soon as he is back I should meet him. Well, he came back before me and asked for me at Seamuse.
When I came back on Monday, he told me that he have to think about it. With Slawek, we decided to go out of the city and explore for the day a bit of wilderness as he rented a car. It was a great walk with some waterfalls.
Finally, Peter, the owner of Ekaza, the french boat he just bought told me that I can come with them onboard. Leaving on Thursday morning. The rush started. Packing all my stuffs, cleaning all my bike because in Australia they are really picky with outdoor equipment at the border. I’ve been with Peter and Thibault at the Police aux Frontieres, to declare our departure, then to the customs, then to the Port Master. WE are all good sorted to go. I check the winds forecast on Windity and it looks like we gonna have mainly south east winds for the beginning which is good to head to Australia. Then We will meet some north north west winds which is still perfect as we are heading to Newcastle, North of Sydney.
A new Visa
Just in case, I applied for a new visa because from the time I wold be in Australia, my current visa would have expired before the end of three months allowed period. I tried and it worked !! I’ve got a new visa for free. My current one has been canceled and replaced with the new one.
I had to buy another flight ticket as it’s a requirement when you come on the territory. The cheapest I’ve found, for AU$129 is from Coolangata to Auckland. Another flight ticket that I will never use… I prefer not to count how much I’ve spent into flight tickets I’ve never used just to be able to come in New Zealand or Australia…
Tomorrow morning I’m leaving for another 7 days to 10 days on the sea to Australia. I’m so excited to be back on the bike so soon !
Two options travelling through Uluru
I’m stoked, I will be able to cycle via Uluru !!! This morning I’ve made my plan depending on the options where we gonna arrive in Australia. Bundaberg if the winds don’t allow us to go more south or Newcastle if the winds are good enough.
There is my two options :
4745km to ride on the boat 2 months… I have to cycle an average of 80km per day. It will be tough but I need some time in Darwin to find another sailing boat to Indonesia. I won’t have any time off during this 3 months unfortunately.
Adventure to continue !! If you hear about any sailing boat crossing from Darwin to Bali around end of September I’m really interested!