Posted by: Carol | January 21, 2011

Hike to Cap Ndoua Lighthouse

The internet has failed us as we cruise farther afield.  This morning (Saturday) in hopes of a dinner out we have relocated to a bay with a resort on the shore.  With civilization our cell service seems to have marginally improved, offering a window of opportunity to catch up on the posting.

Wednesday was our first big hike after training on the sidewalks of Noumea.  Our destination was a lighthouse on Cap Ndoua.  From AVATAR we traveled by dinghy to the starting point and located a track, although at first the path was streaming with runoff from the previous bad weather.  Eventually it connected to a washed out dirt road that accessed the lighthouse on the summit, making navigation simple.   Unfortunately one of the curses of starting at sea level when hiking rugged country is that the uphill part always comes first!

The landscape here is dramatic; volcanic in origin with raw red soil and pumice, exposed and eroded, ground cover clinging as best it can.  There are carnivorous plants here, their tummies filled with insects and lids to prevent escapees!

Overall we hiked some 2.5 miles gaining only net 644 feet in elevation (as recorded by the GPS app in my iPhone) which was a disappointment statistically speaking!  With the steep uphill climb and the spectacular scenery, it felt like a much more heroic accomplishment.

Not the least of the challenge was returning to the boat, our hiking boots caked with red clay and our pants streaked red as well from ground contact in the slippery parts.  The tenacious pigment stains hands and feet orange and paints the deck with rusty streaks.  Before we ever set foot aboard AVATAR we beached the dinghy and jumped in for a swim, fully clothed, in an effort to scrub ourselves clean and enjoy a refreshing cool down at the same time.



  1. Hi Carol and Mike,

    What stunning photos! It looks like a wonderful place to be, and I’m so glad the cyclone never came to much.

    We are in the process of finishing up the house at Oruaya (which is a big project) and are coming back to AZ at the end of May for my brother’s wedding in Colorado. We are also going to making an trip to Grenada in the Caribbean where Daniel is applying to medical school. If all goes well, we will be moving there in 2012 for a couple of years!

    As always, we hope you are well and LOVE reading about and seeing all of your adventures.

    Best wishes,

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