I wrote this post yesterday but was unable to put it up on the blog. Here it is now:
We are here. In New Caledonia. About 3km out of the little town of Pouembout, near Koné, in the Northern Province. Our new home for the new few years, if all goes according to plan!
Deciding what to pack was a long process and with the benefit of three days of hindsight I can already identify plenty of mistakes in my selection of clothing and items to bring. For example - should have packed the potato masher and can opener but left the many pairs of pants at home.
Suprisingly, the two flights and one hotel stay to get here wasn't as fraught as I expected. Although checking in with two laden luggage trollies and a double pram with tired and hungry children was a logical challenge for two people, our airline was fairly accomodating and we were able to borrow some strollers after checking in our double pram. Things became more interesting at luggage collection - there were periods of a pram/trolley train trundling along with some bewildered looks from other travellers - but through the kindness of strangers we made it quite happily through to Noumea.
After a three hour drive north from, the layers of clothing gradually being shed to just t-shirts, we arrived at our house just out of Pouembout, a semi-rural area. There's no local telephone or cable internet, but plenty of horses, dogs and even pigs! Beware the occasional prevailing breeze.......
The house is new and small but has just about all we need. The yard is big but bare and unlandscaped, which is yet to come, but is bordered by a newly-planted hedge of hibiscus, bougainvillea and other plants I've yet to learn. I have some work to do in creating a herb garden, but it will happen!
After a couple of days of cleaning, unpacking and shopping for groceries, I'm starting to settle in. This morning I took the kids in the pram for a walk up and down the road. To the left is a dip over a little creek, which is still now but I imagine with downpours will be very active and will overrun the road occasionally.
To the right is a small but steep hill - from the top is a lovely view of the valley and a rewarding breeze, as the effort to push the pram up to the top was confirmation that I need to begin a daily routine of walking!