Thursday 24th July
Still waiting for a proper forecast – it seems there may be a window of opportunity for us to leave on Saturday and get across before another front comes through next week. Alex looks up Oz websites – it’s still looking ominous. As we’ve got the car another day we decide to head out of town to visit Tjabaou Cultural Centre, named after the pro-independence Kanak leader who was assassinated here in 1989. The building is a series of tall wooden structures designed by Renzo Piano,who also helped design the Pompidou centre, and is a striking contemporary design very much in harmony with the surrounding landscape. There are 3 grandes cases on site and several exhibitions inside. There’s art and photography from most of the island groups in the South pacific, as well as several examples of Aboriginal and Papua New Guinean art. It’s well worth the visit. Afterwards we find a busy Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant on the south coast with views over the lagoon where we watch the super fit kit–surfers and wind-surfers while sitting eating and drinking too much as usual! In the afternoon Annie goes for her first haircut in 6 months - Ian is holding out for Sydney and has a few dreadlocks developing! At night we snack aboard then Alex and Annie enjoy a quiet night in while the lads go to the marina bar for a couple of pints.