position S22 16.600 E166 26.400

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 14 May 2019 20:31

Tuesday 14th May   New Caledonia

A very good birthday.

After moving the anchorage once more to avoid a wet choppy ride in the dinghy we took the car out to the Park de Rivierre Bleu about 1hr or so out of town. A lovely smooth but very bendy road into the hills. The park is set around a man made lake formed in 1959 for hydroelectricity, leaving little pockets of semi submerged woodland, either dead and bleached white or still green and leafy. The park  is too large to explore much on foot but it is very well managed with a shuttle bus running along the dirt roads taking you further in so that you can choose where to drop off and which bits to walk. Diana asked about the Kagou bird for which New Caledonia is  famous and the man at the gate assured us we would see one. We are sceptical of wildlife promises but we had only been on the minibus a few minutes when the driver pulled over and said Kagou!  As we stepped out there in the forest beside the road was a large white bird with red legs looking expectantly at the driver. He had a spade with him and turned over some of the red soil which the Kagou stirred with its beak and snaffled the worms.

It didn't perform its mating dance for us but otherwise was tame enough to pose for photos and even chased the driver back to the bus demanding more worms. We saw signs of Kagou ruffled soil elsewhere on our walks but no actual sightings so whether this was the only one of the 700 or so Kagous in the park that behaves like a kept chicken or whether they all know the drill we didn't find out.
We dropped off at the path for the giant Kaori tree which was the biggest we have seen and then walked a couple of miles, stopped for a swim in the lovely clear river and explored the rain forest off the main track marvelling at the variety of plant life. 

We stopped for birthday cake on the way home, a cup of tea from MacDonalds and then found the arts centre which had a jazz band playing. Free entry and great latin style music with a pretty chantreuse. A super meal in a very traditional french restaurant rounded off a great day.