Saturday. Today we did our longest walk ever, 20km through forest and scrub, and along beaches, all in semi-tropical conditions. I couldn't have done it without the Chinese marching weed, green tea. I had a big flask of it with me, and when that ran out we used cafes.
At the place where we had lunch, the builders were doing alterations with drills and a power saw. They're great planners, the New South Caledonians, always managing to cause maximum inconvenience and reminding the paying customers that they're not a priority.
Conversation was impossible, the cellmate was getting a sore heid, and my tinnitus was going off the scale. But we'd ordered lunch and we were too starving to start looking for somewhere else to eat. Rather than accept things as they were, I nipped out to a chemist and came back with paracetamol and orange foam earplugs. Perfect peace.
Now, the cellmate is quite a bit younger than me, and in some ways fitter. But I'm pleased to tell you that by the end of the day, after 5 hours of walking, wading and scrambling she was stumbling and semi-incoherent, while I was ready to do the whole thing over again. When we got home, she went directly to bed, while I did my yoga routine, to ward off cramps and stiffness. The Thai fish curry I made was a big success, and now I'm in bed with the fan on, too hyped to sleep.
Some of the beaches we passed were chockers with power-boat folk, drinking and lying around on deck. I took some pictures to show you how clear the water was (don't let the boat people distract you).
Just to be clear - this is the part of the photo that you shouldn't let distract you:
These people were in serious discussion. There was a person in the water behind the boat - all you can see is a hand, holding a cigarette up to keep it dry, a conscientious smoker.