And settling for a cold bath! The hiking in the Baie de Prony is quite spectacular. The old mining roads make decent tracks to follow, along with what seems like trails that have been put in place. We have enjoyed heading out just about everyday to explore a new area. We dinghy to a dock and tie up and then go for a walk. On Wednesday, we thought it would be a good idea to look for a hot spring and get a nice warm fresh water shower. We headed back to find a trail up by the waterfalls and ended up crossing the falls and finding a good "road" and walked along quite a distance. We traveled along the rivers edge, often times having to climb over rocks where the trail collapsed or there was a small landslide. The erosion from all the mining activities around here is pretty serious. Over time, we think the entire islands will wash away! We walked quite a way but found no hot springs so we settled for a cold bath in the river. It was fresh water and very refreshing. Some curious fresh water fish seemed to like us and kept nipping at Michael's legs. There was some old ruins from what was probably a mining operation in one area. Wild orchids were growing along the trail and like much of the area, the plant life is different and interesting. It was a nice long trek and we enjoyed the scenery, the exercise and the bath!
The weather while we've been has been quite nice – this morning (Sunday) we woke up to a beautiful flat bay with pretty sunlight filtering in. The water was so flat the reflection of the hills and boats in the water was mirror-like. The bird song was loud and pretty. We took another walk – this time to the closer waterfall that we thought had warmer water. It was quite a climb up the rocks as we passed small fall after small fall in search of the perfect clear deep pool. We found a good one and took a bath with the fresh water shrimps that were swimming around! We actually didn't notice the shrimps until after we showered. It wasn't a far walk – but it was a bit difficult to get over the slippery rocks and boulders.
We will head into Noumea tomorrow in the early morning. It is a 35 mile trip and we'll unfortunately have the current against us most of the way as tide will be heading out. Luckily the wind should be in the right direction and we should be able to sail most of the way. We'll try to figure out what's wrong with the photo page if we get good internet.
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