The Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Oh to be here again today…
Imagine a place where everything is warm and slow. White sands like the softest baby powder between your toes and shores that curve around hidden coves, the type a storybook pirate might inhabit. Tide worn drift wood makes dragon like silhouettes that creep slowly towards the shore are the sun sets. The air smells of hibiscus and the low hum of the cicadas cushions quiet conversation.
Small, ancient and perfectly formed, the Isle of Pines remains one of the few places where life is guided by tribal families, and each member of the island’s population is known to the other. Jurassic sized glossy leaves line the narrow road ways and spiders, jewel like, hang from fine webs, their backs glistening in the sun. There is a slowness here, a Pacific time which, no matter how much you seem to hurry along, you remain in a surreal, sandy existence.
By the coastline, the carved timber totems surround a glistening Catholic Jesus, like small sentinels to hold the sea at bay. As the sun changes position he becomes a beacon of silver, bronze then golden light. The ornament so at odds with the volcanic pebbles and coral shards beneath your feet.
Every day is cultural day here, as when the Cruise ships dock, the islands population more than doubles in an instant. Relying solely on tourism for income it seems amazing just how laconic and laid back they remain. There is no push, no shove, no vocal demonstrations secure your dollar or attention. Just broad smiles as they go about their business from behind mountains of coloured crabs and expressive faces carved in wood. Music, song and dance it seems, run in their veins. The natural rhythm of the island worked out in traditional instruments and the shimmy of a grass skirt.
The Isle of Pines is a place to feel connected. Connected to the hum of nature within your creature comforts. Where rock pools reflect our own social microcosms, drawing you into their narrative for hours on end if you’ll let them.
When you need a place to just let your mind wander, without the pressure to see, do or achieve; the Isle of Pines is the perfect escape. Simply find your special corner and begin your own story.
I travelled courtesy of Air Calin and New Caledonia, the exquisite corner of the world where I was able captured these images.