Troubles in Noumea

To the poster asking if TI covers this:
Not usually. Most have clauses against rioting and civil unrest, as they did against declared pandemics even prior to covid.
Terrorist activity too; though being taken hostage is sometimes covered!
 
Friday. More of the same. Was sad to see supermarkets we visited last week being looted, etc. (e.g. the big Carrefor out at Kenu-in). And a gerdarme was shot and killed via friendly fire. Poor cough.

Friday.jpg
Two A330s of armed forces arrived earlier today, e.g.:


Many people are in dire straits, can't get to hospital for dialysis, looting for baby food etc. It's not Ukraine but I still feel very, very sorry for the people here who just want to get on with life and make it better for themselves and their families.

Some people think they're flying out tomorrow, I just smile and tell them to stay informed.

Both the ABC and SBS have started asking me for a video interview as I was discussing the situation on the consular Facebook page, but that isn't for me. They're trying to put pressure on DFAT. However I don't think they'll (DFAT) be able to do anything of substance.
 
Just curious - how are you going for food etc?
I'm guessing you might be in a hotel?
Can you go out during the day and buy anything more than a baguette or is everyone shuttered up all day?
Alan
 
Just curious - how are you going for food etc?
I'm guessing you might be in a hotel?
Can you go out during the day and buy anything more than a baguette or is everyone shuttered up all day?
Alan

We're insanely lucky to be in a hotel in Anse Vata which has a bakery and a couple of convenience-type shops about 100m away. This area had some light troubles, but nothing like the more suburban areas.

The bakery has been opening at 0930h, but I get in the queue around 0745h. Food is being voluntarily rationed, so yesterday it was two baguettes only. Today they baked some other things, so it was two baguettes and any four other items (pastries, etc.). I do the bakery and the better half does the convenience stores. We have a mix of junk food, noodles in a cup, bread, pate, etc., and stuff we bought from the supermarkets before the unrest started, and lots and lots of Orangina Light, as I'm hooked on it.

The black market has started, a couple was doing well hawking cigarettes to our bakery queue today.

I saw on TV that some supermarkets opened very briefly, and other stores are rationing. I'm not driving anymore unless it's to the airport as we only have half a tank, the servos appear to be shut and the fuel gauge in the piece of cough MG that Hertz gave us instead of a Hyundai Tucson wavers all over the place.

We are not going any further than the shops from our hotel. The armed forces have moved in to some of the vacant rooms so we're fine here I suppose. A TV crew was assaulted in a "quiet area" by surprise, so I'm not taking any chances.

However my example is incredibly fortunate and not that of the general population. Areas out of the main city and well-off areas may be starving for food, medicine, fuel, etc, in 24 to 48 hours.

I've found the following website and the channel 1 TV x feed to be very informative:
 
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The problem now is you've got multiple days of cancelled flights which means a lot of people wanting to be on the next service out

And I suspect most people cancelling or deferring any flights in.

Hopefully the various airlines can fly larger aircraft in to quickly clear the backlog.
 
Hopefully the various airlines can fly larger aircraft in to quickly clear the backlog.
I remember QF operated A330 previously:
 
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I remember QF operated A330 previously:
We've flown in/out on Air Cailin, and I'm fairly sure it was an A330. The challenge will be for QF to find a "large" spare plane or 2 that they could use.
 
We've flown in/out on Air Cailin, and I'm fairly sure it was an A330. The challenge will be for QF to find a "large" spare plane or 2 that they could use.
SB has two each of A320neo and A330neo. And a lot of destinations. So they're going to be busy for a while once the airport opens.

Rumour has it that there's about 2500 Australians here at the moment. Interesting times ahead.
 
I have now, sadly, cancelled my upcoming trip to Noumea.

I took the Qantas flight credit option. The Qantas Call Centre confirmed there will be no fees when redeeming it. The same PNR is used.

It would have been my third trip to Noumea in recent years. I really like New Caledonia and Noumea!

I hope all those stranded manage to leave soon. And I hope NC's political issues can be peacefully resolved.
 
I'm seeing reports now that X and Facebook posts are being "censored" - not sure how true, but some of my replies to posts have certainly disappeared. There was also mention of the additional flight of Police coming in, and that has gone too.
 
Saturday.

TikTok has been blocked in NC as the trouble-makers may have been using it. No loss there.
Yesterday the predicted airport opening was pushed to the 22nd, so QF rebooked for that day. After rebooking, noted that our NOU-SYD was upgraded to an A330. Just had a look at the seat map and still plenty of seats.

The news is getting very quiet, not talking too much at all about current events. I'm sure there's some psychological reason for that. We received our first email from DFAT which is boilerplate and nothing new, but that's ok - they're not in the thick of it here.

Upon returning from the communal hot tub the sheet below was found under my door:

2024-05-18 13.18.19.jpg

Once again we queued at the bakery and got our ration of baguettes and pastries, then got some fresh stuff from the convenience store. So another day of the same. All good.

What worries me is the fantasy merchant Karens imagining things and posting it in group chats. E.g. being collected by cruise ships, getting the French air force to shuttle us from the domestic to the international airport, RAAF Globemaster coming to get us, etc.

Time will tell - we're just focusing on the necessities, being pragmatic and staying safe. And to be honest, from our selfish point, we're enjoying some more enforced relaxation.
 
we're just focusing on the necessities, being pragmatic and staying safe

This is probably a trivial question, but I wonder what is available for those stranded in hotels and resorts?

There's a 6pm-6am curfew and a ban on alcohol sales.

Can hotel and resort guests still manage to get dinner after 6pm in their hotel restaurants? And if so can they order eg some wine with their meal? Are the restaurants even open at all? Is room service available? Can hotel and resort guests use the onsite hotel and resort facilities after 6pm? Or do they have to stay in their room from 6pm to 6am?

In other words, how are the restrictions affecting on site hotel and resort guests?
 
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This is probably a trivial question, but I wonder what is available for those stranded in hotels and resorts?

There's a 6pm-6am curfew and a ban on alcohol sales.

Can hotel and resort guests still manage to get dinner after 6pm in their hotel restaurants? And if so can they order eg some wine with their meal? Are they even open for meals at all? Is room service available? Can hotel and resort guests use the onsite hotel and resort facilities after 6pm? Or do they have to stay in their room from 6pm to 6am?

In order words, how are the restrictions affecting on site hotel and resort guests?

Our hotel...
For being here so long and not being a flapwit, I've become good mates with the guys at reception and found out a few things.

There's no real food here. Every morning the hotel receives some baguettes from down the road, and put those out with jam and whatnot, a few cartons of juice and you can have as much black coffee or tea as you like. They still charge for it, cheeky buggers.

Otherwise, that's it - you're on your own. Thus our bakery/shop runs every morning. I suspect the armed forces living here have their own food sources.

The housekeeping can't come in due to travel restrictions. No fresh linen since Monday. The people working here are staying here and in the same boat.

We are free to use the facilities in the hotel as normal, the pool, spa, gym, sauna etc.
The curfew is external, so no wandering outside between 1800h and 0600h
 
Sunday.

Last night DFAT called for a welfare check, thank you. This morning their email suggests the RAAF is ready to fly us home if commercial flights are cancelled.

Also this morning the minister of the interior for outer ocean announced an operation was taking place from ~0800h with 600 soldiers to secure the road between La Tontua airport and town.


sunday.jpg

Let's hope that's a roaring success and nobody gets hurt.

I read another article which I can't find in my browser history that quoted the Minister for Justice saying that those arrested for rioting, etc., in NC will be transferred to metropolitan France in order to keep them from spreading trouble inside the local jail.

Apparently a pizza place is open today, so might try and get some fresh air and see what happens.

As an outside observer, enthusiastic reader of news, history and opinion, and as a person of a reasonable intelligence I would propose that independence is just not going to happen.
France will not let go of this place due to the nickel, exclusive economic zone, a place in the Pacific, and national pride.
 
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There was a 7 news article last night about 16 Aussie students caught in Vanuatu on one of the smaller islands. P&O picked them up when going past and they are being taken to Sydney. So a couple of Karen's were right on the cruise ship it's just that they had the wrong country.
 

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