I like to look at the statistics on my WordPress blog, okay maybe it’s a little narcissistic…but hey it gives me a lift everytime I’m checking the stats and the numbers jump up by one or two. I can’t boast thousands of followers (yet), so if you’re lucky enough to be one of Those bloggers, watching your stats might not appeal to you. But for me, it’s great to know that someone or some ones are actually bothering to read my ramblings, and liking them or better still, leaving a comment. Thank you kindly, folks! :-)
The USA generally tops my stats list, followed by the UK, then Australia and New Zealand. Canada gets a good look in too. The other day Saudi Arabia topped the list. I have had readers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Viet Nam, China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Israel, even Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan once or twice, French Polynesia, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, El Salvador, Saint Martin, Latvia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Cyprus, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Turkey, Estonia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Moldova, Guadeloupe, Latvia, Russian Federation, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Suriname, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Tunisia, Kenya, Federated States of Micronesia. But not all at the same time, unfortunately… though hopefully as time goes by and word gets round, I’ll have more countries to add to the list. AND all at the same time too!
But the most surprising country, and one I must confess I’d only vaguely heard of prior to this, was New Caledonia. So I looked it up. I thought it must be one of those Polynesian islands near Hawaii. I was only a few thousand kilometres off course. :P (It’s actually not very far off the Queensland coast of Australia).
The Lonely Planet describes New Caledonia thus:
“There’s no better place to experience the Pacific with a taste of France than New Caledonia, where Melanesian tradition blends with French sophistication. This mix of the chic yet casual, très French but ultimately Pacific comes together with peerless élan in Noumea, the cosmopolitan capital. Dining out and shopping run the gamut from gourmet restaurants to humble roulottes, from Chinatown’s colourful shops to the expensively elegant, air-conditioned boutiques on rue de Sébastopol. When you leave the capital, the urban scenery gives way to a wealth of changing landscapes – the rolling plains of la brousse (the bush), lush river valleys, steep mountains coursed by tumbling waterfalls, cool rainforests and wild coastlines.
Grande Terre is the main island with rugged mountains, waterfalls and the world’s largest coral lagoon. To the Southeast, lies romantic Île des Pins with its slender pines, white-sand beaches and emerald lagoon. To the east, life proceeds at a leisurely pace in the relaxed Loyalty Islands: Maré, steeped in Kanak culture, Lifou and Ouvea.
New Caledonia is surrounded by the world’s largest enclosed lagoon, where marine treasures of all shapes and sizes lie waiting to be discovered – canyons and caves, exquisite coral, the smallest of tropical fish, turtles, sea snakes and sharks. Dolphin and whale spotting are other delights in store, or simply the luxury of total relaxation on the soft, warm sand of a deserted isle”.
Lonely Planet on New Caledonia.
I’m packing my bags already. SIGH
New Caledonia very recently made worldwide news when it officially announced that it had created the world’s largest marine protected area.
Here’s the article:
It’s wonderful that the French government, that controls New Caledonia, should take this big step towards nurturing and conserving the vast oceanic resources of the region. The creation and maintenance of this protected area means that coral, fish, sharks, dolphins, turtles and all other manner of marine life will get a chance to flourish.
(Meanwhile, on the flipside, back on the sandy shores of Western Australia, the controversial drum-baiting cull of Great White Sharks has just been called off. The Premier, Colin Barnett, hailed the cull as “a great success”…despite the glaring fact that, of the 66 sharks caught since the programme started in January 2014, not a single one of them was a Great White Shark. Who’s fooling who here? Millions of taxpayer dollars spent on a half-arsed programme that went ahead despite public protests by thousands of people…money that could be better spent on research and conservation. Okay, rant over).
I would like to thank my New Caledonian reader, whoever you are, for taking an interest in my humble blog, and for putting your country on my map, so to speak. You should be proud to live in New Caledonia, and rightly too.
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