Part the waters. Or take the Betico 2

I wanted to travel to Lifou to spend some time on that island. There are basically two ways to get there from Grande Terre (if we leave aside for a second the biblical option), one being the airplane, the other the large catamaran „Betico 2“. I chose to take the latter. The disadvantages are the longer duration of the journey (five hours instead of 40 minutes), as well as the fact that it serves this connection only two to three times a week. Furthermore, it has the reputation of not being very reliable. But I wanted to have the experience, and I was hoping to maybe see some seabirds during the crossing.

The Betico 2 has a dreadful nickname. However, thanks to the calm sea and wonderful weather conditions, that name did not become relevant, neither for me nor for any other passengers (save for some really small kids, but they don’t count). The nickname is “Vomito”.

Leaving Grande Terre behind.

So here are some impressions from my time aboard the ferry. The journey was quite long, that’s true, but otherwise very relaxed and interesting. I got to talk to a number of nice people (including Giovannah, the wedding photographer) and kept a safe distance from a bunch of guys who ignored the rule that alcohol must not be consumed on the Betico 2. They were in a good mood, and you get used to them anyway.

Both flags are officially used these days, the French ‘tricolore’ as well as ‘le drapeau Kanak’.
My breakfast that morning – delicious!
Relaxation on board.
Approaching Lifou. It will actually rain later that day!
Arrival at the pier in Lifou. Where is my rent-a-car?
She does look pretty trustworthy, don’t you find? (I have got to say that, because I will have two more trips with that ship…)

I am sure you are very keen now to learn whether I saw any seabirds in the end. Well, yes, I did, some shearwaters and gannets (boobies). But only very few, and most of them just as tiny specks out on the ocean somewhere.

I will make the trip to Nouméa on Friday afternoon, i.e. in two days. Fingers crossed the sea will be as calm then…

Published by Sebastian

Geographer, naturalist and photographer (www.schroeder-esch.de). Based in Germany, but always keen to travel and explore

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