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149 Art,Lifou and Sharks


Next stop on our cruising adventure was Lifou, and if you have just joined me and want to recap on how this P&O holiday actually started here are some links for you to read of our adventures so far and see the paintings and artworks in these travel and art blogs “LEAVING SYDNEY HARBOR” and  “CRUISING ON THE PACIFIC JEWEL” and “ART,LEONARDO DA VINCI AND THE ISLE OF PINES”.

naive art by artist marie jonsson-harrison of fish and divers meeting sharks underwater

Beware the sharks are there!


Lifou is the largest island in the archipelago of Loyalty Islands.  The population is just over 10,000 people who speak French and Kanak dialects and the currency is French Pacific Franc.  It is a beautiful Island with long stretches of white sandy beaches, limestone caves, grottos and cliffs and small coves.  They say time passes more slowly than in other places and are measured by the tides, sunrises and sunsets rather than by clocks.  Not that we could enjoy that part as coming off the cruise you have strict instructions – the last tender back to the boat leaves at 4 o’clock and if you miss that you’re buggered! LOL

However we did have a gorgeous time even so, firstly we took the 25 minute walk through a little forest to the Lady of Lourdes church built by the Catholic missionaries in 1898.  Beautiful white exterior stands out against the green forest with stunning views all around, could even see the cruise ship too.


This acrylic on canvas board painting shows the underwater experience to come, many of my paintings and sculptures yes all artworks often have a water theme.


Then we went and had a look at the snorkelling reef which we later returned to before taking another exploring walk heading to the Secret Grotto.  That was really interesting navigating through the rain forest down steep steps (felt like a scene from Tomb Raider) and into a dark dark grotto, where all of a sudden we saw a movement and were met by the white of someone’s eyes.  Turns out it was a gorgeous local man with a speech impediment apart from the obvious language barrier, however he told us all we needed to know with grunts and sign language.  Lucky he was there and had a torch or we would no doubt plunge to our deaths in a crystal clear 10 meter deep pool which was just inside the entrance of this black cave!

Our next death defying adventure was when we went on a tour to the township of We, it is a sleepy town in the bay de Chateaubriand on the east coast and is the main center of Lifou well apparently the whole of the Loyalty Islands.

The brochure boasts “try some of the local cuisine in one of the town’s restaurants or cafe.”   However all that we could find was a take away shop and a supermarket, and we were now on a guided tour mind you so our guide should have known!  We ended up buying some chips and sat on the beach and took a walk instead.

The one hour car ride was more than scary as the female driver was overtaking everything in sight one minute and then kept falling asleep and having to hang her head out the window to stay awake the next.

She delivered us back in one piece where we tried a bit of Kava (not a big hit, lol) and then headed over to the snorkelling place.  We all love snorkelling however there was a little dampener put on this thought after we heard about the “Shark attack in Lifou” which Hillivi then Googled and yes sure enough in the very place where we were going for a swim a French nurse was taken in 2007 by a Great White whilst snorkelling with a friend.


Still the water was welcoming and the tide and reef provided some good protection so swimming seemed not too dangerous and I was took the post as “Chief Shark Spotter”.

So here is a quote I think fits well here by Ovid;

“Chance is always powerful, let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish”.

Till next time happy painting and sculpting and maybe snorkeling to you all,

Love Marie xxx  (c)

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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