In the 1950's the western shores of the Baie du Prony in New Caledonia was strip mined for nickel and iron. The last ore ship sailed out in September of 1968 and the land was left to regenerate. As you can see by looking at the other sphere images we have taken near this location, wilderness has returned to much of the land near the mines over the past 42 years, but the areas that were actively mined remain as you see in this image - very much like a Martian landscape. Back in 1984 I wrote about this recovery as "a fold in time" when people briefly left the area alone. The fold is now closing and there is a new, truly enormous strip mining operation and nickel processing plant closing the fold in time on the Baie de Prony. We call it Mordor and it has already launched an attack on Middle Earth. The area around the anchorage in the northern part of Baie du Prony, including the watersheds of the 5 small rivers that enter the Baie de Carenage, is still gloriously free of human habitation and disturbance. It retains the sense of wilderness and beauty described in 1984, but the land has already been leased for strip mining so the memory bubbles on 360Cities.net and Google Earth will one day soon be all that remains of this natural beauty.
When I took this sphere image I called it "The Cauldron", thinking of a mind experiment described in the Fold in Time. It was about 40 degrees C with the heat of the sun amplified by land that looked and felt like burning coal. The ore content is, strangely enough, just the right proportion of iron and nickel to make stainless steel. So what you see here are the glowing embers of a fire that yielded thousands upon thousands of stainless steel pots, pans, utensils, and other items necessary for our modern existence. I'm a fan of stainless steel and happy to have it for lots of essentials. Like you, I'm techno-dependent. And I realize we can't have our technology without removing the ore from the Earth. I also know we can't do that without causing long-lasting damage to the creatures that live over that ore. Nobody lives around the Baie du Prony because the land is so rich in heavy metals - like chrome - that the soil does not support our agricultural plants and the water is not safe to drink for long periods of time. So there isn't much that stands in the way of the gigantic mining machines. The mining company swears up and down that it's going to be very careful and environmentally safe as it levels the mountains.
If you want to come to New Caledonia and see it now - before the mining comes this way - download a copy of the Guide to New Caledonia and book your reservations. Or if you have a yacht, download a copy of the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia and come enjoy this strange and beautiful wilderness while it lasts.
新喀里多尼亚是离澳大利亚和新西兰最近的南太平洋岛屿。该岛是法国领地且官方语言是法语，尽管如此，其文化却丰富多彩，揉合了美拉尼西亚、欧洲、波利尼西亚、越南、中国、印尼等国的风情。这里有一个多山的大岛，称为大地岛 (Grande Terre)，和6个较小的岛屿——洛亚蒂三岛 (Loyalty Islands)、贝莱普群岛 (Belep) 和松树岛 (Isle of Pines)。 整个群岛人口极为稀少，有大片的荒野。这里有数百公里长的徒步小径、随处可见的露营营地、超过42个公园和保护区、清澈透明的河流和莹莹闪光的瀑布。约三分之一的人口居住在首府努美阿。镍的开采是该国最主要的工业，也是维持其高标准生活的主要经济来源。大地岛四周环绕着世界第二大珊瑚礁，此珊瑚礁形成的泻湖是世界上最大的，也是受保护的泻湖。该泻湖于2008年被列为世界遗产，面积达24000平方公里，是品种丰富的鱼类和无脊椎动物栖息之地。 对于刚上岛的游客而言，最引人注目的是这里鲜艳夺目的色彩。努美阿以其完备的酒店、度假酒店、餐馆设施和丰富多彩的活动欢迎游客的到来。