Most insane trip EVER!

Trip Start Aug 19, 1992
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Trip End Aug 19, 2010


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Flag of Papua New Guinea  ,
Sunday, August 2, 2009

At breakfast this morning, we watched two men trying to poach the flying foxes in the tree near our hotel. One had a slingshot; the other had a bolo-type weapon. We didn't see them hit anything, but we did see them pile up a couple of dead ones. The men stopped hunting when the constables drove by.

We checked out, then were met by Peter and Stephen at 10:30am. We drove the few minutes to the small boat dock – but our banana boat wasn’t there. So we waited for a bit – but the guy didn’t show. So Peter negotiated with a guy on the dock to take us out to the island "resort" where we were supposed to have lunch. We climbed into the dinghy and went out into the harbor. The wind had come up a bit, so there was a lot of spray. It was still lovely (though HOT) on the water.

We arrived at some island – no “resort” or much of anything but a few fishing huts in sight. Peter went to talk to the people on the island, but, clearly, no one was expecting us. We set down our bags and went to wander about the beach – but the water was very cloudy and unwelcoming.

After about half an hour, Peter said we were going to have lunch here, then go to another island to swim. Then his phone rang. He walked away, talking, then returned to say the head office was unhappy with the arrangements and wanted us to return to the hotel for lunch. Which was fine with us.

So back we went. Lunch was slow but good – and we had a good conversation with Peter during those two and a half hours. Plus, we had a breeze the whole time, which was lovely.

At 2:45pm, we drove to the airport. It is very small – one waiting room with ten benches. No one else came for almost a full hour. But we did find postcards, which made me happy.

A flight arrived from Moresby, and half the people that deplaned immediately re-entered and lined up for the boarding call for our flight. It turns out that a large part of the Wewak runway washed away last year, and so the larger Fokker cannot land. Instead, they move everyone (well, the few that fit) over to a Dash 8.

The flight was on-time – fun to fly over the Sepik River, although we will not come this far towards the coast. [Editor’s note: ah, the innocence of earlier days!]

Arrived Wewak and found the hotel van. Also met Albert, our guide for the next few days. We drove the 20 minutes or so to the Hotel Boutique Weak, which we think is just charming. Very clean and modern post-Colonialist architecture with a great collection of artifacts. We felt very comfortable – a great respite before we plunge back into the jungle.

We had a delicious dinner – I had Malaysian curry, which tasted just like curry I remember from Malaysia. Great conversation, too. We talked about all we had seen in PNG, the expansion of empires, the Great Game, cannibalism, the Stone Age, political autonomy, and more. I have such an interesting family; how did I get so lucky?
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