21.07.2007 - 28.07.2007 -17 °C
To start with, I will give you my complimentary in-depth expert analysis of PNG: PNG could be an incredible wealthy country, with major natural resources including gold, oil, natural recources and tourism potential.
However, screwing up everything in a major way does not really help the country forward. Politicans work very hard, but mostly at election time to promote themselves and primarily to fill their pockets. Here is a Politican campaigning in a boat, visiting small islands (see picture).
Too bad that the country is a bit of a mess. Infrastructure and everything is more or less there; It just does not work most of the time (like in the Solomons). Howeve, all people I met were incredibly helpful. At the airport they even gathered money for me to buy a duty free bottle. However, PNG also has a nice collection "mountainpeople" and raskals (bandits). They specialize in physical communication, including chopping of limbs if they do not really agree with what you do or say. To meet these fine people, you have to look for them. I thought visiting obscure clubs in Port Moresby at about 03.00 with the national champion kick boxing should do the trick. It did! The girls were very nice to me, but the red teeth (beetlenut chewing) and their unlimited requests for drinks were a turn-off; Highlight was the gentleman trying to pickpocket me. He was “escorted” out by my personal boddyguard. His shirts und pants remained on the premises.
By the way, playing golf here is a pretty informal affair, involving hitting a provisional ball at people to chase them away
Then the unavoidable part on diving and snorkeling (sorry, I will keep it short): We went on a exploratory trip to some island, where nobody dived before. Sleeping in a small village where no tourists ever slept before was great. Of course the food was also very special, with corned beef as highlight. This is actually a delicacy and only offered to special guests. The diving was not so good on this trip.But back at the resort, the most amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing thing happened to me (again). After five minutes of diving on the housereef and at only 3 meters deep a dugong almost swam into me, giving us both the scare of our lives. Even the owner had never seen one before in 11 years!!! After Solomons, now again!! But now I know why: The fishies (and bigger fishies) want to be friends with me because I do not eat them!
And my last day in PNG finally got me close encounters with some wild, but domesticated, birdlife. Here are some pictures
As expected, the Solomons and PNG were the highlights of my Pacific trip: wild and beautiful!!!
Back into civilization now. Actually, when you are reading this, my short Australia trip is behind me already (most people do a few months Australia and a few days Pacific, I did it the other way around). Also, I had a week in New Zealand again, Skiing. Life is short. I want to do it all now...