30.05.2007 - 20.06.2007 -17 °C
After the founder/owner of this website wrote me a very positive email on my Solomons story and featured my pictures on the homepage, I got new inspiration for writing the first part of my PNG trip.
PNG is Papua New Guinea. It has 5 million people, very friendly people and a developing economy. But it also has a major security problem with Raskals (bandits) doing whatever they want. People still solve problems by chopping each others heads or hiring a killer. I was so smart to come during elections; well you can imagine what that could mean. But most of the time it just means election parties:
taking taxis everywhere and several helpful locals walking with me on the streets. And it is not so bad if you are cautious in Port Moresby, the other big cities and the highlands; What remains are very nice (and generally) safe islands, great for snorkeling and diving. Most of the country most people and infrastructure looks developed than the Solomons. But other areas are still very remote and traditional. People use zoom (benzine/oil) as money. Without the reputation for security problems, the country and tourism (now 22,000 people per year) would be booming; Nature is unparalleled. Birds like parrots, hornbills and kakatoes (there we go again) and other birds with complicated names are everywhere, and f.i. a Rhino beetle (with strange claws) used me as airstrip today. Amazing coral landscapes and the best biodiversity in the world await.
In the first week, diving was difficult because the dive centers guy almost died and left PNG. So we rented some tanks and went diving ourselves. After five minutes in the water (still snorkeling), this big gentle creature was my first intro to the underwater scenery in PNG.
Manta at Samarai
This was quickly followed by a less nice creature: an attacking trigger fish, taking some bites out of my leg. The next day solo diving (very normal here) on a wreck, gave my a big freight. As I was making pictires of a nemo, a strange creature dropped itself one meter next to me, saying, "hello, why aren't you making picture of me".
The place were I staid had a nice pet
kasuari at Wagawaga/Alotau
Slowly I get to be a real diver, like, I am getting interested in critters, normal people would call this small stuff. This is a serious condition, because it will lead to isolation from landpeople; And to the need to do 10 day live-a-boards followed by the same 10 day live-a-board direct after (some lady really did this). It also leads to mentioning as the highlight of this 10-day live-a-board some kind of hairy shrimp. By the way, why do they call it live-a-board if people are underwater five hours a day? Can somebody save me. I even made a picture of a shrimp and a stupid crab...
Pffff, fuck live-a-boards, one diveguide did 1000 dives on this live-a-boards and never saw one hammerhead. He went with me yesterday, I actually swam off from the group, down to 50 meters and into the blue and he went after me and Bingo: up to a few meters and 3 to 4 meters (no kidding) long.
Well, I thought, I try an artistic picture, just an experiment, sorry...
And then of course more sharks, sorry, I am still obsessed. Here is a grey reef shark:
and here is a silvertip, my first one
And a suckerfish that preferred me above a shark
I realize I should make some land pictures too. I will try next time, but I am afraid being killed here on land, so... we will see.
So, then some more underwater pictures
turtlehead at walindi (that featured as homepage picture of the website yesterday)
And do not do this at home, playing with a morray eal