Friday, February 8, 2008

We'd like to have you over for dinner

Madang, Papua New Guinea, Saturday, 9 February:

This local city is in one of the most beautiful settings I’ve seen in my travels. The arrival this morning was from inside the “Observation Lounge” after the 30 minutes it took for the lens system in my Canon to defog. It was hot and humid even before dawn off the north coast of New Guinea. Go figure.

The full day tour included a lengthy visit to a village in the mountains. This was the home of 16 families in lovely decorated thatch roofed elevated houses. The whole village welcomed us with a speech given by the Elder in excellent English, the kids were shy, a path had been hacked through the rain forest for us, and everyone had red stained teeth from chewing bettle nuts, a mild narcotic. Just like Boulder. We visited a market in town, a luxury level hotel (for a toilet and postcard stop), and got a “singsing” native dance show. (Pictures of all to be posted on my picasaweb site after I get home of course). Even at the “most” touristy location, the kids were the highlight of the trip while the mothers were fishing for supper. This was one of the very best stops of my 250 or so days of ocean cruising. Alas, so few places like this will be around much longer.

Tomorrow is Wewak, 180 miles west of here. I’ll post updates from there and Irian Jaya (Papua, Indonesia) the next day when I can. I’m having a super time—best onboard in a long time—but events with dear friends in Boulder have made reality from fantasy.

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