Papua New Guniea and Australia travel blog

Welcoming flowers

The room from Outside (2nd floor end)

Then to Rabaul. The flight to Kopoko Airport was bumpy but not too bad – other than the smell. Alice began to feel a little ill as well. Once there we found our driver (Robert) and there were two other guests (Molly and Mary from Australia) who were there to visit Molly’s grandfather’s grave – He was shot down in 1942.

The road to Rabaul was… interesting to say the least. Crowds of people in Kopoko – a soccer match had just finished. Many brightly colored clothes - well over half of the people with “tawny” hair – a trait also found in central Australian Aborigines. The road was pocked with pot holes – except where the volcanic ash had washed across the road leaving thick mud. And gullies. We drove past ash well over ten feet deep from the 1996 eruption – but most was three to five feet. They had to carve through it to find the original road.

Then Tualuvar volcano(s) showed up – three peaks and the smallest belching smoke, but they were on the other side of the harbor. We also drove by Vulcan – a smaller volcano that was dormant. It took 50 minutes before we made Rabaul. The town is still there but scattered buildings – some abandoned. The population relocated to Kokopo after the last eruption – just outside of the danger zone from the last eruption. Hmmmm

Then – at the “Paris” end of town (not sure why it was called that – nothing else around) but it was dusk so we could see very little. We were met with our keys but just as we got out Alice was sick so I missed a lot of what went on. Our room is fine – sparse – but some nice fresh flowers and beds.

Alice just wanted to shower and go to bed so I went to the restaurant and had a seafood omelet (shrimp, fish, and squid) and a beer. The man “in charge of the internet” will be in tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to meet him! On the way back I could hear Tualuvar calling – a roar followed by what sounded like a wind tunnel…

Now I’m going to shower and go to bed. The trip took a little longer than I thought it would. – 39 ½ hours total – two taxi rides, a bus, a train, several long walks, three customs lines, five security checks, and six flights. An adventure already!

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