Third Month

Lae Travel Blog

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Breakdown II

The chance for a car breakdown on a desolated jungle road in the mountain in PNG is probably high. After all it is one of the toughest driving environment on this planet, kilometers after kilometers of steep sloped (sometimes up to 20%incline) rubble roads. But what is the plausibility that, if it happened, the two first cars that stop, each carrying a mechanic?  Not big? When these mechanics, furthermore, don’t argue but instead cooperate, as they never had done anything but work together for their whole life plus soon find the problem, and a way to fix it, and with no spare parts needed – you just have to thank your lucky star. On the way from Lae to the resort Madang the car just stoped. One of the hose in the cooling system had break right off. The water disappeared instantly and the motor overheated without any indication. The mechanics cut the hose and use the reminding part to close the circuit. Water was taken from a nearby stream and we were up and running about 20 min from the stop. On our way back another hose broke by then we were already experts on carbonators and driving from creek to creek took us down to the little town (or maybe the company there is no clear way to define the place) Ramu Sugar where we got hold of a mechanic that fix this leak as well.

Breakdown I

 

Car problems aside Madang was a relaxing experience with blue clear water full of beautiful coral reefs and trafficked by small hollow-out-trunk-catamaran-fishing-canoes. Furthermore the place hosts some magnificent huge air-root-trees. And you’ll find a wonderful food selection – the pepper steak was worth the trip all by itself. Sorry if I once more sound like a cheesy tourist brochure, but sometimes it is hard to not get lost in the beauty and exoticism here. And just maybe it has been a little too much nature in these letters. Yet, I feel that I still have to give the air-root-trees a small section here anyway.

 

These absolutely fabulous organisms start growing from a single trunk, just as an ordinary tree.

canoe conversation
However, after some time they beginning send down air roots in larger and larger concentric rings. As the initially trunk and the first air roots disappears the root system now supporting the canopy all by itself and the center is all hollowed out.. Right by the Madang boardwalk (boardwalk is a stretch, road after the water is more what it is) there is an air-root-tree with a diameter of 15 to 20 meters (16-21yards). The void inside the root ring is sufficient to hold a medium-sized privet home – extraordinary. As something taken out of a story of Tolkien or a picture by the Swedish painter John Bauer (Please enter facebook to view pics of it).

 

But PNG is more then exotic nature. Reading a newspaper here is sometimes as reading “Alice in Wonderland”. Or what do you think of this little incident. All of a sudden a small town in the highlands, known for its calm, turned to a PNG “Tombstone”. A small prison nearby ran out of money to pay their guards and food to feed the inmates whereas the warden found it practical to call for a total amnesty.

the road to Madang
The guards simply open all the cells and let out all the prisoners. With no money and nowhere to go the ex-cons of course got stuck in the nearby town. As a consequence of this, the courthouse has stopped all future trails since they lack defendant to prosecute and the police has stopped all arrests since the jail no longer is holding any suspects. Meanwhile the (until recently so calm) town has, not surprisingly, turned rather violent – a fine example of Hobbes Leviathan.

 

Flying in PNG does also come with some exotic perks. Snorkeling in Madang I met a pilot who told me this story:

 

A plain got an order to carry a number of big cardboard boxes.

Ring of air roths.
During loading a heavy tropical rain made the cardboard wet. After takeoff the boxes broke and started to leak – crocodiles – just small ones but still crocodiles. In mid air one of them succeeded to break his mouth lock and crawled in to the cockpit snapping at the pilots. They had to fight the little beast with the safety procedure book. I guess that is one way to make use of this publication.

 

This has to be all for now on from a beautiful, exotic an confusing PNG

 

 

Johan surrounded by flying crocodiles and huge trees still under the Southern Cross.
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Breakdown II
Breakdown II
Breakdown I
Breakdown I
canoe conversation
canoe conversation
the road to Madang
the road to Madang
Ring of air roths.
Ring of air roths.
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photo by: JohanGranberg