Archive for the ‘Papua New Guinea’ Category

Sogeri, Kokoda Monument and Others – PNG

April 20, 2014

April 2014

Owers Corner – Kokoda Monument Archway

The Kokoda Trail or Track is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometers overland — 60 kilometers in a straight line — through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. The track is the most famous in Papua New Guinea and is known for being the location of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.

The track starts, or ends, at Owers Corner in Central Province, 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Port Moresby, and then crosses rugged and isolated terrain, which is only passable on foot, to the village of Kokoda in Oro Province. It reaches a height of 2,190 metres (7,185 ft) as it passes around the peak of Mount Bellamy.[1] The track travels primarily through the land of the Mountain Koiari people.

Hot, humid days with intensely cold nights, torrential rainfall and the risk of endemic tropical diseases such as malaria make it a challenge to walk. Despite the challenge posed it is a popular hike that takes between four and twelve days (depending on fitness). Locals have been known to hike the route in one to three days.

 

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the beginning of the track, view on the Owen Stanley Range / debut de la piste avec vue sur la chaine Owen Stanley

La piste de Kokoda et un sentier pédestre de 96 kilomètres de long en profil – 60 kilomètres a vol d‘oiseau – qui traverse la chaine Owen Stanley en Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée. C‘est la plus célèbre piste de Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée pour avoir été le theatre de combats entre forces australiennes et japonaise en 1942, durant la seconde guerre mondiale.

La piste commence, ou se termine, a Owers Corner dans la Province Centrale, 50 kilomètres a l‘est de Port Moresby. Elle traverse des terrains rugueux et déserts, seulement praticables a pied, pour atteindre le village de Kokoda dans la Province d‘Oro. Elle atteint une altitude de 2970 mètres au passage du Mont Bellamy. La majorité du parcours est sur le territoire du peuple montagnard des Koairi.

Des journées chaudes et humide, alternées avec des nuits très froides, des pluie torrentielles et le risque de maladies tropicales comme la malaria constituent de sérieux défis pour cette marche. Malgré cela, c‘est une marche très populaire et qui peut prendre de quatre a douze jours, selon la condition physique. Les locaux ont la réputation de faire le trajet en un a trois jours.

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the Kokoda Monument Archway / le monument

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Cet arche symbolise la force et la persévérance des soldats australiens et papous qui ont servis dans la campagne de Kokoda en 1942. Les six colonnes verticales représentent les six états et territoires australiens et les traverses métalliques reliant les colonnes symbolisent le support vital fourni par les soldats papous  ainsi que par les Porteurs Nationaux affectueusement surnommés les “Anges Fuzzy Wazzy“. Le profil du mémorial se marie au profil de la chaine du mont Owen Stanley en arrière plan.

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Julian, Marina and friend Natacha with Owen Stanley Range in the background

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groupe d‘australiens avant le départ. Ils prévoient faire le trajet en neuf jours

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porteurs se preparant pour la marche / carriers preparing for the walk

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Julian and Marina

Sogeri Market

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me and Marina

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Julian enquiring on how to prepare red pandanus fruit

The native word for the fruit of the highlanders in Papua New Guinea call it Marata fruit. and make a red sauce out of it which is called marita sauce. Marita sauce is a ketchup-like substance which is used to flavor food.

We tried it. It is indeed ketchup-like substance. Does not have much taste. Needs to add salt and spices to make it more tasty.

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un cheval un peu rachitique / kind of miserable horse

Koitaki Country Club

 

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cows / vaches

 

Snake Eating Guana

April 20, 2014

January 2014

 Serpent mangeant un iguane

This occurred back in January at one of our construction site, just outside Port Moresby (PNG). It took the snake, a python I believe, more than 5 hours to complete the task.

You will notice signs were put up to make sure he would not be disturbed. We do not kill snakes when we find them. We normally catch them and release them back into the nature. We have a snake catcher on site to accomplish this task. To date he caught 5 or 6 of them.

 

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Ca s’est passé en janvier sur un de nos chantiers, juste en dehors de Port Moresby. Ca a pris au moins 5 heures pour le serpent, apparemment un python, pour accomplir la tâche. Vous remarquerez qu’une signalisation a été installée pour protéger la bête et s’assurer qu’elle ne soit pas dérangée.

Nous ne tuons pas les serpents lorsque nous les trouvons. Nous les attrapons et les retournons à la nature. Nous avons une personne spécialisée pour cela (“snake-catcher” – attrapeur de serpent).

 

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image012bon appétit

Last week I almost stepped on a Black Papuan without even noticing it. A colleague walking behind me saw it running away and disappearing in the grass. Black Papuan is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. The good news is that these snakes rarely attack you. They normally run away, except if they get cornered and have no way to escape.

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J’ai failli marcher sur un Black Papuan l’autre jour sans m’en rendre compte. Un collègue qui était derrière moi l’a juste vu disparaître dans l’herbe. Le Black Papuan est un des serpents les plus dangereux au monde. La bonne nouvelle est qu’ils attaquent rarement. Normalement ils s’enfuient, sauf au cas ou ils sont coincés.

1471840_10201034297611164_149778566_nsignage on our construction site, in english and in pidgin / advertissements sur notre chantier “attention serpents”, en anglais et en pidgin

Varirata National Park

March 22, 2014

March 2014

Bush walk through Varirata National Park, 40 minutes drive uphill from Port Morseby. Great views. Heard and saw birds of paradise in the forest, impossible to photograph, they were too far and too fast….

Randonnée dans le parc national de Varirata, sur les hauteurs de Port Moresby (40 minutes de route). Vues superbes. Avons vu et entendu les fameux “birds of paradise” (oiseaux du paradis), mais impossible à photographier, ils étaient trop loin et trop rapides…

20140309_100015view on Bootless Bay and Loloata Island

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20140309_110701Dave and Julian, airport and Airways residence in the background

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Dave, Paul and Julian

IMAG2867with our guide

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20140309_124434flat tire / pneu crevé

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Dave et Julian au travail / Dave and Julian at work

IMG_6852group of happy guys passing by, my lucky shot / groupe de joyeux lurons nous croisant, un cliché heureux

 

Tawali II – PNG

March 22, 2014

February 2014

Second visit to Tawali resort, near Alotau (Milne Bay District).  This time it would be a (scuba) diving trip. My russian colleague Julian joined us, together with his wife Marina and their son Pawel.

Seconde visite à Tawali, près de Alotau (province de Milne Bay). Cette fois avec pour but de faire de la plongée avec bouteilles. Mon collègue  russe Julian nous accompagne, avec sa femme Marina et leur fils Pawel.

20140222_113618raining in Alotau

20140222_113611wet season / saison des pluies

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20140223_181029Wanda and Marina

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IMG_1957revisiting the sculls cave / Nouvelle visite de la grotte aux cranes

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DSCN0479en route pour la plongée

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DSCN0408Wanda dancing

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DSCN0658Wanda and Paul

DSCN0560two rays / deux raies

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DSCN0420Wanda in the “vegetable garden”

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DSCN0632coral

DSCN0589Marina and Wanda

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DSCN0667stick insect

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Christmas Dinner with colleagues – Port Moresby

January 7, 2014

December 2013

 

IMG_9438Jason, Richard, Jones, Charlene, Vivienne, Rick, Hannah, Joana

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IMG_9441John, Gima, Berdg, Thomas

IMG_9442Linda, John, Peter, Leon

IMG_9443Leon and Neil

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IMG_9446Jason, Michelle, Richard

IMG_9447Jones, Charlene, Vivienne

IMG_9450Leon, Neil, Jerome, Jim

IMG_9458Michelle, me, Jones

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Christmas Party – Port Moresby

January 7, 2014

December 2013

Christmas party organized by my work in Gateway Hotel, Port Moresby

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IMG_9402dancing queen, believe it or not, Wanda got the prize for best dancer

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IMG_9420all the best…

 

Cruising direction Fisherman’s Island

December 25, 2013

December 2013

Half day cruise with friends and colleagues direction Fisherman’s Island, just outside Port Moresby. Nice and relaxing

Petite croisière avec quelques amis et collègues, en direction de Fisherman’s Island, au large de Port Moresby. Très relaxant

IMG_9461 - Version 2Port Moresby, the harbor / le port

IMG_9462Port Moresby

IMG_9463 - Version 2Port Moresby

IMG_9464Port Moresby

IMG_9465colleague Richard Stewart

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IMG_9468colleague Jones Baruti

IMG_9472with the captain

IMG_9474 - Version 2Fisherman’s Island

We also saw the Island from far. Next time we will have to go on the shore

Nous n’avons vu l’île qu’à distance. La prochaine fois nous devrons débarquer

IMG_9479 - Version 2Fisherman’s Island

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Tawali

December 25, 2013

December 2013

Tawali is a remote resort, located at the foot of a volcanic mountain and overlooking the Milne Bay. A Paradise on Earth. It is a one hour flight + an hour and a half drive from Port Moresby to get there. Wanda and I spent five days in this beautiful place.

Tawali est une petite station balnéaire située au pied d’une montagne volcanique surplombant la baie de Milne. Endroit paradisiaque, à une heure d’avion + une heure et demie de route depuis Port Moresby. Wanda et moi y avons séjourné 5 cinq jours.

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20131201_181349Milne Bay

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A walk along the coastIMG_9300ballade en compagnie de notre guide Thomas

IMG_9313refreshing swim / baignade rafraîchissante

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IMG_9323Our guide Thomas with his mother and sisters / Thomas aver mère et soeurs

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IMG_9327Thomas’ house / la maison de Thomas

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IMG_9322hot and no wind, water looks like oil / chaud et pas de vent, on dirait une mer d’huile

IMG_9363went fishing and managed to catch a thuna. Had the cook prepare it for dinner, delicious

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The Sculls Cave/la grotte aux cranes

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Skulls  / cranes 

“The cave is quite large and very dark, so a strong light is a necessary, but there is very little movement of air so it quickly gets quite hot & clammy which adds considerably to the whole experience.

It contains the cranial remains of a lot of people which are in a series of piles and there must be a couple of hundred of them altogether.

Exactly why the skulls are there seems to be the subject of some conjecture, but there are two principal contenders for the true story.

Firstly, and more sensationally, the caves date back to when missionaries first arrived in PNG and proceeded to prohibit the long legacy of headhunting and occasional cannibalism common across the whole of New Guinea at that time.

So the local villagers literally went underground with their prized skull collections to keep them hidden from the missionaries!

The second and (in my opinion…) more plausible reason is the cave is actually one of the burial caves from pre-missionary times when the skulls of important people from the area were kept as a gesture of the respect they were held in.

When these people died, they were buried upright with a clay pot over their head, and after some time when the head separated from the body it was removed and taken to the cave.” (extract from the traveller guide)

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with Thomas in the cave / aver Thomas dans la grotte

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Wanda’s first open-water diving courseIMG_9374première leçon de plongée

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IMG_9392heading back to the airport in heavy rain /pluie torrentielle le jour du départ

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At the airport, waiting for the plane

 

From Taumara Barrack to Pyramid Point

December 22, 2013

10/11/2013

Randonnée aux alentours de Port Moresby

IMG_9257Bootless Bay

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IMG_9260Loloata Island (the long one) and Lion Island (the small one) 

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IMG_9267Pyramid Point in the background

IMG_9269Pyramid Point

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IMG_9274on the beach / sur la plage

IMG_9275on marche sur l’eau / walking on the water

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Taumara Barracks – pool out of order / piscine désafectée

 

Mount Diamond walk

December 22, 2013

13/10/2013

Another bush walk in the Port Moresby surrounding. An extremely hot day. Fortunately the objective was to reach a waterfall and have a swim. Rewarding and refreshing.

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Randonnée aux alentours de Port Moresby. Journée extrêmement chaude. L’objectif de la ballade est d’atteindre une chute d’eau et de faire trempette. Délicieusement rafraichissant

IMG_9253John “Indiana Jones” Kearney

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IMG_9249that’s me in the middle with lifted arms/ c’est moi la au milieu avec les bras levés

IMG_9255Linda with baby ananas

IMG_9247locals on a Sunday outing / la sortie du dimanche