A Trip to Papua New Guinea
I had implementation project in PNG on early July, then I started to pack things for this. Visa Request has been approved (Rp 1,500,000 for this stamp), and Jakarta to PNG tickets have been issued. Do you know the ticket price? USD 1600 for CGK-SIN-POM-LAE and trip back again.
Flight from Singapore to Port Moresby took 6 hours and 30 minutes. It was a night flight and I thought I could sleep well in the plane but apparently I couldn’t. Sitting in economy class was exhausting, legs couldn’t move freely and sadly I sat on the middle. So my advise is you should ask for aisle for long flight. Just slept intermittently every 1 hour because the flight attendances offered meals and drink and blanket. The interesting thing was we were shown flight animation including speed and altitude. Finally I knew that my plane flew at 860 km/h at 10000 m altitude and outside temperature is -40 celcius degrees. That’s way the cabin pressure and humidity must be maintained.
Arriving in Port Moresby International Airport, I thought it was near the harbour city, but by reading the map I knew that I had landed 7 miles outside city. Still have to wait for 6 hours before next flight.. really boring waiting in departure lounge.
Inside the plane, packed with most of local people (and interestingly wore sandals), 45 minutes flight was not to long compared to my previous flight. Finally arrived at airport without automatic running rubber for baggage. All stuffs just threw from truck to arrival area. Lae/Nadzab International Airport is 30 minutes away from city center.
Day 1 – Saturday, July 7th
Usually I can get my phone and internet easily. But in this country, my Indosat GSM roaming is not working, no internet connection (I didn’t try hotel business center). So stuck in the hotel for the whole day. Try to have lunch and dinner with pastas, turned out they have different and weird taste.
Day 2 – Sunday
Waking up early, having last night pizza, lunch with a toasted half chicken. pretty good.
Bored staying in hotel room, I went to swimming pool on afternoon. It just a 23m pool with 2+m deep. Yeah just killing my 1 hour time to swim. Dinner, I ordered pizza again (I believe pizza now is my standard acceptable food) and spare it for tomorrow breakfast.
Day 3 – Monday
At last, time to work. Pick up at hotel, I went thru 5 minutes of ride to industrial and harbour area. The view is very magnificent, I just realized that Lae is surrounded by mountains and faces sea.
At Lunch time, I was brought to Lae Yacht Club. It was a good place to hang out, nice and great view of marina. I had curry lamb which is pretty good and this is the first day I eat rice in PNG. Nothing interesting can be told until the night.
Day 4 – Tuesday till Friday
Busy at work, went at morning and back at night. Just resting while watching my 24 series season 6 from my laptop. Friday was quite special. I went to Melanesian Hotel for lunch. The place was nice but not the food. Melanesian hotel is much smaller compared to Lae International Hotel (my place). I was told that Lae only has 2 hotels for international guests, so I thought I had been around the whole city.
After work, I was invited to play badminton at a place, actually it was a hardware store in the noon and afternoon when it was closed we could play there. Meet some elderly chinese guys who played so well. They used to lived in Indonesia but had moved to PNG for very long time ago. In sixties year old body lied excellent play skill and footwork. I just got 1 or 2 points and got lost. Even they told me that it was the only entertainment in PNG; play badminton 😉
Day 8 – Saturday
Still have to work till noon, and play badminton again
Day 9 – Sunday
Woke up late, just slowly enjoying my last day in hotel. In the afternoon played badminton again.
Day 10 – Monday
Woke up on 4am to catch morning flight. Accompanied by security escort, I was taken to Nadzab Airport. And sadly the flight was delayed for 4 hours because of bad weather (yup, all my 10 days in PNG was rainy day). Just worried that I couldn’t catch my next flight, but fortunately I arrived at Port Moresby on 1pm and next flight was 3pm. So I didn’t have time to Port Moresby CBD to see the city. After immigration process, finally I had to leave for Singapore. And again it required 6+ hours to arrive at Changi Airport on 8pm local time.
Well, next report will be related my Singapore experience.. wait then.