Timbunke Travel Guide

  • Timbunke
    by jadedmuse
  • Timbunke
    by jadedmuse
  • Timbunke
    by jadedmuse

Timbunke Things to Do

  • Try to Interact with the Locals...

    It's been over ten years since I held this baby, but I can still recall her name....it was Gwendolyn.Once in a while I have thought about her, wondering what she looks like now and what her life is like. I hope she's still alive. She'd be around 14 years old...maybe even married.I don't know what it was about her, but I asked her mother if I could...

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  • Sago Palm continued (4)...

    The resulting mass of sago palm is then cooked by either heating it over hot stones, or boiling it in water together with taro leaves or some other type of vegetation. The leaves are usually stuffed inside the mass.

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  • Turning Sago Palm into Food

    The sago palm grows prolifically in the Sepik region, and the natives depend on it as a staple in their monotonous and somewhat nutritionally void diets.Sago is basically a starchy compound. The women distill the pulp by washing it over and over with water as it slides down a make-shift chute (see next tip).

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Timbunke Transportation

  • What the hell is a "River Truck"?!

    I thought it was hysterical to refer to these things as "river trucks" but the more we used them, the more I came to appreciate the name.These flatbeds were motorized and offered the most room at the fastest speeds, affording us visitors a quick and easy (not to mention relatively dry) way to get around between villages. They were a bit noisy so if...

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  • Getting To the Karawari Region

    Don't expect any real landing strips or even an airport for that matter. When you're heading in and out of the Sepik Region, just be glad you're boarding a plane with two wings.Note: rough landings ahead!!!!

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  • Getting around the Karawari River

    It always amazed me to see how well the locals can balance as they stand up in these narrow, carved out canoes. Here two women are floating down the river, probably returning from another village.Standard mode of transporation among the villages, where the canoes don't actually belong to any specific person, they're considered communal property of...

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Timbunke Local Customs

  • Children playing along the river banks

    Apparently the natives hold the croc in high regard, but the children are allowed to frolic along the river banks without a thought as to possible croc attacks....we often saw the kids splashing right along the shoreline, waving to us or playing in the water. When they knew were were coming to their village, the kids would scamper up the shore and...

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  • Crocodile Canoes

    The Sepik people hold the crocodile in high regard, and the croc is the prevailing symbol throughout the Sepik region (more on this in my Yentchan pages).The canoes are even carved to resemble this ferocious animal.

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  • Cargo flies Coach!

    Don't be surprised to find a branch of bananas or a huge bag of sweet potatoes occupying the seat next to you in the plane - or maybe at your feet in the aisle.When you're taking small cargo planes to and from the different areas, it seems to be a free-for-all!

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Timbunke Warnings and Dangers

  • Look Out for that Beetlenut!!!

    Here we see a sign in the airport that basically states that no beetlenut chewing is allowed. This is because the beetlenut, when mixed together in the saliva with a mustard stick, takes on a narcotic effect and many PNGers go around stoned on the stuff. But that's not the offensive part - what annoys everyone is that the person chewing beetlenut...

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  • Don't panic when you don't find your...

    Sometimes our desire to travel overrides our sense of self-preservation.In this case, I figured the best thing to do was to fall asleep and DREAM that I had a seat belt to buckle.... Then again, if there was to be some unforeseen accident, I suppose the loose bananas or other boxed and bagged cargo could always serve as a buffer between self and...

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  • Watch Your Bananas!

    This little lorikeet was a big moocher! He swooped into the dining hall every morning, looking for handouts. Obviously he got them!Moral of the story: be on the lookout for hungry birds hoping to join you for a bit of breakfast....

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Timbunke What to Pack

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo

    by jadedmuse Updated Jul 19, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: DEET is industrial strength mosquito repellent. It's absolutely necessary to be fully covered with this stuff while you're in the Sepik Region, an area infamous for its thriving malaria. It's not enough that you take Malaria pills as a precaution - you need to also wear long clothing and or at least cover up your exposed skin with DEET.

    You can find DEET at your local sporting goods shop.

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