I consider this to be good time to answer the call of nature, and I am shown to the village loo. They certainly don’t believe in modesty: the 4” hole in the ground is located on the top of a mound, the highest point in the village, with very little foliage to shield your private moments. Unlike The Gambia, where the entire village would come running to watch a white lady drop her knickers, I am pleased to find that the two people within sight, sound and smell of my deed are thoughtful enough to reposition themselves to the other side of the nearest hut. With such a small depository and uneven ground on which to balance on my haunches, a good aim helps. This is not the best instance to suffer from the runs, but timing was never my stomach’s strong point.
After checking in to the hotel and re-packing the bare necessities into smaller bags for the flight to the Highlands, we inspect the travel document Steven gave us for the rest of the visit in PNG. The return ticket show the incorrect date and time, but there is no reply from the office telephone number Steven gave us. We also try his home number, only to be told that he is spending the night in the office. We keep trying right throughout the early evening, but to no avail.
Back in the room after dinner, we continue to try Steven’s office number, but we have no joy until David has the bright idea of double checking the number Steven wrote down against the one in the telephone directory. Steven had transposed two of the numbers, but when we do finally get through, all he says is “we’ll sort it out in the morning”.
There is something like a 5% formal employment rate in PNG. Therefore poverty and crime are widespread. There were some people in our group who were involved in a 'busjacking' but thankfully came out OK. However we definitely felt rich and therefore targets as we traveled around. Not a place to travel alone or with just two in my opinion. (But let me say the people on the whole are SO kind and giving).
BEWEAR OF THE DAVELS !
Seen at Gasmata ,West New Britain.
We never got to found out what we were being ware of ,but we didn't have any problems with Davels .
They are obviously worth being ware of as otherwise a T'Shirt would not have been printed warning of them!
Attention!!!! Don´t forget sun blocker!!!
The sun in Madang is burning so hot, you´ll burn as faster as you mean. Don´t make the mistake to walk through the city during the midday. You never see any native people working or doing something else while this time. They all try to find a nice place in the shadow of a tree and sit there up to 3 or 4 o´clock.
It is t hot to do something else.
Take care about your skin, use sun milk and carry a hat.
CRIME: Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate. Carjackings, armed robberies, and stoning of vehicles are a problem in Port Moresby, the capital. Pickpockets and bag-snatchers frequent crowded public areas. Hiking in rural areas and visiting isolated public areas such as parks, golf courses, beaches, or cemeteries can be dangerous. Persons traveling alone are at greater risk for robbery or gang rape than those who are part of an organized tour or under escort. Visitors to Papua New Guinea should avoid using taxis or buses, known as public motor vehicles, and should rely instead on their sponsor or hotel to arrange for taxi service or a rental car.
Travel outside of Port Moresby and other major towns at night can be hazardous, as criminals set up roadblocks. Visitors should consult with thier own Embassy or with local law enforcement officials concerning security conditions before driving between towns. Travel to isolated places in Papua New Guinea is possible primarily by small passenger-aircraft; there are many small airstrips throughout the country. Security measures at these airports are rare. Organized tours booked through travel agencies remain the safest means to visit attractions in Papua New Guinea.
Unless you are in the Army and then you get to carry your own machine gun and this keeps you free form all dangers.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Exercise caution, but don't dismiss it too readily. It's cheap, convenient, and shows a willingness on your part to do like the locals do -- something Papua New Guineans tend to respect in their visitors. Bus routes in the cities can be difficult to make sense of, so find out before-hand which bus to catch, where, and how you'll know that you're at your destination. Try not to look too obviously lost. Don't travel in city buses at night.
Long-distance travel (by PMV or Public Motor Vehicle) is uncomfortable and somewhat unpredictable (plan for the trip to take much longer than you expected), but it's cheap and it's a good way to experience a bit of what PNG is really like. Some PMV routes are notorious for armed hold-ups, so asked (hotel staff or whoever) about the route you plan to take before you get on the truck.
TIP: Wherever you go (other than the village), assume THERE'S SOMEONE WATCHING YOU and waiting for their chance to grab your purse, camera, bag, etc. With the high rate of unemployment and poverty in the cities, you -- the tourist who obviously has enough money to afford airfare and accomodation -- are fair game for a bit of redistributive justice. Follow all general travel precautions at all time: carry as little cash as possible, and keep it close to your body. Have smaller denominations and coins in your pocket so you don't need to sort through a wad of dough every time you want to buy something. Be modest is what you buy and how you present yourself (i.e., dress casually, not flashy).
SEPIK RIVER TRAVELLERS: If you want to see the MIDDLE SEPIK (via AMBUNTI), it's probably worth your while to FLY from Wewak. There is public transportation available, but it's a long and uncomfortable ride along a highway that is famous for armed hold-ups. Budget travellers should consider the Lower Sepik (via Angoram).
MALARIA. There is no malaria in the highlands and minimal risk in Port Moresby. However, if you're going anywhere else, take precautions and/or get tested for any symptoms immediately. PRECAUTIONS: take profilactic medication; wear long sleeves/pants to prevent mosquito bite, particularly at twilight in morning and evening; sleep under a mosquito net. SYMPTOMS - if you experience any of the following, get to a clinic and get tested: bad headache that persists for more than a couple hours; fever/chills; nausea; flu-like aches and pains in the joints; unexplicable lethargy. Malaria symptoms usually occur in cycles (every 48-72 hours). If you have a fever or bad headache one day but feel perfectly fine the next, you may have malaria. Stay close to a clinic for a couple days and get tested as soon as symptoms resume. PNG has several strains of malaria that are RESISTANT to many of the most popular medications. Consult a travel clinic to get the right drugs, and find out where the nearest clinic is wherever you travel in PNG. The plasmodium that causes CEREBRAL MALARIA (falciparum) is very common in PNG and can lead to BRAIN DAMAGE and DEATH. Malaria is treatable, but don't fool around - GET TREATED RIGHT AWAY. You're often better off getting treated in the local clinic where they know what strains of malaria are common and which medications work than you are waiting until you get home by which time your symptoms may be more severe and where they may not know much about malaria.
Australian residents of Papua New Guinea and Australians intending to travel to Papua New Guinea are reminded to exercise extreme care and maintain a very high level of security awareness in light of continuing law and order problems (12 March 1999).
the mosquitos are a problem and the malaria is a common diseas. i took 8 different injections before i got there (and lariam every week)