Posts Tagged ‘travel’

In addition to the Independence Day celebrations at Gorgeous Girl’s school there were also some where Gorgeous Man and I work.

This tree house was built for the occasion. It is the traditional house of the Koiari people.

Koiari tree house back

This is the side view.

koiari tree house side

Front view.

koiari tree house front

Gorgeous Girl and I climbed up to have a look.

in tree house

Gorgeous Girl climbed right to the top.

GGin tree

The students dressed in traditional costumes.

traditional costumes

There were demonstrations of how to prepare traditional food.

preparing food

preparing food2

These girls are preparing coconut milk.

preparing food 3

Students from other Pacific Islands also dressed in traditional costume for the occasion. These girls are from Rarotonga (Cook Islands).


I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience this first hand.

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Recently Papua New Guinea celebrated 40 years of Independence. Gorgeous Girl’s school put on celebration. The kids dressed in traditional costumes from the various regions around Papua New Guinea.

Gorgeous Girl was in the group from Manus Island. They practiced their dances for a few weeks and costumes were supplied.


We supplemented her costume with some shell necklaces.


The local ladies set up shop outside the school gates (shop consists of a cloth on the ground spread with their wares) knowing that the school has these celebrations.


One of the older classes made paper mache mud men masks.


The staff had the authentic masks.

These following ones aren’t the best pictures I took, but they do show a sense of the day without showing the faces of other people’s children.





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Fiji Part 3

I didn’t intend to leave so long between posts, but I’ve been sick this week and it was all I could manage to get to work each day. Once I got home I collapsed in a heap on the couch.

We chose Matana Beach Resort  primarily so that Gorgeous Man could become certified to do this:


He brought back some fabulous photos of the things he saw. (We put my new camera into a waterproof case).




Gorgeous Girl’s new camera (another early birthday present) also takes photos underwater. She really got the hang of snorkelling this trip.


I took this next photo as we were pulling away from the resort’s beach. It doesn’t do justice to the colour of the water.


Am I boring you yet?

I did work on my travel journal quite a bit while we were away. I still need to get photos printed, but I’ll show you some of the pages in a later post.

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Fiji Part 2

Our first few days at the resort were wet and cold. We were fortunate in that we come from PNG to Fiji via a few days in Australia and so had warm clothes with us. There were guests who hadn’t packed any cool weather clothes at all…

This is the view from the dining room.


Guests eat together with the manager and dive master. There was a set meal each day, but the resort will take dietary requirements into consideration for you.

On our first night we left the dinner table briefly when someone discovered a unique crab.


Not being able to find a shell the right size it had used a bottle instead.

Despite the rain Gorgeous Girl was very taken with the kayaks.

kayak 1

This yacht pulled into the bay and camped for a night or two off shore. The owners spend 7 months a year sailing around the world in it. Gorgeous Man, Gorgeous Girl and some of the resort staff were lucky enough to be invited on board to have a look around.

Gorgeous Girl also tried her hand at paddling. She was quite good at it.

kayak 2

While they were kayaking, myself and one of the other guests took the opportunity to visit the village next door to the resort. The village was still very traditional and I had to wear a Fiji sulu (sarong) over my three-quarter length pants, I donned a length of cloth I purchased a few years ago in Zambia that I never travel without. We were formally presented to the chief (who we had already met because he came over to the resort most mornings to share coffee and breakfast) and shown the school. I didn’t take any pictures of the village. It just felt too intrusive to be photographing people going about their daily lives (I’d be a terrible photo journalist). But I did take some photos of the school.



Compared to schools I’ve seen in PNG and South Africa it was quite well equipped for a little village school. The resort is trying to help them raise funds for solar panels so that the school can have electricity. The resort itself runs on a generator for a few hours a day as well as having solar panels for power the rest of the time. This is the primary school. High school students board in town which is a 20 minute boat ride away.

I also tried some arty scenery shots with my new camera which was a very early birthday present from Gorgeous Man.


Low tide.

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Fiji Part 1

I’ve been a bit stalled with writing about our Fiji holiday. How do you condense 450 pictures into a few blog posts? I’ll try and capture the highlights.

Flying into Fiji is very different from flying into Papua New Guinea. The international airport in Nadi is set up to welcome the tourist visitor and in the arrivals hall visitors are greeted by men playing the ukelele and singing. We took a taxi to our hotel and Gorgeous Girl wasted no time in making use of the playground and pool.



We had one night in Nadi before heading out the next day to Kadavu Island.

It was a 19 seater plane. We were only allowed 15 kilos per person baggage (we had to leave a suitcase in storage at the hotel in Nadi – it was full of supplies for the next six months in PNG, school shoes for Gorgeous Girl etc). One surprise was that after checking the bags we were asked to stand on the baggage scale with our hand baggage so that the total weight on the flight could be calculated.


The assistant pilot also did the safety briefing and we got to watch them fly the plane.

Our first view of Kadavu.

first view kadavu

Possibly the world’s prettiest runway.

runway Kadavu

We were met at the airport by staff from Dive Kadavu Matana Beach Resort. 

We walked across the road and down to the beach where our transport to the resort waited.

boatfrom airport

The view was breathtaking.


view 2

Gorgeous Girl enjoyed the boat ride.


The colour of the water was amazing and it was really clear.

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Take a drive with me

A certain Gorgeous Girl turns seven tomorrow and so we have some grandparents visiting for the special occasion. Last Sunday we left Port Moresby and headed up the mountain towards Soegeri. On the way we stopped at a lookout.

PNG lookout 2

Be prepared to pay the land owners 2 Kina per person to stop at the lookout.

If you walk down some steps…they are as steep as they look

PNG lookout steps

you will see a waterfall.

PNG lookout waterfall 2

We continued on towards the Kokoda Trail (Here in PNG it’s referred to as a Trail, Australians know it as the Kokoda Track). We stopped at McDonald’s corner which commemorates the first engagement between the opposing sides.

PNG McDonald's corner

Then on to the start of the trail. This time the track was not so muddy and we were able to drive all the way down.

PNG Kokoda Trail road

They were expecting some government officials and so the area was decorated.

PNG Kokoda Trail picnic huts

Then it was on to Variarata National Park. This was my first time up there (though Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been there a few times). The view from the park was magnificent. Even on a hazy day we could look down on Port Moresby.

PNG Variarata lookout 2

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day.

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Recently a group of us decided to take a drive up to the beginning of the Kokoda Track. Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been up here before, but it was the first time for me.

We went out in three vehicles, all of which were 4WD, which turned out to be a blessing. To get to the start of the track you need to leave Port Moresby and drive up the mountains. As we drove it started to rain.


and rain


The rain eased up a bit and we crossed a one lane bridge.


and drove along the road


Along the way, one of the cars got stuck in the mud on the side of the road and had to be pulled free with a tow rope, but it was not difficult.

Then we came to a hill


and decided that it would be prudent to leave the cars at the top and walk down. It wasn’t raining when we set out and soon we reached the bottom.

trail start

It rained in earnest on the way back up the hill. One good thing about living in the tropics is that the rain is not cold. It was a good day out, but I think our next visit might have to wait until the dry season comes around again.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my last post. It was great to meet some new to me blog readers and find new blogs to read.




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