Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 3

Day 3Up at 5am to a cold shower URG! And to find the breakfast we’d pre-ordered for 5.30am had been magnificently packed into take away lunch boxes!!!  It was truly an amazing sight although it seems we forgot to take photographic evidence!!  

My eggs Benedict came complete with 2 eggs, a bun, 250g of bacon  3 sausages, 3 potatoes cut up & cooked, a piece of pineapple, pawpaw & something else!!!  I ate the fruit & eggs & left the rest. 

Plumbing Boy had arranged a wake up call for 5am & was most surprised I hear after showering, dressing & packing ready to go to find Dad still half asleep & in bed when he knocked on the door.  The man on reception thought PB might have needed a little extra time to wake up & in his wisdom, woke him an hour earlier @ 4am.  PB, having switched off his phone & not having a watch or a clock in his room was none the wiser until he saw DAD!

Everyone loaded into the mini van after Dave attempted to sort out payment for our accommodation.  His joking around wasn't helping & I wondered whether I’d actually survive the trip with him or not at this point.  Off to the Yacht club around 1km away to meet our next transport to Wau which unfortunately but not unexpectedly did not show up.

Onto plan B.  The owner of the blue van, an expat, although in Australia loaned it to us to get to Wau.  A quick change of driver & off we went along a bitumen road to start with, then rocky rutted gravel sections, across some rivers/creeks & up the side of a mountain to Wau.  3 hours later we arrived. 

 Reg gave us a bit of an introductory talk & pointed out where the airfield was but we were unable to visit the airfield proper as the road was too bad for us to access in the van meaning we were unable to see where Blue landed while being shot at!  

We stopped at the Wau memorial to the fallen soldiers & there awaited our PNG guide to collect us as the mini van would not make it across the river in once piece.

Tim, a friend of Reg’s & also an expat came & picked us up in his 4WD & took us to his home for coffee while we awaited our PNG guide Kerry.  Kerry then collected Reg & all of our packs & took them home to Kerry’s village Biarwang about a 45 minute drive.  Another guy Rick came back for us.  While we were waiting, Tim shared all his local war & trekking paraphernalia with us, having run adventure treks out of Wau himself.  PB was happy to have a fellow dirt bike rider to share stories with.  Tim's place was very luxurious in comparison to what was coming!!!

The trip to Biarwang was made in 1st & 2nd gear, with K & I in the front with Rick & the boys in the back holding on for dear life.  The track was very rutted!  Rick pointed out the sights along the way & shared some of his life with us & soon we were at the village.

We were greeted with a civic welcome in full costume, called a sing sing.  K & I were pushed to the front (Ladies before Gentlemen I suppose) & we were approached somewhat fiercely like Maori’s, before being invited into the village.  We were adorned with some local ceremonial head wear, necklaces & some war paint.  

The ceremonial party were somewhat confronting, staging a fight between 2 warriors, which I didn't realize until after - a spear was thrown & a man felled who was then clubbed by the other warriors where he fell.  I thought I heard Reg say “sorry you had to see that” so I thought it was all real!!!!!  The felled man then got up & we followed the other costumed tribe members to a barricaded area where they danced & sang to us. 

Old & young, men, women & children were part of the sing sing around 20 people in in all, including a man with a green tree snake wrapped around his neck.  

The singing continued for maybe 10 or 15 minutes accompanied by 3 drums before we were treated as guests of honor to a light lunch.

We were then invited to wander about the village & chat with the villagers to learn a little more about them & their daily lives.  We checked out the cooking area (done over an open fire),   



& lick lick house (dunny).

Zac joined in in attempting to light a fire using the traditional method using a thin piece of bamboos string & rubbing in back & forth around a branch placed on the ground held into position with your feet with some drier fodder underneath.  No-one including the locals actually managed to ignite a flame.

The kids loved to follow us about & have their photo taken & more exciting to them was to see themselves on your camera!

The village provided dinner – cabbage cooked in stock? & coconut milk, a nasi goring style rice, greens cooked in bamboo, 2 sorts of sweet potato, cooking banana’s (very starchy & not very nice) & some chicken.  I sampled all bar the banana which I’d tried at the cooking area earlier & left the chicken to the others & the villagers.

Zac & I were given a hut of our own to sleep in as the only wedded guests, although Kerryn reckoned she could still hear Zac snoring from the village store 10 - 15 metres away where she & the others were sleeping.  

I believe our tour company actually paid for the sing sing, lunch, dinner & our accommodation after K overhead Kerry our guide, still trying to negotiate a better price for his services after dinner that night with Reg & Dave.  

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