Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Log/Pic 22 Bogia, Manan & Boisa Islands PNG

So I'm in Madang and I meet this guy Steve from the cultural center. He is going to the area of Bogia, about three hours north of where I am. This couple, Jackie and Gus want to open a little guest house behind this village. They are taking Steve there to show him the area and see if he thinks there is potential for travelers. A guide from the highlands and a Japanese representative, Toeshe, are going too. Steve asks if I want to come along. I cancel my dive and head out.

The ride to the guest house, named Anua Negu, was a trip in itself. We passed many villages that started as care centers for all the people who had to leave a volcanic island after its eruption in 2004. After checking out my room, #1 (I was the first official guest that would ever stay here), I visited the village which separates the guest house from the ocean. We then were off to see what would make this an attraction to a visitor beside the amazing ocean and view of Manan, the volcanic island.
First we visited the village of Malangen to pick up a small boat. All the people were so nice and so curious. This girl was my favorite. In the three times we would visit this village, this was the only time she would not be holding a baby. Notice the village tattoo on her right cheek.
Here is the view of Manan from this village where we picked up our boat. It has been smoking since its eruption one and 1/2 years ago. Once we arrived on this island we walked through the jungle for awhile to get a better view from above. Three men from the village Manan lead us with their machetes clearing the path.
This is a second village on the island we visited and ate bananas cooked in coconut oil.
A third village,Waia, offered us nuts called galig (again prolly wrong spelling).
This young girl is cracking the hard outer shell before we peeled off the skin and ate it.
This bunch, and about 50 more residents of this island, saw us off.
here is me trying some big nut, potato, yam looking thing-I liked it! Im on the small island of Boisa. The island is shaped like a snail or a whale, depending how you look at it. This village is 700 people strong. I estimated 500 were children. The chief not only offered us coconuts, nuts and fish to eat, he gave Jackie a live chicken to take back. The water around this island was a divers/snorkelers dream. On the way back we watched as countless tuna leaped out of the water. We also saw dolphins. We stopped by Hansa Bay, an inlet which houses about 35 plane or ship wrecks from WWll
This is a Japanese plane wreck near the Awar Village. Appearently there are many more around, and used to be even more. See website for more pics.

This was our last stop of our two-day adventure, The village of Awar. This boy swam across the river in the background and got coconuts to quench our thirst. We talked to the people as the group ate some smelly fish and glue-like substance. I took pictures of people chewing beetlenut, which I did finally try. I had some photos of my red lips, gum and teeth, but couldn't get myself to blog any of them. This was a great trip and a hell of an experience. The people of the villages were as friendly as the the people I travelled with. PNG rules!

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