Koror to Cairns, October 2014

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5waldos
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:07 pm

It was on Fergusson Island that I had a chance to talk with a local woman about cannibalism. She actually brought it up- unusual since most of the villagers we had talked to about this subject had claimed that they knew nothing- it had never happened in their village- perhaps down the road or across the bay. But here, after having taken a long hot and dusty walk we were shepherded out to some geysers. I was hot and ready to collapse by the time we got out there, so turned back to get to the village and then back to the air-conditioned ship (and perhaps a glass of soothing champagne).
A local woman realized that I was having trouble so she came over and took my hand to guide me back. My first thought was ick- too hot to have anyone near by. But then she began to tell me about how in years gone by locals would ambush people on the path we were on, store their bodies in holes they had dug by the side of the path (pointing several out to me) and then cook them in the boiling geysers. So I asked her when this was- oh many years ago- perhaps a thousand years ago she claimed. So asked her if she had ever partaken. Well no, but perhaps her parents had- and human meat was far tastier than pork or beef. At this point I realized I was on an isolated path with a woman claiming to enjoy human meat. And 1994, the last feast that she was willing to admit to, was not very far in the past. I was quite relieved to finally see the couple of houses that constituted the village. She was sin fact a perfectly delightful person and I was grateful to her for having all but carried me back to “civilization”- but it was a bit unsettling.

Such a pretty and peaceful island

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But it was here that human meals were prepared.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:13 pm

Dobo Islands is best known for its sorcerers. It was also an opportunity for us to see some of the kula and talk with a kula traders. The kula are traditional bracelets and necklaces that are traded back and forth across a ring of islands- the kula ring. Bracelets go in one direction, necklaces in the other direction. It is a complicated social custom with many and complicated rules that have been compared to a high level game of chess. As temporary holder of a particular piece of kula, you are also keeper of the stories and history of the piece. Some of the kula are believed to be hundreds of years old, perhaps a 1000 years old.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:16 pm

Dobo dance- they tell a long story but honest I can't remember what it was- something about a magical bird and laying eggs although it seemed as if there was a certain mockery of the tourists and visitors going on. Our anthropologist swore that this wasn't the case but I was not convinced.




ignore the Dino name- it was in fact Dobo Island

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:20 pm

View of the island and a memorial to someone or something
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The mental health "hospital" on the island- and I thought I had limited facilities in Palau when I worked there!

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The dancer spent half of his time presenting himself to the audience- looked a bit like mockery to me!
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:26 pm

Our last stops were on Samarai and Deka Deka Islands. Samarai had once been a flourishing town with hotels and a large department store. Errol Flynn had been a visitor. Attempts to restore the town have been hampered by corruption and the millions of dollars that have been poured into its reconstruction have rather disappeared. Bits and pieces of work like sea wall, mostly shoddy and cheaply done, are pointed out when investigations as to where the money has gone but in fact there are a few awfully nice looking boats around that could not have come from selling trinkets to tourists.

Rather strange sentiments- especially the bottom lines
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Civilization had made its mark on Samarai Island- this looked just like an English cottage and garden
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Millions of dollars have been donated to restore this church- you can see how far it has gotten
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:30 pm

And our final sing-sing



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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:35 pm

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Deka Deka was mostly a white sandy beach on a tiny spit of island. Wonderful snorkeling and a beach bar set up to keep us hydrated, and a bit tipsy- those last few glasses of champagne. And thus ended our visit to the many islands of Micronesia and Melanesia. A day at sea and then we landed in Cairns. It was rather nice to be back in civilization by then. And off the ship after sailing 5341 nautical miles. Flew down to Sydney where we stayed at the Blue Hotel on Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo for a night before flying home. Nice hotel and I love saying Woolloomooloo.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by erkat » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:33 pm

Woolloomooloo - sheep toilet cow toilet. :)

Loved the pictures of PNG - my Dad went there in the 60s but had no photos from that time.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:01 pm

Still like to say it!

And I suspect that there have not been a lot of chnges in much of the PNG since the 60's. Except for the cell phones of course.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by Stan In Maryland » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:07 pm

What and amazing trip. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by RandomThoughts » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:09 am

Thanks..l enjoyed your report very much
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:08 pm

Nice work, Waldos.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by Lincoln » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:08 pm

What a fantastic trip report,i've always wanted to travel this part of the Pacific,now I know I have to go.

Thanks Waldo5

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:44 am

Pretty amazing place for sure- do it!

And thanks- I rather enjoyed doing it, at least when I wasn't cursing each step.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:48 am

5waldos wrote:Our last stops were on Samarai and Deka Deka Islands. Samarai had once been a flourishing town with hotels and a large department store. Errol Flynn had been a visitor. Attempts to restore the town have been hampered by corruption and the millions of dollars that have been poured into its reconstruction have rather disappeared. Bits and pieces of work like sea wall, mostly shoddy and cheaply done, are pointed out when investigations as to where the money has gone but in fact there are a few awfully nice looking boats around that could not have come from selling trinkets to tourists.

Rather strange sentiments- especially the bottom lines

The lines I am referring to on the gravestone above are: His aim was to make New Guinea a good place for white men

Really???


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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by leela » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:51 pm

Wow. I only just found this thread. A remarkable trip, 5Ws - and all the more interesting for it being about revisiting your 'past life' in that area. Thanks so much for taking the time to post the photos and your account of the trip.
Pass the wine...

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by northern_goddess » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:17 am

What an amazing trip report. Fascinating!

I really appreciate you taking the time (and I'm sure it took a lot of time) to put this together.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Every ounce of OCD that I have I pour into travel- planning it and now reporting afterwards. Wish I could use the ocd for cleaning or something more useful, but travel it is.

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by Bosworth » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:57 pm

Hmmm. Much more useful for us. thanks for posting. that was very interesting.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Fri May 01, 2015 2:29 am

Next up Lisbon to Portsmouth England, just for a real change of pace!

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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by DCComic » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:57 am

Didn't see this 1st time round. Thanks for pointing it out. Shades of Cook and Gaugin.
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by rezuar » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:39 pm

Great thread, 5waldos!
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Re: Koror to Cairns, October 2014

Post by 5waldos » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:12 pm

Thanks Rez- I am really happy I put the thread together, although it was a pain at the time. But it is like having a video diary of the trip- so much I had forgotten. I really wish I had done this with all my trips- and highly recommend it to others. All those little things you forget.

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