The hop from Cairns to Port Moresby is quite short. I always imagined PNG to be a wet, a hot steamy and stormy jungle sort of a climate but coming in to Port Moresby it appeared the complete opposite. The country side is dry and the grasses and bushes appear as if a big bush fire had just rushed through. My immediate impression is pockets of blackened earth with flames flashing out of piles of smouldering rubbish. This is how I imagine landing in the middle of a bush fire. Once on the ground I asked if there had been some sort of disaster and I was told this is how it always is POM.
POM is the international code for Jackson International airport at Jackson field in Port Moresby and is the slang name used by the expats when talking of Port Moresby. The hotel transfers wait immediately outside the international terminal, lots of little vans that appeared to go around a circuit from the terminal to their designated hotel continuously rather than be sitting waiting for passengers. We identified our hotel rep’ easily, then it was a matter of waiting for the van to come around again to meet us.
Our hotel is at Ela Beach on Walter Bay, over a low set of hills from the main Harbour of Port Moresby. A very pretty spot that looked like you could just step out of the hotel and lay on the beach, but all the advice was this was not a good plan.
We had a spare day before heading to Alatou; this was spent by hiring a taxi to take us around the city and harbour. We got a good driver and our companions knew Moresby well from a previous life here. This resulted in us receiving an extremely good impression of the city, this was enhanced with the colour of the locals celebrating a political victory. The winners were palm leave decorated Utes and cars singing and waving to anyone who cared to watch.
We got our first perspective of the city by heading up the hills above the port so we could see views of most the port including the Poreporena Villages across the harbour. The Poreporena Villages are a collection of shanti town style villages many of them built over the harbour on stilts.
Our trip took us around the harbour and past the Poreporena Villages and then cut across the back towards the airport and Eight Mile, then back into town, where we paid a visit to Port Moresby’s new shopping mall and had some lunch.
Port Moresby visited and tomorrow will be the fun of getting to Alatou