On our last morning in Sorong we slept in, had a late, cold breakfast (noodles, rice, eggs) and caught a bemo to the airport. A bemo is a small mini-van that is used instead of (or sometimes alongside) a local bus. It’s popular in most of Indonesia as a cheap way to get around. Sometimes they have routes, sometimes they just drive in the direction the passengers are going and sometimes you can pay extra to “charter” it; have it all to yourself. I thought I should explain, I got asked the other day what one was and it reminded me that unless you are with us or have been to some of these places you might not have any idea what I am talking about half the time. Our flight went off without a hitch (well it had an added stop where we had breakfast the other day on another flight that had an added stop) and in no time at all we were in a taxi on our way to Jayapura. We decided to go the back way to Papua New Guinea to save some money. You can’t fly from any Indonesian city and we would have had to back track to Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur to fly into Port Moresby. This way we waste a few days waiting on our VISA but we save money and hopefully skip Port Moresby all together.
We had looked up hotels online and called to reserve a decent one. We’d be spending a few days with nothing to do, so splurged. I had also caught a chest cold and didn’t want a dank, dirty, moldy room to recoup in. We checked into the Yasmin Hotel and were showed to our room. The Yasmin was rated in the top hotels and had a price tag at the top as well. As the hotel guy opened our room a wet, moldy smell hit us like a slap in the face. Hmmmmm, this is a top hotel? I didn’t say anything first for once, James did. This place is filthy is all that he said. We were starving so decided to go get a bite to eat across the road at KFC. On the street we noticed we were close to an Aston and decided to try our luck. We weren’t hopeful. Aston Hotel is chain in Indonesia that is your typical cookie cutter same everywhere so you can usually rely on it to be clean, have a great breakfast buffet and a steep price (considering where you are). At the desk a very helpful guy went over rates and told us that they had a weekend rate that he could extend for three days for us. Ah Yeah! It was only $5 more than our dirty room. James ran back to get our stuff where he pissed off the Yasmin staff by not accepting a room change. We checked into our clean, mold free room and finally headed for dinner.
October 24 & 25
After our fancy Aston breakfast we went in search of the PNG consulate. James thought we could walk there in about 45 minutes and I thought that would be good for our unused legs (too many days on an island then on a boat). As we were crossing the wet street (it had rained the night before) in front of our hotel a girl on a scooter seemed to second guess which way to go around us and slammed on the brakes. She skidded a bit then toppled over. She wasn’t going very fast but she got mud up the length of her and needed help getting the scooter off of her. We weren’t sure what to do. It wasn’t our fault, honest. We’ve become experts at crossing Asian streets. We made sure she was okay, and the was bike okay and continued on with our walk. We quickly realized it was a miserable walk back along the highway we’d taken to get to Kota Jayapura. It was busy with trucks, cars, busses, bemos, scooters and all of them choked exhaust into our faces. It was also up a hill. Poor James. I had caught a nasty chest cold (at least it wasn’t the lung stroke I thought I was having) and combined with the exertion of walking up a hill in 35 degree heat and heavy air pollution made me a wee bit cranky. To make things worse I pulled out my facemask. Popular in only some parts of Asia but not here…I got a few second glances. I made up for it. We hit a turn in the road and couldn’t figure out which way to go. I wanted to get in a cab but James quickly pointed out that hardly anyone knew any English so it would be useless. I decided to have a rest at the bus stop and he walked down one of the roads to see it he could find the place. The bus stop was off the road (so I took off my facemask) and in front of a big school. It was filled with ladies all chatting and drinking milos from a vendor. I think they were waiting for their kids. It felt like the circle at DeArche. One lady started to chat with me, yup – just like DeArche – and I found out she was from PNG and in Jayapura studying English. She offered me a cold milo which I unfortunately had to turn down; the water being used was a murky brown. James eventually returned and said he couldn’t find the consulate. No problems! My new friend told two motorcycle guys where we wanted to go and after a huge smiling thanks we were on our way. Pulling up to the consulate James had an “I told you moment”. We were going to book the budget hotel in Jayapura but I was nervous and asked to upgrade, to the Yasmin. As it turned out the budget was next door to the consulate and a really nice hotel. We took a look around and booked it for the day our weekend rate was up at the Aston.
The lady at the PNG consulate was very friendly and helpful. We were missing some information so she sent us to an internet café to get it. Travel Help: When getting a PNG VISA in Jayapura to cross by land you need a completed application (get from consulate), 2 passport photos, letter describing what you plan on doing in PNG, flight ticket out (we just printed an expedia flight for the date we thought we’d be leaving), passports and $225,000 Rp /person. The friendly girl told us it would be two or three days…maybe longer. Exactly what we’d read. So we were stuck in Jayapura with nothing to do but wait…
Back at the comfy Aston I had a hot shower, a hot chicken noodle soup (Thanks Blaine!) and crawled into bed. I have been really lucky on the trip. I have only been sick a few times (I think an added bonus of taking doxycycline every day for malaria) and both times we’ve been in fairly decent hotels with not much to do so I could sleep it off. Which I did.
As I slept, James went for a walk and he got followed again. The first time was in Sorong where a guy just started to walk with him, chatted a bit then walked beside him the whole time. Eventually when James was back at the hotel the guy shook his hand and mumbled something about coming back. This time the guy walked up and again started talking and walking with him. A friend of his followed a few feet behind. At one point they stopped walking and mumbled something about going to their house. James said no thanks, to whatever they were offering and kept going. The guy in the back looked angry. I figure they were pimps. Whatever their business we wouldn’t be doing any walking late at night.
Today was a blur that started yesterday and wouldn’t end until tomorrow. I slept in, ate a late fancy buffet, watched tv and slept. It was exactly what my body needed. I honestly have no idea what James did, or if he was even the same city as me. I think I remember grunting something at him when he jiggled the bed I was sound asleep in…but that could have been anytime in the 48 hours.
Art like this, and a name like "La Premiere" you know it is going to be classy
October 26 & 27 & 28
Our Aston weekend rate was up so we were moving to the La Premiere Hotel. To be honest it’s a great hotel with a decent price (considering where we are). We checked in and got shown to our budget, windowless room (a lot of budget rooms are windowless) and were just about to unpack when the phone rang. In broken English I heard something along the lines that we had to change rooms tomorrow…or did she say today? A few minutes later someone showed up to help us move rooms. James grabbed the bags and followed him to a room – that had a sleeping man in it. Hmmmm. They said wait a few minutes so I sat and watched tv and James went to look for a store. They eventually came for me and showed me to a suite. A huge room that even had a window. Very nice! Such a nice surprise for our last few nights in Indonesia. It was especially nice because there was nothing to do but sit and wait for our VISA’s to be ready. Another bonus was the free internet that was actually fairly fast. We only had a very rough route planned for PNG and nothing booked so I sat down at the computer and did a marathon session of research. I also got lucky and caught some friends on line. We’ve read internet in PNG is scarce so this may be the last time we can chat, post and update our travel sites until we leave; in about 4-6 weeks. As we’ve traveled we seem to get more remote and with that comes less internet and I am really feeling out of the loop.
The PNG consulate called and our VISA’s will be ready Thursday. We have to go to immigration to get our passports stamped (we think) before we can leave Jayapura and aren’t sure how long that will take so decided to stay one extra day. The internet is also coming in handy.
We’ve read so many conflicting things about getting your passport stamped before heading to the border (1.5 hours away). The Lonely Planet says it must be stamped but that immigration says you don’t have to but when you get to the border they send you back. We’ve also read you only have to do that if you have a VISA on arrival or if you leave by boat. At immigration the guy assured us we do not need a stamp. He said it’s only if you get the VOA. We were reluctant to believe him but he seemed so genuine… he also wouldn’t stamp it for us. Hmmmmm. We returned to our hotel (with KFC take out) and booked a car for the next day to the border… and crossed our fingers.
PNG will apparently let anyone in
After our free breakfast (which is pitiful compared to the Aston’s) we jumped into our car and headed to the border… fingers still crossed. I smile now thinking about it. The driver had a cd of 1980’s ballads playing with the bass turned way up so the back window vibrated along with my ear drums. I think both of us are still humming them… ‘How do I live without you…how do I find the strength to carry on…when everything good in my life…” UGH!
The feel good fuzzies soon ended. We had arranged the car with the hotel along with the price. I guess what happened is the driver didn’t agree to our final price and the hotel forgot to tell us. Sooooo we get to the border and try to pay him less than he wants. Now… who bet on October 29 and $6 CAD to a cab driver as the date and reason why we’d divorce on this trip? Because you pretty much just won. James and the guy bickered back and forth for a bit before a man with a very big gun slung over his shoulder walked up to see what all the fuss was about. The driver explained and the man with the gun (did I mention it was very big?) went off in search of someone who spoke English. A guy was found and after a quick chat with the cab driver turned to us and said we should pay or the cab driver will call the police!!! Now picture us…loaded with packs, the only tourists at a border crossing not usually crossed by tourists, in an area of the Indonesia where they barely speak English and THERE IS A MAN WITH A HUGE GUN LOOKING MEANLY AT US! (James’ Note: Susan is actually lying here, the men with guns were nothing but friendly, all full of smiles, handshakes and waves. The only one that looked irritated was the one Susan yelled at saying she wouldn’t go with him…to the intimidating picnic table he was leading us to) I started to whisper pay him, just pay him, James just do it! (James’ Note: I don’t think Susan knows what whispering means. She was yelling this from her spot on the road at me as I sat at the picnic table. Having your wife yell “just pay him what he wants” is never great for negotiating. I had flashbacks to countless market bargaining sessions where Susan goes on and on about how much she loves something as I am trying to get the price lowered.) Nope, James would have none of it. Now on the one hand I understand; I too hate being ripped off. But do I have to remind you of the man with a gun? Hello? The guy who spoke English invited us all to come into the fenced in area and sit and talk about it. No way Jose! There were more men and all with guns. Just pay! James followed. They talked back and forth trying to figure out what had happened and to be honest it was very pleasant and calm. But…if there had of been a “Divorce your silly husband because he won’t pay the freakin six bucks” sign beside the “Proud to be Indonesian” sign I would have been lined up there…not stay in the company of men with guns. The cab guy called the hotel and we finally figured out the problem and the cab guy agreed it wasn’t our fault so didn’t have to pay. To be fair we split the difference and paid half (James’ Note: Actually the military guy said we didn’t have to pay, after he spoke with the hotel who admitted the price they gave me, the driver still wanted more money. The frustrating thing, was right at the beginning I had offered to split the difference to give him the benefit of the doubt that there had been a mix up with the hotel. It may seem like I was being a pain in the ass, but it is almost impossible to get to the border by public transport, and the taxis have quite the racket going, so paying an extra twenty percent on a cab fare that is already about two weeks wages was not something I was going to meekly agree to.) The cab driver seemed genuinely surprised and we all shook hands...well at this point everything on me was shaking. I didn’t talk to James for most of the walk to the border. I was so mad and scared at the same time. He kept repeating everything went fine…but in my head I kept imagining all the crazy things that could have happened. (James’ Note: The important thing to remember is that I was right, and it is probably recorded that I was right in some incident report that the poor head of the Indonesian military at the PNG border had to produce)
I forgot to turn and say goodbye to Indonesia. Like I said before we’ve spent a lot of time here. Also like I said before it doesn’t have the best food or the friendliest people but there are so many wonderful things to see and do and the diving is some of the best in the world. It is an amazingly diverse and interesting country.
We sailed through the border into PNG. I was finally in PNG! Both of us have wanted to come for years and once even tried to plan it from Canada but we didn’t have enough vacation days. It’s a big country and hard to get around so to see it you need some time. When we first got to Korea and I was planning my solo travels I told James I might go there. He was not happy about me going without him. He figured he’d have to divorce me…he would be so jealous, more than if I had an affair, and wouldn’t be able to stand it. I decided to wait and do it with him.
PNG forms the eastern half of the world’s second largest island (after Greenland). The country became fully independent on September 16, 1975 and has a freely elected democratic government. Although nightmare stories of the corruption and strings attached to everything will turn out to be a constant complaint told by everyone you speak to. PNG mainland and islands make up a total land area of over 2.2 million square kilometers. The mainland is split down its length by a massive mountain range, including some of the highest peaks in the Pacific. Most of the country, except for the intensively farmed highlands valleys, is covered by tropical rainforests or wide savannah grasslands. The people, who number more than 6 million, are largely of Melanesian ancestry. Over 800 languages are spoken but English is widely taught and used with Neo-Melanesian Pidgin and Hiri Motu.
Rich in natural resources, the country derives much of its revenue from copper, timber, copra, coffee, tea, cocoa, gold and gas. Industry (most of which is corrupt) is being developed rapidly but unfortunately very little of this money will trickle down to the general population. Blaine asked what drives the economy. How can a can of coke cost $2, a hotel room $150+, a beer $5? From what we figured about 5% of the population (mostly politicians, business men or big companies like EXXON) control all the money and if they are willing to pay, and they are, the ridiculously high prices then they will stay that way. Importing into the country is difficult and comes with a hefty import tax. The other 95% of the population mostly lives in rural areas and depends on farming, hunting and fishing and, in many places, the barter system.
The country is excited about tourism and it is being promoted. The newly discovered hill tribes, the history and mysterious rituals and diving is what grabbed my attention. It’s a huge birdwatchers destination but also attracts surfers, fishermen, hikers and anyone looking for an adventure.
Riding the market day PMV
We had arrived on market day and there was a steady stream of people coming from PNG to shop in Indonesia. I think we should have taken note of this instead of hanging out with the men with guns. They were doing this because PNG is so expensive that the $5 each way to the border to shop is worth it.
It didn’t take long for me to forget our (my) scare at the border; the people were surprisingly friendly and helpful. They pointed us in the right direction of a PMV (Public Motor Vehicle – PNG’s version of a bemo) that would take us to Vanimo and even charged us the local rate. We had to pay per seat and with our baggage would have had to pay for one extra seat but a lady in front offered to put one at her feet. Wow! I liked PNG already! I could have done without the man in front of me and behind me spitting gross betel nut juice out the window; everyone here from about age 5 chews it constantly.
Our short ride to Vanimo took us through a small village where I got a royal welcome. The bus stopped to let some people off and took a few minutes while they unloaded their packages. One little chubby naked boy saw me and started to wave frantically. I smiled and waved back. He turned and called all his friends; who were equally chubby and naked and as excited to see a foreigner. As the bus pulled away they all squealed and waved. The bus went around the corner and came to another stop. The kids ran through a few back yards and started to wave again. Then to the next stop and the next. It was cute. I imagine this is what it feels like to be famous and I hate to admit when it comes to excited little kids I’ll miss it. Our next stop was Vanimo. Vanimo is a tiny border town and is described as being the most expensive place in PNG. Considering how expensive it is…we were not looking forward to our stay. We had to spend one night so we could catch our flight to Wewak…where we would then catch a flight to Madang…where we really want to start our PNG exploring.
The PMV dropped us in the middle of town. We had no map, no reservation and have no idea where exactly we were. We asked where the Vanimo Beach Hotel was and were pointed in the right direction. The hotel was on the street we were on and easy to find, there seems to be only about 4 streets in Vanimo. We were shown an economy room and told the price was $136 CAD. WTF?!? A windowless room, no air, no breakfast, a filthy bathroom – let’s just say it was a lot worse than the Nabire hotel – for $136 CAD. We’d look around. Or rather James would. I sat with our bags while he walked around town pricing hotels. He returned with bad news. The only one cheaper ($110 CAD) was a 30 minute walk straight up a hill. A hill and walk we have to do at 7 am the next morning to get to the airport (not many cabs in Vanimo). With a big sigh we told the lady we’d take an economy room. She gave us a key and we entered the dank smelly hotel. When we got to the room we noticed there was only one tiny single bed. Huh? I ran down to the front desk and told her she made a mistake. Nope, an economy is one bed…we’d have to pay double ($272) to get TWO beds. So up the hill it is!
There was no way I’d make the 30 minute uphill climb in this heat but James decided he’d like to save the $5 /person charge. He took the two heavy bags and got us a room. When he returned he was hot, tired and really sweaty but happy. The first time he had gone up the hill someone stopped and offered him a free ride. The second time, with the bags, an old lady passed him and offered to carry his bags (HAHAHA) and after he refused another car stopped and gave him a free ride. The people were so friendly. Unfortunately no one stopped on my way up the hill but we only had the two day packs. We got checked in and did a little walk around the hill. Our walk was short and after we sat in the shade in front of our guest house. A group showed up and a few came over to chat with us. I think PNG is like East Timor. It doesn’t get a lot of tourists so when there is some everyone likes to talk with them. They turned out to be teachers in town marking exams. They answered a few of our many questions about PNG, mostly on the school system, and the sights to see.
We went to our room early; the mosquitoes were huge and plentiful. Late in the night a storm came in that kept both of us awake most of the night. I usually love the sound of rain, especially on tin roofs but this was crazy. One of the hardest rains we’ve both ever experienced. When I thought it would come through the roof a wave of harder rain would follow it. The thunder shook the windows when it was right over us. It went on for hours and we were surprised such a strong storm could last for so long.
Over the past few months our typical airport has gone from big new arrival hall, to a single baggage carousel, to a wooden table in a room, and now to - "grab your crap off the cart in the field". Little did we know that in a couple of weeks we would have to get our luggage off the plane ourselves (seriously).
Our alarm went off way too early for me. The storm had finally let up and I was sound asleep. We had barely unpacked anything so after a pee and brushing our teeth we were off (I miss breakfast not being included). Thankfully the rain had almost stopped; we’d decided to save the $10 cab ride and walk to the airport. It was only 30 minutes and except for the first 5 minutes that was up a steep hill the rest was down or flat. So here I was in PNG, walking in the rain loaded down with 61 lbs of packs and it wasn’t even 7 am yet. Proudly I made it to the top and was rewarded with a ride. A friendly guy in truck stopped and offered us a ride. I was grateful, but didn’t realize yet just how grateful I was. In a few minutes we were at the airport and checking in. I noticed a sign on the counter that said check in was closed. But the lady checked us in and told us boarding was now. Now? Huh? Neither of us had realized that between Indonesia and PNG there was an hour time change (kinda like traveling from Malaysia to Thailand – as soon as you cross the border the time changes by an hour) and we had arrived 10 minutes before our plane left. We’d have missed it if we didn’t get picked up. I have to add in that we were extra lucky today. For our next (tomorrow) flight we were told that as a foreigner you have to check in about 2 hours prior to all your PNG flights from the smaller towns, if not they may give your seats away. Today for some reason the flight wasn’t full, uncommon I think for most flights. I’d say we had luck on our side today. Once on the plane I fell sound asleep and got a good nap in before landing.
We landed in Wewak and had a list of a few hotels and guest houses. James ran across the road to check the Airport Hotel. It was of course expensive and run down. We decided to try the New Wewak Guest House, formerly Wewak Backpackers. We had missed the shuttles to town so walked to the bus stop in front of the airport. There was a group of people waiting who told us that on Sunday (today) not many PMV’s ran so we might have a long wait. Np, we had all day and not much to do here. They moved over and made room on the benches for us. A few minutes later the lady beside me waved down a Guard Dog Security van and explained where we wanted to go. I guess the office was beside the New Wewak Guesthouse. So nice! We jumped in the back of the “caged” security van and were off. We pulled up to a huge fence that was pad locked. Was it closed? Nope, just really well locked up. Hmmmm. I ran in (as James says I’m a bit pickier) and he waited with the security guy and our bags. I was greeted by a mix of really old toothless men and a lady they called Miss Betsy. I had a bad feeling about this. It reminded me of the Hostel in Tahiti that was more like a place for old crazy men to live than tourists. They all got excited and showed me to a room; a dingy, dirty bed with no linens, no curtains, no screens, filthy floor…do I have to go on? I nicely said I had to go speak with my husband as another man came into the room carrying a towel. He waved it at me asking if I needed a towel. Ahh, no I’m good. I’d just like to leave now. Back outside the fence I told James no, a firm no. He mumbled something about being in PNG and having to rough it. Nope, no way, no how. The security guy didn’t seem to want to leave us on the side of the road so we arranged for him to drive us to the SIL guest house. It was listed as the cleanest and safest in Wewak.
Our armoured ride around town, and the beach front view of our hotel; not exactly as shown in the brochures.
We pulled up to a beautiful compound that had a few neat and tidy houses that were surrounded by well-kept gardens. This is more like it. There was no one around so we told the driver we’d sit and wait. It was Sunday and you could hear the church preacher in the distance. I’m sure they’d be along after church. And….even if they weren’t I’d sooner sit on their front porch for the night than anywhere else I’d seen so far. About an hour later a family showed up and said the managers might be a little longer so invited us into their house (in the compound across from where we were sitting) for a cold drink. They were Americans who had been living in PNG for 14 years. They were with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), a missionary institute that aims to translate the bible into every language in the world. But despite that, they have made an incredible record of PNG languages, their distribution, number of speakers and the like. SIL’s translator-missionaries are usually husband-wife teams that spend 15-20 years living in remote villages learning the language, developing a written alphabet then translating the bible. The institute is working on 185 languages and have completed about 95. While doing this they are recording languages that in a few years will be extinct. (information thanks to Lonely Planet)
Over a glass of Tang, Rocky, Wendy his wife, and two children, talked about living, having and raising kids and getting by in PNG. They love it, admit it is challenging, but have no plans of returning to America any time soon. They are based in Wewak and travel to their village (where they do their translating) for 10 weeks at a time. It really sounded amazing but I wonder if I have that kind of commitment in me. We also talked about traveling, they had both done quite a bit, and how PNG is so expensive. We said that we’d tried the New Wewak Guesthouse and Wendy made a face. I guess it was more of a place where people “squatted” in a squatter area of town next to the landfill. I looked at James with an “I told you so” look. I wasn’t exaggerating. A lot of towns in PNG are overrun with squatters coming in from the rural villages looking for jobs, money and a better more modern lifestyle. They rarely find it. They are almost always better in their villages. At least there they have a reasonably safe place to live, space for gardens so they can grow their own food and a community to rely on. Raskols, as they are called, are the young men who move to the cities and turn to a life of crime and violence. Most of the warnings we get from people and guide books warn about the inter-tribal violence but say that tourists are usually left alone. Raskols on the other hand don’t care; they will attack and steal from anyone. I hope to never meet a Raskol.
The managers eventually returned only to tell us they were full. Yikes! Rocky insisted on driving us to town. We first tried the Talio Hotel (a very cool hotel made completely out of shipping container rooms) but couldn’t afford it ($230 per night for a shipping container?) so got dropped off at the Airport Hotel. It was far from clean but walking distance to the airport, a bargain ($90) in Wewak and safe.
The Australian owner (an older lady about 65 years old who had something that looked like leprosy that she insisted on showing James) had been in PNG for 38 years and while she checked us in apologized for the lack of staff. There was a riot two days prior where a woman was hacked up because they thought she was a sorceress. Her staff, like the most of the town, was hiding in their homes and protecting them from being burnt down in the retaliation and riots that might follow. James laughed and remarked that’s not something most hotels would tell their guests at check in. She replied “why lie about it, stuff like that happens all the time”. Oh. There has been a strong resurgence in black magic and sorcery in recent years associated with the AIDS/HIV (AIDS is already a disaster) epidemic and the poor understanding that many remote people have of the disease. Black magic here is far from the Hollywood movies full of smoke and mirrors and hocus pocus; it’s ghastly, violent and an abomination that is usually inflicted on old women.
We dropped our bags, I lit a mosquito coil hoping to cover of the stench, and we went to see the beach. The hotel was right on the beach and we were thinking of taking a swim later. Once we saw the beach we quickly changed our minds. I’m not even sure the picture can capture the mess. Although a bit hungry, it was too early to eat dinner so I sat outside on our porch and read a bit. I ended up mostly staring at the weird birds and their head banging drum sounding movements. Weird…and smelly. The entire middle court yard of the hotel was sectioned off into about three bird cages for three huge birds. Considering the smell and sounds coming from them I’m not sure it would be my choice for hotel decorations. We decided to play it safe and eat at the very cool Talio Hotel. The restaurant was beach front (a very clean beach front) and the cool sea breeze felt great. We lingered as long as we could, even ordered a second beer, before returning to our crappy hotel. The Ozzie lady had explained about showing up at the airport a few hours early so James offered to go over, it’s not like I’d go out at 4 am BY MYSELF, so one of us might as well sleep a bit longer. Seeing as though we didn’t get much sleep the night before and our alarm was set for 3:45 am we went to bed early. We were also terrified of the guard dogs and had no plans of leaving our room after 10 pm. James took a picture for proof, but a sign in the lobby explained that at 10 pm guard dogs roamed the hotel and if we planned to be going out or coming in after that they had to have warning so they could chain the dogs up. Or what? They’d tear us apart? They had rooms that had shared bathrooms and I couldn’t figure out what you would do if you had to get up and go pee in the middle of the night. I‘d likely wet myself before I’d try to out run the dogs. I think their kennels were behind our room because at about 9:30 pm we could hear a pack of dogs start to wine and bark. Then at about 10 pm they were obviously let loose and barked and ran around for hours. Seriously? Later a repeat of the storm the night before happened and thankfully drowned out (or just drowned) the dogs. This time it shook the cabin we were in. So far our time in PNG has been interesting but weird… and tiring.