An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Travel Dreaming Again

I am soon to go on holidays, but I am already dreaming of future travel. Had my first look at the new Lonely Planet for PNG and was dreaming up a trip to do in September for myself for a couple of weeks.

I have this thing where I want to spend my birthdays in a different country. It all started back when I went travelling in 2000 and my birthday happened to coincide with a two day stay in Luxemburg. Since then I have managed to be in a new country for each passing year of my life. Last year I was here, so this year I want to get over a border somewhere and clock up another year in another country.

The options are limited for obvious economic reasons to the ones close by. Australia is ruled out straight away - unfortunately I blew that ace card already in 2003 - so that leaves Indonesia or the Solomon Islands.

I like the idea of the Solomons as I probably won't ever get there at any other point and it really is pretty close. To add some spice to the trip I am seriously thinking of going to Bougainville first and then crossing the border on a banana boat. There really is bugger all distance between the two countries when you look on the map.

Bougainville-Solomons Map

So the plan would probably be something like the following; Fly to Buka, cross over the straight to Bougainville proper, head down the coast to Arawa and keep making my way further on until I reach Buin at the edge of the country. From there get a banana boat across the border to the nearby Shortland Island in the Solomons and then either wait for a plane or catch boats down to New Georgia Island.

This could be the most time consuming part of the whole trip. The Shortland Islands are a pretty far flung and isolated place from what they say in the guide. Once I do get to New Georgia I will make sure I check out the famous lagoons before heading on to Honiaria with another flight. By this stage I should have been gone a couple of weeks and spent the birthday there somewhere and so shall get a flight back to Moresby.

It all seems feasible enough, and is written about in the guide, but obviously there would be a couple of issues. Firstly I would not be able to get an exit stamp when leaving the country so when I fly back to Moresby, they could be a touch suspicious by the fact I am returning to the country when I never 'left'. The Solomons are a bit less worried by the sounds of it and when there is no visa required all I need to get is an entrance stamp at the first sign of civilisation. Secondly the connection to get from the Shortland Islands onwards could be tricky, but I could of course just stay there like a beachcomber until the date passes and then head back to Bougainville.

Anyway I am sure it would be another adventure to notch up, and one to tell the kids about one day, but first up I should be busy planning for a upcoming little adventure and one that I will definitely be proud to tell the sprogs - the Kokoda Trail in a week!