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.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Plans, Plans, Plans

I love making plans. Especially travel plans (who doesn't). Was talking about going through Bougainville into the Solomons a little while ago. I have now changed my mind. Still want to spend my birthday this year in a new country, shall just do it to the west now.

I asked my mate if I could borrow some Indonesian guides I knew he had. Luckily he is a top bloke (this is the same guy who after all is lending me a TV - champ) and he came through with a bundle. The key one I think will be the phrase book - mi no save tok Bahasa.

At this stage two weeks is being booked starting at the end of September and I will be flying to Vanimo on this side of the border. Shall get an Indon visa from the Consulate and catch a bus to the border. Walk across, get on the back of a motorbike or whatever and head to Jayapura. Spend a few days there, soaking up the complete cultural change and then fly up to the Baliem Valley to look at the difference between PNG Highlands and Papua Highlands ('tis a tad confusing this naming - we have Papua New Guinea an independent country and we have the province of Papua on one half of the island of New Guinea in Indonesia).

Depending on time, I might look at where else I can get to while there. From all accounts flights over there are as cheap as chips especially when compared to the sky high costs you get here (K1400 rtn, Lae to Vanimo). Apparantly they even have proper service, with cute little hostesses. It also looks like I might have company for the trip, another volunteer wants to come, so that should make it even better.

Apart from this immediate upcoming travel, have been looking at what I will be doing at the end of the year once my contract finishes and I have made some rather big changes there. Won't disclose just at this point though.

Travel plans for next year is still going ahead. I want to spend the better part of it going around South East Asia and Asia in general. Hong Kong and southern China are first on the cards in March or April and then followed by Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. My sister and her man are looking at coming along for a chunk of time which should be brilliant.

After they leave me I am thinking I will continue on and see a bit more of China. In particular I am getting excited about seeing if I can get on the Qingzang Railway which should be open up mid next year. A train ride into or out of Tibet would be a huge highlight for me! I know the poor old Tibetans will be more exploited because of this rail line, but being one of the first to travel on the highest rail track in the world would not be a chance I want to miss out on.