Uppakunda Catch Mulai Bougainville by bobfoto

Uppakunda Catch Mulai Bougainville

I bade farewell to Buka and to Bougainville. It was one of the most amazing weeks of my life, this Island country was amazeballs!

Hanging out at the Airport waiting for another delayed plane, I got chatting to the locals and also noted the Anti-aircraft gun aimed at the runway. Photo Op!

But as I flew out, thinking about my experiences, I also thought about the fact there was an Anti-aircraft gun at the airport... Airports in Papua New Guinea are interesting...

Anti-aircraft guns at Buka.
60 year old Marston Matting at Kikori.
9% Gradient at Wau.
WW2 Revetments at Popondetta and Moresby.
A plane wreck at Tokua.
WW2 Built runways at Nadzab and Gurney.
Knee high grass at Tufi and Wanigela.
Weapon discharge bins at Manus and Kavieng.
5,000 locals to watch you come and go at Tari.
6ft Tall Termite mounds at Bensbach.
the 90º right hand turn at Woitape.
Wrecked RAAF Caribou at Efogi.
Olympic styled 100m races at Kokoda.

They are all unique, all integral to the fabric that is life in Papua New Guinea, it is a precious place and one that thanks to the reef in Bougainville has left a permanent scar on me.

Lukim yu Bougainville.

Photo taken 9 August 2008. Title reads: Seeya later Bougainville.
I suspect you are right
August 16th, 2012  
Well, thank you Jason, for leading us through a wealth of experiences, bad and good! My knowledge of this strange land has increased!
August 16th, 2012  
@swilde - yup.

@maggiemae - Oh Maggiemae, wait until September, I have already started wading through the 4,500 photos I took in my 3 Septembers there to filter down to just 30 stories!
August 16th, 2012  
@bobfoto Why wait till September?
August 16th, 2012  
I don't know why it has taken me so long to become involved in this. I had loved all your photos from last year, then I suffered a lapse in 365 concentraion and missed a lot of stuff. I don't know if you have children or younger family but your photos and writings and style would certainly make a huge family hand me down.....all in a book of course, and what about film rights...it would make a great movie!
August 16th, 2012  
@Cherrill - Wonder if Hugh Jackman would play me?

@maggiemae - because I like to keep it in the month the shot was taken, almost to the day... I still have a few tales to tell in August!
August 16th, 2012  
I have photos of the matting at Kikori.
Hugh Jackman..hee hee
August 16th, 2012  
Great photo. Love the permanent scar comment
August 16th, 2012  
What a cool shot....interesting journeys.
August 16th, 2012  
I'd go see the movie after hearing the stories, but if Jackman played it.... I'd see it several times.
Yeh, I see it, he looks like you. Good choice.
August 16th, 2012  
I see what you mean about the airports... wouldn't like to fly in to this one and see that pointed at me.
So you're buggered in all manner of ways if you fly in
Slip on mud or get mugged/eaten if you walk in
Risk the reef or get eaten if you swim in.
Well as I can't afford the cruise in I think I'll continue to enjoy your daily views instead...!
August 16th, 2012  
and there was i thinking it was a group tribute to Mr Bolt
August 16th, 2012  
@onie - Can I ask why you went to Kikori?

@stuckinoz - To this day I continue to suffer re-occurence of pain in my feet, and I have had doctors x-ray, take blood, poke and prod and they cannot find the answer. I still think there is some link to that day on the reef.

@ruthmouch - Thank you Ruth. :)

@tigerdreamer - Thanks Karen H :)

@filsie65 - We may have left Bougainville, but the nautical theme continues... so you can get your cruise in too?

@houdiniem - I bet they love that man Bolt over in PNG now! The whole nation partied when Obama got elected, they loved the fact that a black man like them was in the Whitehouse. Oh and John Barnes is probably their favouritest footballer!
August 16th, 2012  
A friend of Natalie's was a manager for a charter business, cargo and people. Think it was Regional Air. We got a freebie to go up to the Mt Hagen Markets for a day trip. It was like a milk run, we stopped a couple of times on the way there, and once on the way back. The lovely pilots became our guides for the day, so we got a vehicle when we got to Mt Hagen, the pilots were asked to look after us, so we all got some good bargains at the markets!! Plenty of room in the plane. as all the cargo had been unloaded along the way.(including a helicopter blade) We also had some caged chooks for part of the ride!!
August 17th, 2012  
The scar and a stack of incredible images. Great memories.
August 17th, 2012  
I was looking at this photo, as I started to read your story. I stopped and thought, "What! An antiaircraft gun at an airport!!!" I am still thinking about that one. You have widened my knowledge basis about this country immensely. Thank you.
August 17th, 2012  
Hugh Jackman?
August 17th, 2012  
@onie - hee hee sounds like a story there to be told!

@tonydebont - Cheers Tony, hope the photos last longer!

@daisy - You gotta defend the airports!

@kjarn - what? He grows a fine beard.
August 17th, 2012  
Glad you decided to spend the time reflecting back on the experiences and giving a great view of such a beautiful place. Thanks. Great capture.
August 17th, 2012  
Boy no kidding what a trip and what a lasting impression. Very neat photo op, if not a bit worrying...no matter how old it is. :)
August 17th, 2012  
@losthorizon - You are welcome Beau. Cheers.

@geocacheking - During the 10 year Bougainville Crisis, the BRA were armed with WW2 weapons, that they had found in caches around the place. As with many other locations in the Pacific, the US Forces just left everything behind when they moved on. There are still some Willys Jeeps getting around on the mainland of PNG left over from WW2.
August 17th, 2012  
Incredible series - what a life you lead.
August 21st, 2012  
@lyno - Thank you Lyn and thankfully that life has been completed. Different chapters to write nowadays.
August 21st, 2012  
yeah hugh jackman would be the right choice! hehehe! :D
August 23rd, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - That's a couple of votes for Hugh then... I'll get my agents to call his agents.
August 24th, 2012  
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