Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Popondetta Airport, Oro

Like I mentioned before, one day while waiting for my plane to come in, a very popular pastime in Papua New Guinea, I was out chatting to the locals, and there were bag after bag after bag after bag of Betel Nut just sitting on the tarmac. Now I'm thinking, I sure do hope these bags are not getting on my flight because we are not going to get over the Owen Stanleys unless they send a Antonov.

So I am chatting to the locals and I discover that some very entrepreneurial kinda guys have chartered a plane to carry them and their Betel Nut to Moresby, they say it has cost them K23,000 for the plane but they reckon they got K40,000 to K50,000 worth of nut to sell. Now Betel Nut is a bit cyclical and it seems sometimes that it can be a bit seasonal (like a lot of produce) and my friends tell me that Oro Betel Nut is red-hot at the moment and the chewers of Moresby are just itching to get their teeth into some of Oro's finest.

So I left my Betel Nut Empire Kings and wandered around a bit more, and I found myself chatting to a man named Nathan whose Father Pol Toki owns and operates the Birdwing Butterfly Lodge, now I never stayed there, but I wished I had. I had a great time chatting to Nathan and his family and I kinda feel that his hospitality at the Birdwing may have been more pleasant than the Hotel Lamington, which is not the best of the Coral Seas chain of Hotels, and I think it may have slipped out of the Coral Seas group nowadays... but anyway, Nathan's daughter was sitting in the back of the ute eating the much loved PNG Cracker Biscuits, I think it may have been the Snax Chicken Cracker brand this time and Nathan asked if I could take her photo; which I did and later in Moresby, I printed the photo and sent it to Nathan. And he wrote a letter back to me which I still keep and is in my Lonely Planet guide, on the page of the Birdwing Butterfly Lodge, Oro.

Here is Nethalean.

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