I am now back in PNG, jetlagged but back at work and ready for the next wave of adventures that life in the tropics has in store for me. Now that I have a little spare time again I can post some pictures from recent weeks when I have been out seeing the sights around Port Moresby. By sheer coincidence it seemed that every time I went to one of these points of interest, there was a buzz about how Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles visited the place a few months earlier. The royal visit by our future king occurred in November of last year and caused quite a stir, and of course there was a massive clean up effort to make the place look presentable just before their arrival. Things seem to have returned to normal now, but I’m told that for a while, this place was quite pristine.
The first destination was a little beach side resort by the name of Konebada, about 30 kilometres along the coast from Port Moresby. One could tell that there had been a Royal Visit recently because someone had painted “Royal Visit” on the rock wall out the front.
The resort is a two-storey building with bamboo walls situated right on the beach. It’s a lovely spot, with a pleasant seabreeze that brings refreshing relief from the heat of the day. Unfortunately, as is often the case in PNG, some beautiful scenery is somewhat spoiled by the presence of garbage left behind by the irresponsible and for some reason tolerated by the owners. No doubt it was cleaner than this when the royals arrived.
They serve the most amazing buffet lunch, which included one of the nicest lobster dishes that I have ever tasted.
After lunch, I was able to go for a wander around the area. It is an amazing part of the country, with gorgeous hills and a wide variety of vegetation.
There are numerous hiking trails around the resort and some of them take one through the tiny town of Konebada.
The next stop along my “footsteps of royalty” tour was the PNG National Orchid Garden, also not too far out of Port Moresby.
While I wouldn’t exactly call myself a conoisseur of fine flowers, I do appreciate the beauty of nature and so I found the orchid garden surprisingly interesting.
The garden includes more varieties of orchids than I could have imagined existed. The highlight of the orchid tour was the species of orchid that was named after Camilla Parker Bowles during her visit.
Personally, I wasn’t overly taken with it, but like I said, I’m not really one for flower appreciation. Someone commented that it looks a bit like a horse. To me it looks more like a goat. No reflection on its namesake intended, of course.
A small zoo and bird sanctuary are built in to the complex, with some lovely enclosures for the animals among the plant life.
These spectacular carved statues of well-endowed men are scattered throughout the facility.
The gardens are spectacular. My favourite was this Bhuddist Garden.
I had lunch at a place called the Bluff Inn along the way and while there, I saw this remarkable Rhinoceros Beetle.
There are not too many hotels in Port Moresby of the calibre required to accommodate Royalty. One of the few such places is the Airways Hotel, out by the airport. This is where Charles and Camilla stayed during their visit.
The restauant is excellent and is built around an old DC3 that has been suspended about ten metres above the ground.
I recommend the Indian buffet.
Rooms start from about $500 per night. Non-guests can use the pool for the day for a fee of $25.
The grounds are enormous and include a large hill with a fabulous view out over the surrounding countryside.
Thick concrete walls like this, with broken glass cemented into the top surround the whole establishment to keep the bad guys out.
Thank you for all of the positive feedback that I received on the blog while I was back in Canada. It encourages me to keep writing and posting pictures of the interesting stuff that I encounter. If you haven’t already, you can elect to receive email notifications when new posts are made by clicking on the ‘Follow Blog’ button on the top left of the page.