We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
Trip End Oct 06, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hotel Poroman

Flag of Papua New Guinea  , Western Highlands,
Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today our flights would take us from Brisbane to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and then on to Mt Hagan. I don't know if Brisbane is a contender for the safest city in the world, but Port Moresby is regularly cited as a worthy contender for the worlds most dangerous city. Confirming that will have to wait as all we did was run the customs gauntlet and head unscathed to the domestic terminal to catch our flight to Mt Hagan.

The Hotel Poreman arranged to pick us up and our ride to the hotel was a pretty good indication that we weren't in Kansas anymore. There wasn't a single pane of glass that wasn't covered by bars and/or wire mesh or simply boarded up, razor wire decorated virtually every building, and security guards and dogs were omnipresent. 'War zone' might be a stretch as a descriptor but this was definitely one tough town. The only thing that didn't fit were the waves and smiles we were getting from the locals? We were driven through a guarded and walled compound that served as a parking lot only to be ushered through another set of severely guarded sliding gates that protected the inner sanctum of common area and the rooms. And just in case you managed to breach the outer rings of vigilant security, each of the rooms was also protected by iron grates and steroid-enhanced deadbolts as well as patrolling security guards. Even the check-in desk has a roll-down mesh protection (presumably in place if the hordes were spotted on the horizon. Short of catapults and a moat filled with boiling oil, I have never felt so protected from the outside world (was it truly necessary??).  The common area was quite nice but the rooms were basic if not a little worn out- security appears to be chewing up a fair bit of the budget? 

Because of the many flights involved, I had built in a buffer day that we didn't actually need but at check-in we were given the good news that the festival organizers had, at the last minute, tacked on an extra day to begin the festival to celebrate an anniversary of some description. This festival has been a long term bucket list item for me so getting an extra day was a huge and unexpected bonus.

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May on

Wow. The place sounds reminiscent of a Mad Max movie set. Glad it is all worth it...a bonus day & all.

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