Day 1: Hong Kong to Rabaul – Papua New Guinea

I just left Stacey at the Hong Kong hotel and I am a bit nervous. maybe it\’s just travel anxiety and maybe it\’s because I\’ll miss her or maybe it\’s both. I am so lucky that she pushes me to do things that I want to do!

When I left I got on an airport express train immediately. Three stops later I\’m at the Hong Kong airport I am going to be so early. I arrive at the Air Nuigini ticket desk at 5:40 a.m. they told me to come back at 6:00. At 6:00 they told me I need to get on a different line which was already very long, boo.

After security my last Hong Kong meal was dumplings in soup and it wasn\’t half bad.

On the plane there were no personal lights. Which sucks because that means I can\’t read. so instead I continue to worry about my baggage weight for the charter planes later in my trip.

climbing into a small airplane

At the Port Moresby airport I was meant by Peter and Mark. Peter literally walked me 10 ft to the money exchange table where do I changed my $400 usd to about 1200 Kina. Then he walked me through one security gate. Then walk me over to a second one which he could not go through. I noted that there is no air conditioning and it\’s hot in Port Moresby. After the second gate I entered a very large waiting area. So I grabbed the seat.

My plane to Rabaul is scheduled for 10:55 I landed at 5:20 a.m. I was in a waiting area by 6:00 a.m. I got a banana muffin and a coffee and waited. The banana muffin extremely good.

Luckily the guy sitting next to me Peter was a good guy. He had been traveling for 9 months and highly recommends micronesia. He\’s a nice older guy and we connected over traveling naturally. He\’s German which gave me the in for starting the conversation. I said \”Ich habe geshlafen\”, which is my go-to phrase for any German that I had two semesters learning in college it\’s the only thing I remember.

We talked for 2 hours straight through the waiting time and the flying in the ground stuff.

Getting off the small plane

When we landed it was raining and I liked how the airline had a person come to the airplane exit with umbrellas and someone else at the entrance of the airport to receive them.


I met a lovely older woman on the van that are in my hotel. She was also German and I started the conversation the same way with \”Ich habe geshlafen\”.

At the hotel Kokopo Beach bungalow, I reminded them that I wanted a room with a view multiple times and I got one.

I got clean in the room a bit then wandered around looking at the art and taking pictures. I bumped into some guys drinking and I made a fun comment. That\’s how I met Michael. Michael and I bumped into each other later and walk to the local market to check out betel nuts. They turn your mouth red and give you a caffeine kick.

On the way we miss some PNG people who are friendly and showed us the ropes with one kina, 33 cents, I bought six betel nuts. I gave four to the guys that helped us, one to Michael, one for me.

betel nut

The guy is trying to get Michael to go into the jungle and I told Michael it\’s time for us to get back possibly saving his dumb ass.

You walked past many locals who like to simply hang out on the street. It made me uncomfortable to see so many people just hanging around but as I learned Papa New Guinea That\’s just the culture.

I learned later that the right way to have a betel nut is to combine it with mine powder and mustard plants. I didn’t even try it.

Michael and I got washed up and met for dinner.

At dinner the tribe \”Amadrill\” was singing for us. Their heads were covered with leaves in an artistic style and their legs were covered with a cloth skirt of sorts which I assumed was not traditional. Overall I think they were a band with a costume having learned how to make money from their traditions.

The Amadrill tribe of Rabaul

It took forever to get food. Michael was drunk and walked over to hit on some random girls that did not like him. I\’m so happy I am married to Stacey.

He paid for my meal mostly because he liked that I was the first person to bring him away from his work at the hotel for the last month. But I think you really paid for my meal to make up for ditching me to try to pick up those girls.

At 7:30 p.m. I hadn\’t slept much over the last 48 hours. Michael told me that my room is the best room in the place, from his experiences sleeping in nearly every room at the hotel. It was a really nice room.