October 10th 1983

posted in: The way back | 1

We’d compiled for ourselves a vast list of chores to perform today, so with all of them we were thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day, having plodded the length + breadth of Cairns city centre.  We went first to the Post Office to check on our mail, + were rewarded with a package from Mike.  It was the very last letter in the pile, so I was just beginning to think we were out of luck.  Inside, most important, was our travel insurance policy that Kevan had sorted out for us, plus a short letter from him, 2 letters from Dave – very welcome since it had been so long since we’d heard from him  + one from Val’s mum.  We immediately found a bench + sat down to read them all.  Letters are just so important when one is on the move, an anchor in a rough sea.

The other really major outing was to the Air Niugini office in town.  There we received such a shakedown since, with all the flights we were obliged to book for, the total came to $614 each, one heck of a lot of money.  However, we’re pretty committed to New Guinea now, + it seems that if we want to go there we have to pay the money.  And that doesn’t even cover all our flight expenses – there are large gaps where we “surface”, or find our own way from one place to the next, + if things don’t go well, we could end up paying for them as well.   But we’re committed now – the only consolation is that if we can find some way out of flying any of our booked sections, we’ll be refunded on that.  However, we are now waiting for our bookings to be confirmed so that a letter can be typed to state that we have all these particular flights, to send to the Indonesian embassy to obtain our visas.  We aim to leave on the 19th tho’, so there’s not a great deal of time.

Other wanderings around the city took much energy, but we discovered our note in the Yacht Club had not been responded to, we priced water bottles, we actually bought some webbing to make a strap for my rucksack, + actually bought some kina, the PNG currency.  And finally we bought food for tea, + came home.  Ate a fine omelette, + almost watched the video movie being shown on telly.  It was Star Wars, a film I would have liked to see, but I soon discovered it wasn’t suitable for watching on a small screen, so I gave it up + went back to our room (we’d been given a place of our own), + wrote a letter.

I have made an executive decision, that when  there is no suitable photograph available, I shall leave the space blank.  It was so difficult finding photos when we were staying in a place for quite a while, and even on this occasion, when it has just been a couple of weeks in Cairns, I have run iut of anything even vaguely suitable.

Otherwise, we have had to shell out a small fortune to take us out of the country – a flight to Port Moresby, another from a small airport in the north-west of the country, just across the border to Irian Jaya, and then three more short hops, including to a place called Saron.  “And what’s sarong with that?” as the dapper little man inside the office said.

  1. Pamela Blair

    What a shame you had to fly–and to shell out all that money. Were there no boat possibilities? It looks like only a short distance on the map from Cairns (and less from Thursday Island).

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