kokoda track 1
kokoda track 2
kokoda track 3
kokoda track 4
kokoda track 5
kokoda track 6
oro bay 1
oro bay 2
After the church service and after shaking hands with everybody, the plan was to go and see the hot springs. A small group of local people assembled to show us around, give us a tour through their home villages and see the hot volcanic springs.
Pigs are very special domestic animals in PNG. Only on very special occasions a pig will be slaughtered and become part of a feast. Pigs will also change their owner to encourage approval from the father of a bride-to-be for a desired wedding. So guys with many cute pigs have great chances to marry a cute girl... These pigs however are free to roam the village, the forest - whereever they wish to go. Chicken and dogs do the same thing and enjoy a happy animal life.
Welcome to the village
Finally, the hot springs!
The first hot springs we encountered were already 'tamed' with bamboo pipes. There was one pipe with quite hot water, anotherone with cold water from the creek and a third one mixing the two to become warm water. Our friends showed us the local 'shower' which is a big leave folded together to form a little basin to be emtied over our heads. It was a very hot day again so the cold water bamboo was actually the most inviting of the three pipes.
Our little group went on to a field of much hotter springs. The water here was boiling in little puddles, the soil was to hot to walk barefoot. Our friends advised us to follow their steps suit to make sure we wont sink into boiling mud and burn our legs. This seemed to be a quite real possibility here! There were no tracks, no railings, no warning signs. You dig a little hole in the ground and it would quickly fill up with water and start boiling.
The good thing is that it is very easy to organise lunch here. Just take your banana or sweet potato and submerge it into one of these natural cooking pots and a few minutes later they're perfectly cooked! The photo above shows us boiling bananas.
The mud at these hot springs is being used as body paint for traditional ceremonies. It had to be tried on white skin of course.
We spent two days and two nights in Silanga. It was an amazing experience in a place seemingly forgotten by time. We arrived by sheer coincidence and absolutely unannounced and were presented with the most honest hospitality that anybody could wish for. Thanks to father Joe and the people of the Silanga area!