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png pics:


kokoda track 1
kokoda track 2
kokoda track 3
kokoda track 4
kokoda track 5
kokoda track 6

popondetta 1
popondetta 2

oro bay 1
oro bay 2


silanga 1
silanga 2

ulamona 1
ulamona 2

rabaul 1
rabaul 2
rabaul 3

new ireland

dalom 1
dalom 2

nusa 1
nusa 2

Page 2

One of our goals was to climb a volcanoe in PNG. Rabaul is the perfect place to do this. On the west side of Rabaul harbour we found little 'Vulcan', a pyroclastic volcano which was created out of nothing during the 1994 eruption in a matter of only a few days. It is basically a big crater with a rim entirely made of ash and dust. The path to the top, if it ever existed, has not been used for quite some time. So we were lucky again that, as soon as we arrived near the Vulcan, five local villagers immediately mobilised and accompanied us for our climbing tour.

The crater of Vulcan

On the crater rim

View across Rabaul harbour

Our 'tour group'

It was a more than hot day again and the climb up to the top of Vulcan was more than tiring. We expected a 1 hour moderately difficult walk and got a half day extreme experience. There was no path and the undergrowth was so dense that our path had to be cut with lots of bush knife action. Often deep cracks were covered by plants to form invisible dangerous traps, the dusty ground often was eroded into tens of metres deep canyons with vertical walls. Often all the work in cutting a path was for no avail when we arrived on such a canyon rim, looking down with no way to climb there. We thought we were badly prepared with just 1 litre of water each but our guides did not bring any water at all! The walked barefeet or in thongs, just carrying bush knifes, betelnuts, cigarettes in little bags in their hands! And were smiling all the time. We two 'westerners' had all hands busy in holding on and balance ourselves over sharp coral rocks, over narrow dust rims with steep slopes on either side, through dense undergrowth and were just craving for water. It showed us once more - PNG people are tough people! Nevertheless we enjoyed a good adventure climbing up Vulcan

Rabaul city - bulldozers regularly clear the roads from dust

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(c) 2009    marco hoffmann, martin poppen