Coffee Country

Flag

Papua New Guinea’s flag.

After my trip to Singapore and the other Asian offices I was asked to visit our next-door neighbour Papua New Guinea, because TNT had offices in this country and we planned to use these inter-company connections as our agent for courier traffic.
This was the start of my Pacific Island-hopping time.

australia-oceania-map

The map shows Australia and Papua New Guinea – the red dot on the Australia is Sydney and the red dot on the yellow area, which is PNG, is the capital Port Moresby.

It is thought that people have lived in PNG for over 60,000 years and it was not until the Portuguese and Spanish arrived in the 16th century that the first Europeans took notice of the area around PNG.

Jorge de Menezes, a Portuguese explorer arrived in about 1526 and is thought to have named the people ‘Papua’, which is a Malay word for frizzy hair of the local people.

Later, about 1545 the Spanish arrived and named the area New Guinea because they considered that the locals reminded them of the natives of West Africa around Guinea.

Over the years various Europeans have navigated around what we now know as PNG and in the 1870’s a Russian Nicholai Miklukho-Maklai arrived and lived with the locals for some years.

Miklukho-Maklai

Nicholai Miklukho-Maklai

He does not look all that happy, perhaps he is thinking of returning to a Russian winter.

In 1883 the colony of Queensland tried to annex part of PNG, but the British Government did not approve until Germany took an interest and started settlements in the northern areas of PNG, at which time the British, in 1884, declared the southern area of Papua New Guinea a British protectorate.
It was called British New Guinea, which, in 1902 was placed under the control of Australia, and remained so until independent in 1975, except for four years when the northern part was under the control of the Japanese (1941 -45).

At the beginning of WW1 Australian troops took control of German New Guinea until the end of the war.
In 1921 the League of Nations gave Australia a mandate to govern the ex- German territory and Australia did so until independence.

I found PNG to be a fascinating place and the staff at the main TNT office in Port Moresby were very hospitable and full of local knowledge.

I love odd bits of trivia – such as – in PNG until 1933 seashells were used as the local currency.

hooded-pitohui

PNG has the only poisonous bird in the world – the   Hooded Pitohui

Port Moresby_article

and on a brighter note – Port Moresby the capital, I know it has had troubles in the recent past but in the late 1980’s it was peaceful and a friendly place.

I was only in POM (the code for Port Moresby airport) for a couple of days and it was a ‘getting to know’ you trip, rather than a hard business trip of negotiations for maximising profit.

On leaving I was presented with a large carton of Papua New Guinea coffee. In the carton were small solid bricks of vacuumed packed ground coffee, and until I visited Papua New Guinea I had not tried PNG coffee.

From memory I am sure it was Goroka coffee, but the packaging was not as fancy in the late 80’s. Goroka is an area in the Eastern Highlands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Try this link for Black Coffee if you like

Black coffee

 A blast from the past . .

Food glorious food

On board we have a choice of a number of restaurants –

Any time dining, a time for dinner which we choose – the restaurants to which we could visit were Santa Fe, Pacific Moon or Savoy Dining.

01

Santa Fe Restaurant

All had the same menu, but a different ambiance from light and airy to dark wood paneling. All had a very pleasant ‘feel’, and with friendly staff.
In addition, if you had a booked time for dinner, you could dine at the International Restaurant, which also opened for breakfast & lunch.

02

Breakfast in the International Restaurant Easter Day morning.

For an additional fee you could dine at a specialty restaurant such as Sabatini (Italian), Sterling Steakhouse, Kai Sushi (Japanese).

Evening dress code for the above restaurants is long pants for men and shoes (sandals not allowed), jacket optional, except on a ‘formal’ night. Breakfast & lunch dress code for the International restaurant is informal – shorts, sandals etc, but they do not allow bare feet.

03

For a casual meal you could visit the Horizon Court, which is a buffet style of dining – open most of the day, (breakfast, lunch & dinner) dress very casual.

04

If you climb out of the pool and feel hungry –

you have the choice of pizza, BBQ beefburger, sausage (frankfurters if requested) or hotdogs & chips followed by soft ice cream.

05

On the left is a pizza counter, next is another bar, followed by BBQ, hamburgers, sausages & chips (French fries). On the right just off the picture is one of the pools.

06

Ice cream counter around the corner from the pizza bar.

The ship catered for all forms of dress during the day – you would be hard pushed to end the day hungry.

If you wished, you could take all your meals in your cabin (stateroom) or on your balcony.

All over the ship we have various bars serving coffee, ice cream, sodas and of course wine, beer & spirits. Couldn’t fault the choice of wine, cocktails or beers. They also have a good choice of mock-tails.

Overall we don’t think they have forgotten anything, and all we have to do is fill in the time between meals, which isn’t all that hard as we have slooowed down already.

07

Drinks at the Crooners Bar.

08

Mixed with a piano player

Relaxing is compulsory . . . :-o)