June 8, 2016 | Flight distance: 3009 nm | Hours in the air: 7.05
Another early rise since we had a long flying day ahead of us in order to reach Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Irvan (who had been sent from Jakarta to look after us) awaited us together with the rest of the friendly staff and made sure we did take off again a bit ahead of time.
Our route took us mostly further eastwards to Merauke (for a refuelling stop) over open sea to Indonesia’s most eastern province of Papa which borders PNG. In Merauke we were greeted by an overwhelming friendly local ground staff which treated our arrival like a celebration, including tons of photos and selfies with the plane.
By the time we arrived in Port Moresby it was starting to get dark already. An on top of that, the ground handling staff was not half as nice as before.
At the hotel we were greeted by Thomas, our fourth crew member. He flew in early morning that day. Limited time only allowed for a short ride around town seeing the parliament building and the WWII museum. Everything was closed and the security situation extremely delicate. Our driver was very nervous as there have been student protests again including violence wich resulted in 3 people shot dead. We were just glad when we made it back to the airport.At the end of the day it is not surprising why his country also does not rank high when it comes to friendliness.
The Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world; 852 languages are listed for the country. Most of the population of over 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages.It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centers. The country is one of the world’s least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior.