17th December 2012
Port Moresby – Gordon
After a decent flight from Sydney to Port Moresby via Brisbane we were left with no transport from the Airport to our hotel (Flying Fox Inn – 311 2551), which is near Gordons Market in PM. The accommodation was basic, and only locals from different parts of PNG were staying there. We took a stroll in Gordon’s Market and tasted Betel Nut for the first time, a bit of a crowd gathered around us, whilst Jamal and I started chewing and spitting this nut for the first time. I got a bit of a high to be honest and started feeling dizzy and very very talkative!
So, as I was saying, back at the airport, we had no transport arranged, so if you going, I highly recommend to arrange transport beforehand, we eventually got some of the friendly guys from the Flying Fox Inn to pick us up.
That evening we went to the chinese restaurant opposite the Flying Fox Inn, food was pretty good and the waiter was super friendly, who offered to take us on the Kokoda trail if we ever came back to PNG.
18th December 2012
3AM wake up call and we were off to Vanimo!
We landed in Vanimo really early in the morning, and had again not arrange any plans, so there we were at Vanimo airport loitering about with the locals, when a white guy (Peter) approached us and recommended we stay with them at their Lodge. Now our plans was not to stay at any surf lodge, mainly because it is very expensive ($200-$400 / Day), however, since we were a bit tired from all the flights, we thought it might be a good idea for one night and then we will try find accommodation in one of the local villages, of course near as possible to the surf!
Vanimo Surf Lodge
We got to the surf lodge, which was a 5 minute drive from the airport, and it was pretty nice, but K300 for one night is way too much money, and frankly a rip off, the food was mainly noodles and local fruits and we could not justify the amount of money we had to pay each to stay there for ONE NIGHT. They also charge a Reef Fee which is 30K per day, we found out later that the locals that we lived with who own the reed never get the money, so it seems it goes somewhere else, to some other association perhaps, we don’t know, but we feel the locals get no benefit from these reef fees.
We did some surfing and the waves were ok, around 3ft, We surfed at a place in Lido Village called “Lefties”.
So, in Lido, there is two main surf breaks “Righties” and “Lefties”, it is great, since usually if the right is not working, then the left will be.
19th December 2012
This village, which is located next door to the Vanimo Surf Lodge is awesome, the people are friendly and to be honest, I never met such nice, friendly and hospitable people like this for a long time. We might a local guy by the name of Solomon who gave up his house for us to stay in, and all we had to pay was 75K a day, that is around $32 a day, much better than K300 at the surf lodge. So we were ecstatic to find such a cool place to live.
Solomon was awesome, he even made us a toilet by breaking down his patio to use the wood for the toilets, I would never find this sort of helpfulness anywhere else I have been before.
I managed to get my Hammock setup between some trees as well, and slept outside as it was much cooler outside than living inside the hut. The local kids loved the hammock to, and they followed me around and tried to help whilst I got it pitched up.
We were so taken back by the cool people in the village, and contemplated on why back home we don’t even speak to our neighbours, where, here, in one evening, we had gathered neighbours from all parts of the village and spent a wonderful evening together.
Solomon’s Guest House
Phone: +675 715 101 27
So, this is the official day that Solomon’s guest house was born, and we were honoured to be the first guests of such a wonderful host family! If you planning on going to Vanimo in Papua New Guinea, then I highly recommend to live with them, expect to pay them between 75-95 Kina per day. Which is $30-$45 /Day. Just get a PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) from Vanimo town, outside the bank to Lido Village ask for Solomon or Adam, in fact Adam runs a PMV transport mini bus business from Vanimo to Lido, and is Solomons uncle, so you might be lucky and meet him on the way to Lido, his PMV is blue. You can phone him on 715 101 27.
We had a very early surf today, and then went off to Vanimo Town, it is very small, and the people in town are amazingly friendly, but be warned, the town is very dirty and Bet Nut spit is everywhere!
Reef Fees – GoodBye
Solomon’s uncle owns the reef “lefties” and “righties” so we did not have to pay any reef fees per day anymore, which we were happy about, so here we are living cheap and surfing uncrowded waves, what more can you ask for?
The food was absolutely amazing, they treated us like kings and cooked us 3 meals a day. We ate:
Sagore, PineApples, Paw Paw, Bread Fruit, Tare, Sweat Potatoes, Fish and lots of other local grown fruits and vegetables.
Above is a picture of Sagore and a piece of chicken as well as sipping on coconut water.
The first few days, proved to show that PNG has some awesome people, food, culture and uncrowded surf, but you need to LIVE WITH THE LOCALS to get the benefit.
This ends part one of my blog post, in future posts we will look at some videos of Lido and talk about all the adventures we went on there Perhaps post a video or two on as well. Until then…..