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When flying in over Lae, we could, for the first time, see large plantations. They were mostly olive trees. We took the bus from the airport into town. Now, when we had reached Lae, John was leaving to stay with Jack's sister.

Jack had told us that a Swedish woman in Lae wanted to meet us. Nicklas called Frida, as she is called, from the hotel and we made lunch plans.

442. Casual Mess
At lunch, we told Frida and her friend Spirou of our experiences and we were invited to stay at their place while staying in Lae. It felt good to clean up and to take a shower. When Frida and Spirou got home, we ate and continued our conversation. (Lae, Morobe Province)
In the evening, Thomas was freezing even though it was warm and his fingers sort of burned. He had to be taken to hospital. We feared malaria as he had been bitten several times by mosquitoes. It was blood poisoning caused by a tropical ulcer, an infected wound. The doctor, who by the way owns a blue Volvo, prescribed antibiotics in the shape of red "strawberry"-pills. The treatment quickly cured the illness.
444. Fenced Home
The next morning, we went to the doctor once more to get the malaria test results. The tests were negative. Despite the walking distance into town, we went by PMV. We wrote postcards in a German café. After buying food for the evening meal, we went to buy souvenirs in a shop that Frida's friend had recommended. She had also recommended Madang as a place for diving so we bought tickets there on a flight the next day.
445. Lae Line-up
Early next morning we had breakfast and went to Frida's workplace, from there we went to a hasty meeting with Jack's sister, Yvonne Rawali and John. Yvonne and her children are very fond of Swedish music. Back at the institute, we thanked Frida for her hospitality. Next stop was the airport and a flight via Goroka and Mt Hagen to Madang. Our relax-week had started. (Forestry Research Institute, Lae)
Beautiful Madang, all sunny and with water temperatures about 30 degrees Celsius. In the central square. thousands of large flying dogs hang in the trees. We stayed at the Madang Resort Hotel, which of course was the most luxurious place you can imagine.
454. Snorkelling
Most of the guests were conference participants from Australia. They must have thought that we were there for the same reason but who can tell the difference? (Madang, Madang Province)
456. Coral Collection
Every night at the restaurant, we ate well and plenty. One particular evening, we sat eating under the lightening lit sky at the waterfront. It was a sensation filled with magic. Daytime we went shopping, snorkelling or diving.
457. Pig Island
One day we made an agreement with an old man to take us out to an island where we swam and snorkelled all day. The fish and the coral reef just beside to the beach were colourful beyond imagination. It felt like swimming in an aquarium. (Pig Island, Madang Province)
464. Testing Testing
We had to have some pictures using our radio transmitter as well.
465. Beam Me Up
We are having communication problems with Scotty. Either we are out of range or frogmen are disallowed on the Enterprise.
494. Table Corals
While Anders was out snorkelling he accidentally came close to standing on a sea snake. Sea snakes are normally not aggressive but can be very dangerous.
497. Ship Lookout
During the stay, Peter and Nicklas often went out diving together with Jeff and Kevin Kumataka from California. Since the water here is so warm there is no need for wet suits.
499. Blue Fish
On the Pig Wall dive we spotted an octopus, some table corals and several colourful fish. Nicklas saw a shark with a hammerhead. (Picture from snorkelling)
504. Creased Coral
The hotel's large diving boat took us out to Kranket Island. It was full of people that wanted to snorkel on Kranket Island. After they had gone ashore the boat set out for Barracuda Point where we dived. We saw barracudas, a giant turtle and a lion fish. Lion fish are striped and equipped with poisonous spines. We also saw large fry. Peter fed some fish with an egg left over from breakfast. (Picture from snorkelling)
505. Fish Hideaway
We went to dive around a B25 bomber plane that crashed during World War II. Our guide told us that four crew members had managed to get ashore but that they later were executed by the Japanese. We found ammunition, a machine gun, a Sea snake and a Sea cucumber close to the plane. (Picture from snorkelling)
510. Snappers
One night, we dived outside Kranket Island. Our targets were the Doylon wreckage and a coral reef. It kind of felt like treasure hunting when swimming inside the gloomy cargo room. Peter tried to feed a reluctant lionfish with egg crumbs. One of the residents was a clam around 3 decimetres across. (Picture from snorkelling)
514. Reversed Mermale
We were at Planet Rock deep diving and the currents were strong. There were plenty of fish: tuna, barracuda, a white finned shark and a morena eel. A clown fish polished Nicklas' mask. (Picture from snorkelling)
518. Aquarium
In the Magic Passage, close to the Madang harbour entrance, there are strong currents due to tides. When we fought against the tide we spotted a ray that was approximately 1 meter across, a lion fish and a stone fish. (Picture from snorkelling)
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© 1999-2002  • Photos Nicklas Nordborg  • Texts Peter Waller and Thomas Nilsson