Edevu and Beyond, Papua New Guinea

11:59 pm Papua New Guinea, Travel

On Sunday, 6 June, I joined a team from the School of Science and Technology of Pacific Adventist University to Edevu and from there on a two hour drive to the end of the track in the mountains. The track ends near where a new hydro dam is planned, and the team where there to take a preliminary look in preparation for an environmental study.

Here we are, three 4WDs in Edevu village getting ready to leave.

 

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It was a beautiful, misty morning.

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The track is quite rough in places, but passes through some beautiful forest.

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Wayne, the driver of the Mitsubishi Challenger, was also enjoying the drive – he is only sliding his car a little bit here – very self-controlled.

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As we headed up the mountain, the clouds blocked our view most of the time, but as you can see in the third photo below, the sky did open up a bit to reveal the height of Mt Victoria.

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Some more pictures of the conditions of the track.

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The whole in the road is only small … it goes right through to the stream underneath.

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Just a little crossing, though I did this crossing quickly, and bent the number plate.

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When we neared the top of the mountain range, we came to a transit point. A 4WD comes up this way two times a week to pick up villagers who walk for hours to this point. They bring vegetables and all kinds of produce/goods for markets in Port Moresby.

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The track got worse the further we went.

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Yes, some of the mud holes were quite deep. Here Wayne is backing up to make another attempt.

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I guess the School of Science and Technology staff had too much for breakfast, so they had to get out in order to navigate the mud pool.

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When Wayne tried, he found his car just a tad too low – and with the back of his car firmly sitting in the mud, his wheels were freely spinning.

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But that is what the towrope is for, right? Hey, boys, surely you aren’t planning to pull him out? Oh, that’s right, Roger’s 4WD is close by.

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About 250 meters from the top, we encountered this washout. The hill was pretty steep, and on the far side of the hill was a 10+ meter drop and a very steep slope. We tried dig the far side of the track to make a bit more room, but the tyres just spun on the red mud. So we decided to walk the final few meters.

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The misty track we walked up was very beautiful, with lots of ferns. These photos also show how the locals walk everywhere, often carrying huge loads. This man was carrying half a 44 gallon drum, and the ladies in the following picture were just unloading for a short rest.

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At this point, we are actually very close to the Kokoda trail – separated by just one valley. When the clouds cleared for a few seconds, we were able to see one of the villages in the distance.

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Lots of nice ferns.

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On the way back it was raining, and the some of the villagers were resting under a shelter.

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The rain made the trip home more fun than originally anticipated.

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When we came to the meeting point (see earlier photo), we found out that the 4WD that normally comes on Sunday wasn’t able to make it up the hill due to the mud and rain. Many of the people walked down the mountain to meet it. We took on some cargo and carried it to Edevu village, where it would be collected later.

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After we descended the mountain, we passed the 4WD that does provides the public transport. It costs K30 for a trip from here to Port Moresby.

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When we arrived back at Edevu, the sun was breaking through the clouds again.

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Here is a picture of the number plate I nearly ripped off during the water crossing.

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