Today, we started the day in Tari (the Huli region) by packing all of our bags and running to the main building in our hotel to get picked up by a bus to go to the airport. We all piled in and drove back to the airport. We took another 50-minute car ride through all the towns in tari. We waved and smiled to kids running at our bus.
We arrived at the airport and grabbed all of our bags and walked down to the runway. There was no security or check-in, you just got on our plane and took off. We waited for about 15 minutes before our plane came in. We waited for the ground crew at the airport to unload all the stuff on the plane. The plane was a really small plane called the P2-BOB. My guess was the pilot’s name was bob, and I was right. There were only five seats in the plane, two in the front, two in the middle and one in the back. We all got in and we took off. It was really cool being in such a small plane because we could see the pilot and all the switches and the instruments he used.
We took a 45 minute flight to Karawari. We landed on a long grass runway. We got off and were blasted by 90º heat. There were all of these locals looking at us just like Tari. We got off and had a similar baggage claim to Tari, except it was only us so it was much quicker. We met our guide, Paul, and he led us through the rainforest to a small dock where a boat was waiting. At one point, I turned around and saw 20 people following us on our hike, just curious what these white faced Americans were doing in their jungle! We got on the boat and drove away. We waved to all the people on the shore, until they weren’t visible. Trust me, waving is tiring.
We rode up the river for about seven minutes until we came to a dock with two boats just like ours. We got off our boat and walked onto a small elevated platform above the ground. A large safari style truck came to the platform and stopped at it. We got on the truck and it drove up to our hotel. The drive was almost like a Disneyland ride, we kept swerving and bumping in the huge ruts and rocks in the road and we kept driving in little divots in the road. We arrived at the top of the hill to see our hotel. The main lodge was a huge building with a curved thatched roof. In the front of the building there was a huge five foot mask staring at us. Creepy.
We walked inside the main building and grabbed a lemonade. Inside, there were so many native artifacts, like masks and bowls and all that. We walked outside and saw this huge black and blue hornbill bird just sitting on the deck. We took a ton of pictures because it looked so cool to us. The bird flew away after we took pictures, and then we ran to our rooms to see what they were like. We had two rooms that were in the same building. They pretty much were adjoined, except there was a small balcony between our rooms. The rooms had two small beds covered in mosquito netting, a wall covered in screens, a small closet and a bathroom. We laid down on our beds and relaxed for about 15 minutes and then we got lunch. We sat outside and waited for lunch to begin. While waiting outside, the hornbill came back. It started by just sitting on a balcony just watching us, we also watched it for a while. It started coming after us, first, it started to chew a hole in our water bottles. Then, it did this evil laugh and started biting dad’s shoe. We all ran inside and shut the door, so the bird was stuck outside. We sat down and ate lunch, when we were about to leave, the nutty little hornbill was in the entrance of the main building. We got one of the workers to scare it away, because it clearly wasn’t afraid of us.
After the hornbill flew away, we all piled into another one of those bumpy little cars that jolted around a ton. We drove back down to the dock and got on a boat that was going to a village. We drove up to the village and saw about 50 kids that were mostly naked because that is their traditional clothing (naked). Everyone had face paint on and was covered in mud. Most of the houses were huts on the banks of the shore.
When we arrived we first saw a huge sago log that was being held up by four sticks. After we all got on land, two women grabbed two huge sticks and started sticking them in the log and twisting them. The process they were using was peeling away the shell and some of the wood on the log. After that, they used a wood mallet or sickle to get all of this white wood out of the log’s core. They did that for about five minutes and then they put all the white wooden bits into a partially watertight bag. Then, they put the bag on a hollowed out log and poured water into the bag. A milk looking substance started dripping out of the bag until there was a bucket full of the milk. In half an hour, the women stuck their hands in the milky stuff and pulled out something that looked like flour. Then, they put the flower onto a metal pan that was over a fire. The floury stuff eventually turned into a pancake that tasted like flour. Yuck, but we all tasted it right out of the fire! They also had another thing they could make with it and that was pudding. They started by putting some boiled water and the floury stuff in a bowl, and mixed it until it look like gloopy milk. Then, they poured a ton of boiled water in and it turned into a caramel textured pudding. After that we walked through the village and then headed home.
We had an awesome day!