Monday, March 29, 2010

Today we packed the car and went for a Sunday drive. About 75 minutes away, is the little town of Kainantu, up the mountain range at 1600m. On a Sunday there is a hotel up there that does a BBQ lunch, the town is also well known for the produce at the local market. After about 45 minutes of winding up the hill the country side opens out revealing hundreds of market gardens, some built on the side of the road, some built on the edge of a cliff.


All the way along are women carrying their produce to market, or their purchases home in their bilums, which they hang on their backs taking the weight with their heads. We saw many men carrying an axe while a woman followed behind with a huge pile of wood on her head! It seems feminism hasn’t reached PNG…..

First stop was the amazing Yonki hydroelectric Dam, which powers Lae, Madang and the surrounding highlands. The amount of water flowing through here was huge. Not sure of figures, but I certainly didn’t want to fall in!

Next stop was the Kainantu Cultural centre. A great little find in the middle of nowhere. The story goes that an expat taught the people of the village how to make pottery, spin wool and make rugs. You can stop into the centre and buy all sorts of local wares, mainly pottery. I got a gorgeous water jug, two vases and a rug for the floor.

The building itself was pretty amazing too, all the posts were carved timber.

This is the main street, we were going to stop at k-mart but it isn’t open on a Sunday. ;)

Then it was off to lunch at the hotel. $30kina ($12 Au) gets you a big T-bone steak, half a chook, mixed grill fresh salads and chips. The kids were kept well entertained with a swing and some furry residents. The lodge keeps tree Kangaroos, a pidgin talking cockatoo and a wallaby. Not sure where the wallaby came from?! The conditions aren’t the best, and made me a bit sad, but I guess they are at least well fed and aren’t food themselves.....

Outdoor BBQ and tables.

The cocky says lots of things, like “hello cocky, bye, dance for kaikai (food) “ and a few other pidgin things I didn’t understand.

After lunch we headed to the market to see what we could find. I got some tomatoes (rare find!) broccoli, potatoes, sweet potato, pawpaw, avocado, passionfruit, pineapples, beans, something that looks like pakchoy and bananas. Not a bad haul. Passed at the chickens feet and heads though?! Blergh. (They are in the pot, the little bags have peanuts in them) I spent about $15 kina ($6 Au)

I asked if I could take a picture each time and people are generally very excited that you want to take their photo and yell ‘take one more mrs”. So I took plenty just to make their day!

Here are my purchases....


  1. Cool rug and jug! Pretty sure feminism hasn't reached Murrindindi either? Spent last weekend loading firewood into ute as Matt chopped...lmao. Bugger about Kmart not being open.

  2. Kmart not open on a sunday? Sounds like Queensland not too many years ago!! hehe Hey, have you got any photos of Nicky's wedding - dying for a squiz. Spoke to Soph on the weekend and she told me it pissed down, poor thing! Anyway, love the rug, you seem to be settling in beautifully - loving the updates. (mine is very boring and just about my vegetables, hehe!)

  3. I'm a stalker no more! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to hear about your wonderful adventures. I love seeing the photos of your beautiful girls and the landscapes of PNG. It's an eyeopener for me even to see and hear about the differences in life and culture. I know it's out there but never really get to see it. Enjoy guys hope your adventure is all you dream it will be xoxoxo A big Happy 1st Birthday to LMS also xoxoxo

  4. What gorgeous pottery! (My commenting excuse is that for some weird glitchy reason I just got all your updates in google reader all at once. I'll come looking for you next time!) Interesting at the K-Mart, both Maggi and Milo are Nestle things.