Sydney, Australia – October 22 – 24 – Port Moresby & Tari, Papua New Guinea – October 24 – 26 – Our Lakani South Seas Adventure by Private Jet is underway. Our small exclusive group, good friends of Lakani, joined together in beautiful Sydney in the spring. A few came a couple of days early to enjoy the sights of Sydney, including the opera house, a dinner cruise, climbing the “hangar”bridge, and a visit to the nearby Blue Mountains with spectacular helicopter flight home to our Park Hyatt Sydney (still renowned as Sydney’s best of best hotel).
Our adventures truly begin with Papua New Guinea … the world’s second largest island (after Greenland). Well north of Australia, we are into the warm humid tropics. Our location high up in the lush verdant Tari highlands ensures a more pleasant climate for our stay, albeit a rather ‘soggy’ stay due to the consistent equatorial rains of this area. We were based from Ambua Lodge, at almost 7000 feet above sea level. This lodge of basic huts amid beautiful gardens from where we occasionally had magnificent views across the vast Tari Valley to other far away mountain ranges.
Our main interest here to see the renowned Huli Wigman … the fabled warrior ‘yellow faces’ of Papua New Guinea (PNG). While early European explorers had been coming to PNG since the mid 1700s, no ‘pale faces’ ventured inland to the formidable mountainous jungles until the more recent mid-1930s. So, this Huli tribe of mountain people were a brand new discovery to the western world around this time when first contact was made by Australian surveyors. Today, now we know, more than 700 languages have been identified on this vast island. A form of English, known as “pidgin English” spoken all over.
Thankfully, for our day to visit these fascinating Huli people the rains subsided. Traveling down the mountains, we enjoyed a personal welcome by the Huli Wigman warriors … a colorful ceremony known as ‘Sing Sing’ performed by men for the most prestigious visitors and events. The Hulis live in family ‘clans’ and their lives revolve around subsistence farming and wealth of pigs. For the most part they are a peaceful people while projecting themselves as fierce fighters. One of our group was ‘brave’ enough to be face- painted and join in with the local warriors. From here we drove on to the nearby Huli Hair Wig school … from the past, these schools where young men attend ‘school’ learning all aspects of life while growing their hair longer and longer to be made into wigs (headdresses) for others to purchase. These Huli “wigs” of ‘yesteryear’ are adorned with magnificent bird feathers from the many species of birds of paradise that inhabit the mountain highland jungles of PNG..
PNG was a quick ‘taste of adventures’ for us. Soon we were off and away, aboard our private Legacy jet, headed southward and west for Australia … and specifically the “red center” of this continent. We are headed to experience the fabulous Longitude 131 luxury tented camp at Uluru known before as Ayers Rock. This majestic rock ’isleberg’, or monolith rock, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site being one of the most extraordinary in existence in our world today. Not a mountain, not a boulder … but a great big huge giant rock that millions of years ago was pushed-up from below.
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