A BEAUTIFUL WOOD FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
Whilst working in Papua New Guinea back in the 1980’s the Sepik River was recommended as a good experience and I was told there was a hotel in Angoram on the shore of the River, hence I booked a 5 day holiday for my wife, myself and our two kids.
Tally ho – we flew to Wewak from Port Moresby and hired a 4 wheel drive Suzuki on Sunday morning and off we went having a vague idea of the direction we needed to go and anyway there was only one road leading out of Wewak. It’s 75 kilometres to Angoram and fortunately the track whilst potholed badly was at least dry and we made the trip, after stopping a few times to try and figure out where we were, in about 3 hours.
It was mid-afternoon, hot and we were parched – in the distance as we drew near to the Village we saw what looked like a ramshackle building made of tin sheeting and a collapsing verandah so we stopped outside to get our directions to the Angoram Hotel.
The sign hanging from near the roof top said it all – I’m not going in there!” “Well we have to – I’ve booked it and it’s too far to go back now, wait here and I’ll go and check it out”.
My worst fears – the door creaked open and I entered a bar, dark and dingy but lit up by lots of whitish but more reddish berried betel nut chewed teeth, Sunday was a alcohol free day in PNG but when the nearest policeman is 75 kilometres away it is ok. “Reception?” the querulous request – “Through there” from several helpful voices.
The reception desk area was manned by a very smiley young Papuan man – “Hello I am Mr Kendrick – we have a booking?”
After a careful 3 minute checking of the Register. (We were the only guests) “Oh yes Sir let me show you to your accommodation”.
Well if there was a Garden of Eden then this was it – out the back of the Hotel lush green lawns, Frangipani’s and Bougainvillea, Banana palms, orchids, flower gardens and 3 very cute thatched roofed rondavels. Our Valhalla and Shangri-La for 5 days.
The lovely small table with the hand carved legs (that all intertwine and you cannot separate them so would have been carved from one piece of wood) and the beautiful top we bought there – after a few drinks one night with the Owner (An Australian would you believe?) we almost bought the Hotel as well. The wood is Tallow and it has a very nice golden/yellow color, it’s not antique – about 45 years old but I have not seen another one like it and carved with the Bird of Paradise emblem.