Papua New Guinea is not a country to go around as I did, with the backpack and a simple local guide (rather bodyguards), who also needed two bodyguards when we moved out of their “territory.” I noticed that this was nothing like what I knew until now, when after landing my guide did not show up and dozens of no funny glances turned on this lonely tourist with poker face without knowing how to solve the problem. Later, also on the first day and after solving (thanks to the exception that confirms the rule) the “brown” of the seedling that I had given the guide decided to walk no more than 500 meters to find some food … was an eternal trip. With no other white men in sight (something that remained throughout the trip), I felt hundreds of hostile looks and even three times in just 30 minutes they came to ask for money. I did not want to believe it, I was not willing to get carried away by the suggestion after hearing so many stories from these lands, but finally after several weeks I came to the conclusion that it was real. As I was prohibited from the first day to go to the bathroom at night without warning the guide, stepping on the street during the night in this country is not an option, obviously.
Few or almost no tourists I found here and the few that leave the hotel escorted to some “excursion” and back to the hotel, without having almost contact with the local people. Living with families and tribes around here is another story; A story that has led me to live intense and close experiences with cozy tribes with the “white man” as I was told, but at the same time violent and with which it is convenient to get along and be cordial. Alcohol, poverty, misery, low education and cultural level, little appreciation of life and very little to lose is the focus here. As an anecdote, my last day in the Highlands of Papua NG was the day I was most afraid of. Being welcomed by a family in the region of Asaro someone at all lungs shouts from the mountain warning that two tribes were facing in the neighborhood to pay the death of one of them last week in a dispute. With the broken face the leader of the village where he was told me to hurry my stuff in the backpack and go running down the mountain, you have to get out of there NOW. Going down at full speed we are crossing with small groups of men and women who come up with bows, arrows, sticks, spears, slingshots and above all machete in hand (the weapon of fashion). Imagine, I did not know if those were the good or the bad until they greeted the guy who was taking me down. Really bad time I spent until they took me out of the mountain … it was the moment when I took the photo of the type with the big machete already in “safe” zone. Little did I know that for them similar situation was the day to day.