25.10.2008

Yesterday, October 24, early in the morning Sergey Kofanov arrived on Biak (an island a few dozen kilometers off Papua New Guinea). The local guide Bob, with whom Sergey had a meeting scheduled on Biak, could not arrive on the same day. So Sergey had to wait for Bob for a whole day. Sergey prudently refrained from consuming fish food for which these locations are famous, since his hotel room did not even have a toilet bowl that Europeans are accustomed to.

The long-awaited meeting of the Russian and Indonesian guides took place this afternoon. Sergey promised to follow up with details in a few hours

As promised, Sergey Kofanov offered a detailed description of three ways to fly to Carstensz Base Camp. Due to the top secret nature of this information, we have decided not to publish it for the time being.

What we can publish:

1) General impressions: The hotel is located 50 meters from the airport. The windows offer a view of the ocean. I calibrated my watch to show the altitude on Carstensz Pyramid more accurately.

Yesterday I went for supper to town, located about 7 kilometers from the airport. The town is small. There are a few supermarkets and banks. Most buildings are one-storey. It is very much like Zanzibar in term of both weather and nature. An acerbic aroma of Dorian fruit in the air, pitch-dark nights, the air filled with moisture and ocean salt. The main means of transport are small motorcycles, which also serve as taxis. You feel an adrenaline rush when you speed on this kind of taxi somewhere into the dark on a devil-knows-what road. But, overall, it is delightful.

The runway vanishes in the ocean. You do not see land until the moment the plane touches ground. You get the impression it would land on water any second.

Well then, I am off to douse myself with water from a barrel with shampoo.

There is no shower, or toilet bowl.

2) Photos from Biak.

Hotel. View from the window of a hut-like hotel without toilet bowls.