Just listen to the sound of the name. It’s magical. We can’t wait to set off for it.
So, as usually, we started our preparation long time ago.
A word that contains so much effort, time and energy. For us this preparation has 3 components.
The first of them is the physical preparation. The training.
Well, the training is a constant activity for us. We never stopped training. Five to six days a week we can be seen climbing on the hills surrounding our city, while carrying our heavy backpacks. People got used to seeing us. Even people from the little village we live in, close to the city.
It’s been a while since we haven’t heard any more the famous “ Come and do something useful instead of carrying those backpacks”. I think that our appearances on the TV screen helped a lot.
Second thing to do is obtaining the money. Always the money. But now, less than 3 weeks before leaving I think we managed to solve this issue too. We have the air tickets, the visas, the gear and also little by little the money for living there for 2 weeks.
Third thing that we have to take care of and in tight relationship with the second is preparing the ascent, the accommodation, the travelling inside the country. As our budget is quite low we have to improvise a lot and find solutions.
One solution was to look for accommodation through the Couch surfing network. We have been members of this organization for a long time and since then we offered shelter to a lot of people. Because we always offer before asking.
So we sent off a lot of requests for accommodation. And people answered our messages and offered to help. Which is great. And we hope will return the favor one day.
Papua New Guinea looks quite expensive and our budget prevented us from taking the services of a licensed guiding company. As things happened also on Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, on Elbrus in Russia and Damavand in Iran.
But now it is quite different. It’s different because, try as we might, we could not find any GPS track to load on our device. Also there is no determined route for the peak and the posts on internet about this mountain are very scarce.
Difficult to get close to the mountain and difficult to find a route for the ascent. We were not very happy about this.
We kept searching, and searching. And searching. We kept asking questions, reading travel blogs, consulting Google Earth and worry.
Why worry? Well, because for us Papua New Guinea will be the most remote place on Earth we will travel so far and this time we will be completely on our own. No group, no agency, no a companion to come along. Just Alexandra and Father.
We managed finally to figure out how to get close to the mountain, where to take the vans from and the rest. Still, we are aware that we will have to carry heavy backpacks, improvise a lot, try not to get lost and make a lot of efforts.
But, in the middle of this whirlwind, we found a post. A post written by a gentleman from a village close to Giluwe. We wrote to him, asking for help.
And we got an answer back. An amazing answer. This person wanted to help us climb the mountain. He wanted to be part of Alexandra’s dream of climbing the volcanoes of the 7 Volcanoes Circuit.
Of course that we accepted with great joy his offer and began exchanging messages.
In the end it turns out that not only we will be guided to the peak but also we will be hosted in the village of Alkena before and after the ascent as guests of the Mondika community.
The name of this gentleman is Peter Kinjap and he can be found here
Mister Kinjap is very involved in promoting his country and region to the world and is so similar to us in this respect. We always liked people that fight to do something for their country.
This gentleman not only that does that but also is willing to spend his time showing to a couple of Europeans from Romania what Papua New Guinea really is.
We know now that we will find there, as we did in Iran, Mexico or Russia, generous, kind and amazing people. And we stopped worrying.
We stopped worrying because over there people are waiting for us. People that will look after us the way we do for foreigners that come to visit our country. People that care and want to do positive things. For them, for their community and for their country.
We are looking forward to going there. 3 more weeks to go.