Monday, March 29, 2010

My last posting in PNG, Pindiu, Finschhafen Sub-District 1969, cont.

Part 2 
(continued from yesterday)

4. From the air – the little green airstrip
Below: The Pindiu School is the furtherest building as
you look at the ranges towards the coastal area, where the sub-district headquarters of Finschhafen was located. When the rainy season was on, the whole valley was clouded in, so sometimes for weeks, there were no planes able to fly in with fresh supplies. You lived on tin foods (ugh!) and my fresh eggs from my wonderful Rhode Island Reds! Your vegetables were obtainable from the native’s local market which was held on Saturdays.

5. Below: Mountains at the end. Plane no stoppie – you no livie!
You would be amazed how “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” could slam on the brakes once the plane hit the ground.
You virtually “buck jumped” to a standstill!

The Administration office at Finschafen. ( Below)

The two guns are ex- WW2.

Where I arrived at Finschafen in 1964. The Buki Wharf.

In this coral / reef protected lagoon area we would water-ski.
I used to swim across to that island in the background. Or be paddled across in my big native canoe! Dolphins of course were in the lagoon and you felt safe whilst they were there. No sharks! However sea snakes abounded and a bite from one of those was fatal.
I lived in dread of them.
At the bottom of the lagoon – much bigger than shown here – I think there were 3 or 4 islands off the mainland linked by reefs – the sea bed was riddled with “belly drums” from WW2 planes. The water was always as clear as crystal. The drums ( fuel tanks) were dropped from the bombers before landing at the Finschafen airfield by the Americans!
Finschafen was a major airfield used by the Allies after the Japanese were removed for the assault on bases further north.


  1. Congrats Colin... You are now a member in the world of blogging..... I am now following you--so I'll get a notice when you post a new one...

    I've got to go to bed (11:30 p.m here now---yawn)---so I'll read all of this tomorrow.

  2. Thanks Betsy!

    In these days you, like me, were a lot younger, and if you were at that stage interested in waterfalls, you would have had a field day - mainly getting out of the way when they suddenly appeared from the tropical torrential rain! Not like those magnificent "pristine" ones, that you have so wonderfully shown us all in the USA where you have been. "Boulders, rocks and mud" and then it would be all over! Sudden, quick and savage was the way these operated. Aaah - only young once, and wasn't that fun?

    Cheers & thanks

  3. I did my practice teaching in Lae and we flew to Finchhafen for a swim and a picnic. I was very impressed with the tropical scenery and especially the crystal clear, freezing waterfalls and swimming holes.

  4. This is just wonderful. Keep it up. So few of us know about your world.


  5. If there were snakes in the water then you sure wouldn't find me swimming with them that's for sure.

  6. Am enjoying your blog. Great pictures from yesteryear. I second prairierunner on the snake thing! Looking forward to your next post.