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04 Mar 2018

Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

We are back to Papua New Guinea and visited Rabaul which WAS the capital city of New Britain an island just east of New Guinea. About 500,000 people live on this island. 

In 1994 two nearby volcanos erupted at the same time. Thanks to an early warning system virtually all 50,000 residents were evacuated and saved. The same cannot be said of the city itself which was destroyed under two feet of volcanic ash.
Most have resettled along with the capital itself.
The first stop was a visit to Tavurvur Hot Springs near the foot of Mt. Tavurvur. 
We were driving slowly on a bumpy dirt road. The vehicle in front of us just listed and stopped when it lost its tire. The driver said he thought that might happen because only one lug nut was holding it on. Expect the iunexpected when traveling in the third world.
  
We signed up for a much more adventurous tour than we thought and were actually on the steep, slippery, rocky volcano climb. Then it got worse in my flip flops trying to negotiate sharp lava rock. I just made it half way. Allyn kept going of course.
 
 
 At night we went to the Baining Fire Dance, a formal  ritual of the Baining tribal men. It is only performed on very special occasions such as birth, death and harvest. Apparently the arrival of a cruise ship is a very special occasion.