Sunday, November 22, 2009

Road conditions

The road conditions of PNG are always interesting. Huge potholes are found throughout the "highway." Bridges and roads are washed away requiring cars to travel through the crick/river below to get past. Places that use to have a bridge for a car to pass, now has logs across to act as a foot bridge so people can cross (pic on R). Other times, in order to cross a bridge, someone needs to move the planks of the bridge in order to keep going. When it rains, all the above gets even more interesting. This is why we have Land Cruisers. The Mondomil road (previously traveled on way to Tumbang church) is one of the those roads with various challenges to it. It typically is very bumpy with lots of potholes and some questionable bridges, thankfully this weekend, it wasn't quite so bad. We saw a big Komatsu Grader along the side of the road, which has probably helped the road conditions. We also saw a guy farther up with a hard hat on. I have never seen any construction guys here wear hardhats, and he wasn't anywhere near the construction equipment, so I am pretty sure he and his had have nothing to do with the road conditions, but it isn't something we see everyday. Esther who is from the Mondomil area, told us that road improvements are often heldup by the local lains,"Papa Graun" (the people who own the land near the road and thus consider the road theirs). These people often want some sort of compensation for working on their road, so if the people who are trying to fix the road won't pay, then they refuse them access to their road. As a result, part of the Mondomil road was quite nice, and other parts still had the huge potholes in it because the "Papa Graun" said they can't fix it. Why they wouldn't want their road fixed, I don't know, it is sad. The road problems are just on backroads like the Mondomil road, but on our Hagen Highway and other main roads as well. It is always an adventure.