I was a bit excited knowing that I would be sent back to Papua New Guinea but I got the information a bit wrong. Papua, yes but Papua Barat, a province in the Indonesian side of the Papua Island. The towns that I would be on a working visit to would be Sorong and Manokwari. Sorong is the business town of Papua Barat where else Manokwari is the capital and administrative city of Papua Barat. The word Soren’ in Biak language means deep and wavy ocean, that led to the name Sorong for the town’s name.
I arrived at the new Sorong airport on the main Papua Island. The old airport was located on an island off Sorong town which was used during the second World War as an airbase by both the Allied and Axis forces. The flight from Kuala Lumpur took me fourteen hours with three landings and take offs , transiting at two airports in the wee hours of the mornings and into three different time zones.
Sorong town originated as a fishing town and still is for the Arafura Sea fishing industry and now has developed into an Oil and Gas town, thanks to the discovery of natural gas around the Sorong coastal area.
Sorong also serves as a transit town for the famous ‘Raja Ampat’ diving haven group of islands where the cost of diving is exorbitant enough to scare me off. I had not enough time to check out Sorong but managed to visit the morning market where one could see the varieties of fish and shell fish species. From atop the Table mountain one could see Sorong and it’s neighbouring islands.
I wished I had more time to check out Sorong and to participate in a few dives at the ‘Raja Ampat’ diving haven which is also a UNESCO site but depending on when discounts are offered …….