Benedict Allen in another Papua New Guinea drama - a suitable case for examination of motives

Canoes drawn up on the beach of the tiny fishing community of Manuwata, Trobriand Islands. Milne Bay Province

I must confess to being irritated by this post-colonial coverage of the Benedict Allen 'lost in the jungle' story currently fascinating the UK press. 

A useful corrective to the current exaggerated 'macho' view of PNG 

If you wish to have a balanced cultural view of this truly beautiful and in many respects peaceful land, in particular the island provinces of the Bismarck Archipelago,  you may like to read this book of mine which was short-listed for the final Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 2004. The great Polish travel journalist and humanist Ryszard Kapuściński had planned to visit these provinces shortly before he died.

In those days there were no satellite phones, helicopters or anything else to 'save the explorer', often from himself and his own misjudgments. Only nightmare inducing Larium was available then against malaria. Now banned. Unless you are living in PNG, sensible precautions can be taken to avoid malaria.

Repairing nets on the beach at Kuiawa Island, Trobriand Islands. Milne Bay Province



Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific
(London 2003 HarperCollins, Flamingo 2004)


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