A Graveyard for Caterpillars. Bougainville

It is a sad fact that some of the most beautiful spots on earth have some of the most sought after commodities underground, such as the uranium under Kakadu national park in Australia. The island of Bougainville, east of Papua New Guinea is another such place. There are great coral reefs for diving, long sandy beaches, and a lush green interior dominated by smoking volcanoes. It is the very picture of a tropical paradise. Except that in the middle of the island there is a huge open cast mine polluting all around it.

Playing with Bows and Arrows. Lae, PNG.

I tried to to like Lae, I really did. But I could not wait to leave. It is the second city of PNG, with just over a 100,000 population, located on the Huon Gulf, with palm trees, beaches, and a great position overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It could be a tropical island village in Hawaii, but the reality was more like Kabul.