Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DROWNED YELLOW RATS

Towards the end of 1964, I had been living in PNG for about 9 months. I had made friends with a bunch of nice people. We belonged to the Pt Moresby Judo Club and we went on outings on the weekends on our motor scooters. However, I became quite ill and ended up in the isolation ward in hospital. (That's another story.) I recovered in time to go on end of year leave back home. When I returned I didn't rejoin the judo club and so these photos are the last of those outings. 
Once again we scootered up the dirt road Sogeri for a picnic at Crystal Rapids. We stopped on the way for a cool drink at the Roana Hotel. Notice we are wearing our club yellow shirts. There follows a story about those shirts.

At Crystal rapids the water skimmed over the slippery rocks and bubbled like crystals in the sun.

 In places there were deep water holes good for swimming if you could brave the cold, cold, mountain stream. It was too cold for me so I took photos while Del contemplated jumping in the cold water but boys being boys didn't give her time to think about getting wet.

 Elwyn preferred to cook the lunch than have a cold swim. 

It was a bit squashy finding room on the steep slope of the river bank to eat our steak sandwiches. I can't say our picnics were very sophisticated but we didn't care.

Elwyn and Pam went for a paddle but found it too slippery and good samaritan Charles went to their rescue. Then it was homeward bound after another fun day.

I have mentioned before, how we decided to form a scooter club and all wear yellow shirts. However, when we went looking to buy a dozen yellow shirts none could be found in any store in Pt Moresby but there were plenty of white ones. So we bought white shirts and dyed them yellow. However, I don't think we followed the instructions too well.

For the first few trips the shirts were fine but on one time we set off up the ranges when suddenly storm clouds rolled over the mountains and the tropical downpour drenched us to the skin on our scooters. We gingerly manoeuvred along the muddy, slippery road until we reached the safety of the Roana Hotel. We looked like a bunch of drowned rats, YELLOW drowned rats. The yellow dye had run out of the shirts all down into our pants, our socks and into our underwear and skin. Luckily we had towels with us for a swim and I always carried a light jacket in my saddlebags which had kept out the rain. 
 So we went to the bathroom and tried to dry ourselves and put on what few dry clothes we had. Not the best attire for a hotel but luckily the hosts were understanding. We stayed there until the storm was over  and the sun came out to dry up the road a bit before we ventured further on.





 Needless to say the yellow shirts ended up in the bin and we returned to everyday wear for our future trips. (Del, Elwyn, me, Pam and Graham.)

Fooling around in the gardens of the Roana Hotel pretending to be kids. It has been fun remembering the great times I had with this crowd during my first year in PNG. (Bob, me and  Graham.)

18 comments:

whiteangel said...

Sorry to read you became ill.
A good steak in bread was the way to go back then, it was fun, just something simple. You had a lot of fun, and I did laugh about your dyed yellow shirts :) a good try though.

RoeH said...

Fun times and photos. Love it.

TexWisGirl said...

too funny about the dye running! :)

Sandra said...

i like the shot of you on the porch with the towel wrapped around you and you all looked like you were exhausted... love the last 3 pics, very good photos from the past..steak sandwich and the out of doors... i would be the one not in that cold water.

Cynthia said...

Too bad it was your last outing with the group, but you didn't know that then. Those rapids look a bit scary for swimming.

Gattina said...

Would have loved to see the yellow color being washed away, lol ! Must have looked very funny !

biebkriebels said...

Love to see the old pictures and read your stories. Such nice memories to recall.

eileeninmd said...

Diane, I always enjoy your stories. The yellow dye story is funny, I can just imagine how everyone looked.. I like the last shot of you and the other on the swing. Thanks for sharing your memories.. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

You do look like you were having fun the yellow dye story was funny

DeniseinVA said...

What fun you had and still have. I enjoy all these adventures you take us on Dianne, great stories!

George said...

You had a beautiful place for your picnic (the rapids), but it's too bad that you ended up looking like drowned yellow rats. This does sound like a wonderful group of friends, however.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Well I thought we were in for a story about real rats. I remember sitting in church watching a rat running around the rafters. Also a friend went out to one of the villages to stay and woke to find a rat gnawing at her hair. She slept the rest of the niight with a pillow slip over head.

I am glad the yellow rats were not real.

Gosia said...

Diane, great memories from your youth. So you definitely had an interesting teaching career in the wonderful environment with nice people.

Susan said...

You certainly had a great bunch of friends and could picnic on a shoestring! Funny episode about the yellow shirts too :D)

Valerie said...

I enjoy reading all your stories and adventures. It must have been so frustrating to be ill for so long.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

You have quite a treasure trove of memories of that era. Your photos are very well preserved too. The story of the yellow shirts is another to add to your many.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

It's been fun reading about it also Diane, thanks so much for sharing these memories and of course the fab images.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Friends, fun and memories and you have shared them all, Diane. The story about the dyed yellow shirts while unfortunate at the time was a funny one and hopefully you and your group thought so as well. Sometimes, the laughter comes afterwards.