A one-month stay on the very remote volcanic island of Karkar in Papua New Guinea

& # 39; Rape & # 39 ;, & # 39; murder & # 39 ;, & # 39; cannibalism & # 39 ;.

These were the three words that echoed through my mind after I told people that I ventured to the remote island of Karkar in Papua New Guinea to find my estranged great uncle.

An American academician was recently raped in Karkar and the British Foreign Ministry warns that sexual violence is widespread throughout Papua New Guinea, along with tribal fighting. It adds that if you travel by car at night, it is best to take a security escort.

And in 2012, 29 people were arrested in Madang (30 km / 18 miles over the water of Karkar) for cannibalism – allegedly ate raw brains and made soup from penises.

However, I had reassurance from my extended family that it was safe despite the negative reports, and I had received a survival package for Christmas, complete with an emergency whistle in case.

Sadie ventured onto the remote island of Karkar off Papua New Guinea to find her estranged uncle. The island of Karkar has two top caldera. The most important caldera is an almost perfectly circular 3.2 km in diameter with vertical walls of 300 meters high. Above an aerial photo of the most important caldera of businessman and politician Chris Yer Nangoi

Sadie ventured onto the remote island of Karkar off Papua New Guinea to find her estranged uncle. The island of Karkar has two top caldera. The most important caldera is an almost perfectly circular 3.2 km in diameter with vertical walls of 300 meters high. Above an aerial photo of the most important caldera of businessman and politician Chris Yer Nangoi

Sadie is pictured here with the Daisy and Flora, who led her to the edge of the island's volcano

Sadie is pictured here with the Daisy and Flora, who led her to the edge of the island's volcano

Sadie is pictured here with the Daisy and Flora, who led her to the edge of the island's volcano

It takes five hours to get on a cargo boat from the mainland to the island on the other side of the Bismarck Sea. Or you can take a speedboat at your own risk - the waves are known to throw people overboard

It takes five hours to get on a cargo boat from the mainland to the island on the other side of the Bismarck Sea. Or you can take a speedboat at your own risk - the waves are known to throw people overboard

It takes five hours to get on a cargo boat from the mainland to the island on the other side of the Bismarck Sea. Or you can take a speedboat at your own risk – the waves are known to throw people overboard

Gently because of a mix of excitement and anxiety, I started what turned out to be one of my most colorful adventures.

My illustrious great uncle, Noel Goodyear, ended up in Papua New Guinea after following an exchange program to Australia when he enrolled at the Brackenhurst Agricultural College in Nottinghamshire.

After finding a job, he went to a coconut plantation and found his calling.

He spent time on a number of different islands scattered across the coastline of the country before moving to Karkar.

The small drop-shaped opening, which is only 24 km long and 19 km wide, is home to one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, the cone ominously protruding above a carpet of lush jungle.

By demonstrating his power, there was an outbreak in 1979 in which two famous volcanologists (Robin Cooke and Elias Ravian) were murdered while investigating.

Clouds of smoke rose into the sky for ten days and when the eruption finally hit, it was visible from the mainland. A large part of the island was covered with a layer of ash in a layer.

Since then, seismic activity has continued and in February 2008, 15 to 20 volcanic earthquakes were measured daily. In November 2009, a new eruption caused an ash plume that reached a height of 45,000 feet.

The neighboring island of Manam is just as explosive and plumes of smoke were seen billowing from the central summit while I was there.

Sadie & # 39; s great-uncle Noel introduced himself about 30 years ago with his son Paul and daughter Jennifer

Sadie & # 39; s great-uncle Noel introduced himself about 30 years ago with his son Paul and daughter Jennifer

Sadie introduced herself with her great-uncle Noel during her visit

Sadie introduced herself with her great-uncle Noel during her visit

Sadie & # 39; s great-uncle Noel introduced himself about 30 years ago with his son Paul and daughter Jennifer (left), and Sadie imagined him during her visit (right)

The small tear-shaped opening, which is only 24 km long and 19 km wide, is home to one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea and the cone sticks its head through a strip of lush jungle

The small tear-shaped opening, which is only 24 km long and 19 km wide, is home to one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea and the cone sticks its head through a strip of lush jungle

The small tear-shaped opening, which is only 24 km long and 19 km wide, is home to one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea and the cone sticks its head through a strip of lush jungle

A glance at the derelict cargo boat Sadie crossed the Bismarck Sea

A glance at the derelict cargo boat Sadie crossed the Bismarck Sea

A glance at the derelict cargo boat Sadie crossed the Bismarck Sea

Barbara Goodyear studies an aerial photo that shows the location of one of the family's plantations

Barbara Goodyear studies an aerial photo that shows the location of one of the family's plantations

Barbara Goodyear studies an aerial photo that shows the location of one of the family's plantations

Although Karkar is a fairly small island, two languages ​​are spoken – Takia and Waskia – each is completely different.

Pidgin – the official language of Papua New Guinea – is another way to communicate with the locals.

When it comes to facilities, there is no electricity on the island – some of the better-equipped houses now run on solar panels or generators – and there is no main water supply, with rivers and rain used for washing and drinking.

To get around the place there is one road – characterized by crater-like and horrible pits – and there are countless paths that lead to the mountains that require handy off-road skills.

Although the place was fairly simple compared to British standards, my great uncle felt at home as a teenager in Karkar.

He fell in love with a local woman – who was a bit of an exclamation with the locals who weren't sure about welcoming a white man – with children, and never returned to his home in Nottinghamshire.

As a child I had heard everything about great-uncle Noel, his fascination for archeology, antiques and his quirky life in Papua New Guinea and finally I decided to travel the world to find out more about myself.

I soon discovered that going to Karkar is not easy.

Sadie said the roads on Karkar were difficult to navigate and required some useful off-road skills

Sadie said the roads on Karkar were difficult to navigate and required some useful off-road skills

Sadie said the roads on Karkar were difficult to navigate and required some useful off-road skills

Flora of the village of Mam seen during a trek to the caldera through the dense forest

Flora of the village of Mam seen during a trek to the caldera through the dense forest

Flora of the village of Mam seen during a trek to the caldera through the dense forest

Gilbert from the village of Mom stops for a break during the volcano trek. A machete is an essential item on Karkar

Gilbert from the village of Mom stops for a break during the volcano trek. A machete is an essential item on Karkar

Gilbert from the village of Mom stops for a break during the volcano trek. A machete is an essential item on Karkar

The view Sadie was rewarded with a four-hour walk through the jungle in humid conditions

The view Sadie was rewarded with a four-hour walk through the jungle in humid conditions

The view Sadie was rewarded with a four-hour walk through the jungle in humid conditions

Sadie first tried to go to the volcano with a group of locals from the east side of the island (photo) but the expedition was stopped because of a few troublemakers - armed with axes

Sadie first tried to go to the volcano with a group of locals from the east side of the island (photo) but the expedition was stopped because of a few troublemakers - armed with axes

Sadie first tried to go to the volcano with a group of locals from the east side of the island (photo) but the expedition was stopped because of a few troublemakers – armed with axes

I started with a 13-hour flight from London to the Philippines, had a ten-hour stopover at Manila International Airport and continued with a flight of five and a half hours to the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby.

Once in the country I took a short domestic flight to the province of Madang on the north coast.

My great-uncle, 78 years old, currently lives in mainland Madang with his partner, because life is a little easier than dealing with the wilderness of Karkar.

Although he left Karkar, two of his children – Paul and Elizabeth – remain on the island and another two live in Australia.

Meeting my first uncle for the first time was a rather bizarre experience because there was a strange sense of familiarity.

There was certainly a lot of catching up to do!

Even though I felt pretty exhausted, I was so happy that I had taken the trouble to make the trip, and the two of us spent hours chattering over some stiff whiskeys and ginger ale – I liked his style right away!

In an attempt to see the place that Uncle Noel had sent home from the 1960s to 2017, I left him on the mainland and boarded a very dilapidated cargo boat for the 30 km journey across the Bismarck Sea, which took almost five hours at the slow speed of the ship.

Because the cocoa trees on Karkar are grown on rich lava dirt, the beans are considered to be some of the best in the world. The Goodyear family currently supplies Marks & Spencer with beans for a special Karkar chocolate bar and KitKat is another of their customers. The company has recently launched a special volcanic range in Japan

Because the cocoa trees on Karkar are grown on rich lava dirt, the beans are considered to be some of the best in the world. The Goodyear family currently supplies Marks & Spencer with beans for a special Karkar chocolate bar and KitKat is another of their customers. The company has recently launched a special volcanic range in Japan

Because the cocoa trees on Karkar are grown on rich lava dirt, the beans are considered to be some of the best in the world. The Goodyear family currently supplies Marks & Spencer with beans for a special Karkar chocolate bar and KitKat is another of their customers. The company has recently launched a special volcanic range in Japan

A view of one of the plantations with high coconut palms that provide shade for the cocoa trees

A view of one of the plantations with high coconut palms that provide shade for the cocoa trees

Paul Goodyear saw the opening of one of the cocoa pods open

Paul Goodyear saw the opening of one of the cocoa pods open

A view of one of the plantations with high coconut palms that provide shade to the cocoa trees (left). Paul Goodyear splits one of the cocoa shells open (right)

Paul Goodyear reveals what the raw cocoa product looks like before the fermentation process

Paul Goodyear reveals what the raw cocoa product looks like before the fermentation process

Paul Goodyear reveals what the raw cocoa product looks like before the fermentation process

After I finally drove to Karkar, I was met by Noel's son and my first cousin, Paul, once removed.

I would stay with Paul, his German wife Barbara, and their three children for four weeks.

The Goodyear family currently runs three planting plots on Karkar. These are used for growing coconuts – which are dried and sold to be processed for oil – and cocoa, which is used for chocolate.

Along with the Goodyears there is another permanent western family on the island, the Middletons, who first landed there more than 100 years ago and set up a similar plantation, but on a slightly larger scale.

The first thing I noticed after landing at Karkar was that most people wore a machete – a necessary item for jungle life – and I stuck out like a sore thumb with my milky skin and blond hair, but the locals was very friendly and their english was great.

Another thing that struck me was the suffocating heat. The temperature during the day was a sticky 28 degrees in combination with 80 percent humidity.

After a journey of almost an hour along a bumpy path, I arrived at the house of Paul and Barbara, where I would have my house the following month.

During a stay at Karkar Sadie a sing-sing was seen, in which the locals wore traditional clothes and performed dances

During a stay at Karkar Sadie a sing-sing was seen, in which the locals wore traditional clothes and performed dances

A Karkar inhabitant wears a traditional headdress made of bird feathers and dog teeth

A Karkar inhabitant wears a traditional headdress made of bird feathers and dog teeth

During a stay at Karkar Sadie a sing-sing was seen, in which the locals wore traditional clothes and performed dances. Above, two men wear headdresses made of bird feathers and dog teeth

A local woman stops in front of the camera during a sing-sing party

A local woman stops in front of the camera during a sing-sing party

A cheerful man stops posing for the camera

A cheerful man stops posing for the camera

A local woman during a sing-sing celebration (left). The depicted right is a cheerful man who poses for the camera

The duo met when Barbara landed in Karkar as a teacher for the doctor's children (the doctors on the island are traditionally greeted from Germany with funds provided by the Lutheran church). They run the plantation business with the help of Paul & # 39; s sister, Elizabeth.

They also import goods from the mainland and sell them to the local population through a small retail and wholesale trade. Popular products in their store are rice, salt, savory crackers with chicken and tuna.

During the course of the month I did my best to immerse myself in the Karkar fluctuation of things.

I helped manage inventory in the store, drove around to deliver goods and learned about coconut and cocoa harvesting.

Because the cocoa trees on Karkar are grown on rich lava dirt, the beans are considered to be some of the best in the world.

My family is currently supplying Marks & Spencer with beans for a special Karkar chocolate bar and KitKat is one of their customers.

The company has recently launched a special volcanic range in Japan.

On my first morning at Goodyears on Karkar I saw Paul and Barbara & # 39; s son fishing.

& # 39; How sweet, & # 39; I thought when I saw the boy floating around at sea.

When I asked what he was catching, Paul explained that he had seen a corpse.

One of the residents on Karkar shows off her style while driving in the back of a truck with an oil barrel

One of the residents on Karkar shows off her style while driving in the back of a truck with an oil barrel

One of the residents on Karkar shows off her style while driving in the back of a truck with an oil barrel

A view of a garden planted by Noel Goodyear when he first arrived on the island of Karkar

A view of a garden planted by Noel Goodyear when he first arrived on the island of Karkar

A view of a garden planted by Noel Goodyear when he first arrived on the island of Karkar

Sadie on her volcano hike admiring the breathtaking view of the caldera

Sadie on her volcano hike admiring the breathtaking view of the caldera

Sadie on her volcano hike admiring the breathtaking view of the caldera

Apparently boat accidents are very common around Karkar, especially in the harsher winter months when the locals stuff in small dodgy sword boats to get to the mainland.

Another common cause of death is from falling coconuts.

When I stayed on the island, a number of people came to drop through grenades.

For emergencies, there is a hospital in Karkar, built by the Lutheran missionary Edwin Tscharke and his wife Tabitha, who moved there in the 1930s.

After a conversation with a doctor on the island, the Schwobels from Germany, I discovered that common ailments are tuberculosis and malaria.

Teenage pregnancies are also a problem with many girls who are 14 years of age and younger.

Due to a lack of contraception, the population has increased tenfold since Uncle Noel landed on Karkar – from 7,000 to more than 70,000 today.

Due to the increase in the number of animals, most of the island's flora and fauna have been threatened with extinction and I was surprised by the few birds I saw. I was told that common delicacies, now more difficult to find, include opossum, bat and wild pig.

Another problem with population growth is that there is not much employment on the island and that the plantations are the only large-scale companies.

Young people are encouraged to follow education to help them find work on the mainland and there are currently more than 20 schools serving the different villages.

Sadie introduced herself with Barbara and Paul Goodyear and their children Sophie, Christopher and Hanna before embarking on a speedboat to Madang mainland

Sadie introduced herself with Barbara and Paul Goodyear and their children Sophie, Christopher and Hanna before embarking on a speedboat to Madang mainland

Sadie introduced herself with Barbara and Paul Goodyear and their children Sophie, Christopher and Hanna before embarking on a speedboat to Madang mainland

An outdoor shot of what a typical bush house looks like on the island of Karkar, with the building constructed from natural materials

An outdoor shot of what a typical bush house looks like on the island of Karkar, with the building constructed from natural materials

An outdoor shot of what a typical bush house looks like on the island of Karkar, with the building constructed from natural materials

Jonathan from the village of Mam takes a break on a tree branch after a trek to the volcano on Karkar

Jonathan from the village of Mam takes a break on a tree branch after a trek to the volcano on Karkar

Jonathan from the village of Mam takes a break on a tree branch after a trek to the volcano on Karkar

In terms of activities, there is a mix of things that fearless tourists can do on Karkar.

While staying on the island, I ventured into the jungle to see one of the calderas from the top of the volcano.

My first expedition, with a group of locals and a young German man who had connections with the Lutheran church, was shortened by two local trouble makers, who threatened to kill us as we continued.

One of the men, who used a rather large ax, explained that he & # 39; no horny white men near the volcano & # 39; wanted to have. He explained that he was suspicious about what we were planning and wanted to protect the volcano and the island from exploitation by outsiders.

We retreated with respect for their wishes, but I was more successful on my second attempt, trekking from the small village of Mam on the west side of the island with four locals.

After walking uphill for more than four hours through steep, confused tracks, we were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the gaping valley around the volcanic cone.

It looked like a scene from The Lost World where no people were present and lush greenery as far as the eye could see.

A view from the Goodyear house where Sadie stayed for the month, with the mainland behind it

A view from the Goodyear house where Sadie stayed for the month, with the mainland behind it

A view from the Goodyear house where Sadie stayed for the month, with the mainland behind it

The locals take a bath in the cavities along the smooth lava rock river bed

The locals take a bath in the cavities along the smooth lava rock river bed

One of the big spiders Sadie saw in the garden of Goodyear

One of the big spiders Sadie saw in the garden of Goodyear

The locals take a bath in the cavities along the smooth lava rock river bed (left). A large spider Sadie photographed in the garden of Goodyear & # 39; s (right)

Sadie ventured into a spot for fishing during her stay on the island of Karkar. She found out that unregulated commercial fishing has left the stocks worryingly exhausted

Sadie ventured into a spot for fishing during her stay on the island of Karkar. She found out that unregulated commercial fishing has left the stocks worryingly exhausted

Sadie ventured into a spot for fishing during her stay on the island of Karkar. She found out that unregulated commercial fishing has left the stocks worryingly exhausted

Another thing I did when I stayed in Karkar was a fishing spot with the Middleton family.

I was told that the waters twisted with blue marlin and tuna when they first arrived on the island, but as a result of unregulated commercial fishing, stocks are now worryingly exhausted.

Towards the end of my month at Karkar, I was kind enough to leave, but sad to say goodbye to my newly discovered family.

I was looking forward to some cool relief from the sticky heat that was barely lifted during the night and the ubiquitous murmur of mosquitoes.

I also looked forward to the idea of ​​driving on flat roads instead of tracks full of holes in the pits that made your bones and brains rattle.

If you are looking for a real off-the-wall adventure, then Karkar will certainly tick all the boxes.

Uncle Noel calls it & # 39; the land of the unexpected & # 39 ;.

For this type of trip you can leave all your luxury items and take an open mind with you.

I was happy to say that my emergency whistle was untouched and I returned to England unharmed.

Papua New Guinea has a bad reputation when it comes to security with a high level of violent crime in Port Moresby, but as long as your plans are good, keep in touch with the country and keep your wits, it is an untouched paradise that truly is worth exploring.

TRAVEL FACTS

Sadie has booked flights to Papua New Guinea via www.flightgiftcard.com, with which family members or friends can contribute to travel expenses by sending an e-card. She flew with Philippine Airlines from London Heathrow to Port Moresby via Manila.

To get to Karkar, you can take a one-hour flight from Port Moresby to Madang with Air Niugini and there is a passenger ship that sails from Madang to the island that loads 40 kina (£ 9.08).

There is a guest house on Karkar run by the Goodyear family that can be booked by sending an email to barbara.goodyear77@gmail.com. Rates start from 50 kina (£ 11) per night.

Recommended hotels in Port Moresby include The Stanley in the downtown area and the Gateway Hotel, which is close to the airport.