Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you left that boring old nine to five job behind and ran away to live in the jungle? Well that's exactly what I did so let me take you on a journey from the remote seaside town of Nabire into some of the world's most remote settlements. These tiny villages are all located in the barely inhabited mountains of Papua, Indonesia's most eastern province.
From the ungodly starting time of 04:15am, we depart Nabire's tiny airport just as the sun is rising and head to a village called Hitadipa. The airstrip is located in the bottom of a valley and requires some skilled piloting to safely land on.
From there we head back to Nabire to refuel the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter and load up the aircraft for the next flight to the village of Unito. This airstrip is barely more than a short section of pathway, cut into the 100ft tall trees of the surrounding rainforest. There's absolutely no room for error here as it's not much wider than the aircraft's wheels in places.
The last flight of the day is to the village of Pogapa. By now the sun has been heating up the mountainsides and the winds have begun which makes for a tricky landing as the tiny aircraft gets bounced around on the final approach. The two wrecked Cessna Caravan aircraft parked on the sides of the airstrip are testament as to what can happen when things go wrong. Luckily no one was hurt in those accidents.
Once flying is over for the day, there's time for a spot of mountain biking before reviewing a final flight to the tiny village of Minou which is barely more than half a dozen houses big and thus has a very tiny airstrip to go with them.
The following short video is but a taste of what life is like for a bush pilot, like myself, living out in the jungles and mountains of Papua, Indonesia and goes to show how there's more than one way to earn a living in this world of ours.