Posted By RichC on June 4, 2010
Roz Savage finished her row across the Pacific Ocean and is welcomed into Madang, Papua New Guinea by a crowd of 5000 welcomers. Her rowing, endurance and spirit is amazing. Here’s a snippet from her blog, rozsavage.com.
The first local people to congratulate me were a few fishermen, out early in their outrigger canoes, who formed an orderly line to pass close to my boat and shake my hand.
They were just the first of many. As I neared the harbour a flotilla of about twenty canoes, all decked out in traditional garlands of leaves, came out to join me and escort me to the dock. I hope you’ve seen the photos that Mum posted earlier, and seen how splendid the boats and their paddlers looked. Everybody was smiling, especially me. I kept stopping to wave to the crowds, who waved back enthusiastically. I wish I could find a way to row and wave at the same time, but I’m still working on it.
As I got closer to the dock the crowds on the shoreline thickened. Schoolchildren in uniform created blocks of colour. As I rounded the corner towards the Madang Resort the harbour wall was absolutely packed. The estimated number is five thousand people, and I don’t think that is any exaggeration.
We completed the formalities on the dock, and then I was free to step ashore. I was met by the Governor of PNG, who explained the meaning of the traditional garlands and string bags that various well-wishers placed around my neck. As we moved through the crowd everyone was reaching out to shake my hand or touch me. It could have been overwhelming to be surrounded by such a crush of humanity after 46 days at sea, but in fact it felt great.