By Michael Moran
East of Java, west of Tahiti and north of the Cape York peninsula of Australia lie the unknown paradise islands of the Coral, Solomon and Bismarck Seas. They have been might be the final inhabited position on the earth to be explored by way of Europeans, or even at the present time many stay principally unspoilt, regardless of the previous presence of German, British or even Australian colonial rulers. Michael Moran, a veteran tourist, starts off his trip at the island of Samarai, old gateway to the outdated British Protectorate, because the visitor of the benign grandson of a cannibal.
He explores the previous capitals of German New Guinea and headquarters of the disastrous New Guinea Compagnie, its directors decimated via malaria and homicide. He travels alongside the inaccessible Rai Coast during the Archipelago of Contented males, following within the footsteps of the nice Russian explorer 'Baron' Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay. The historical anthropological paintings of Bronislaw Malinowski courses him throughout the seductive labyrinth of the Trobriand 'Islands of Love' and the erotic dances of the yam competition. Darkly funny characters, either old and modern, spring vividly to lifestyles because the writer steers the reader throughout the richly interesting cultures of Melanesia. 'Beyond the Coral Sea' is an enthralling voyage of surprising brilliance and a memorable evocation of a area which has been little written approximately in the past century.
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Additional info for Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific
What did she know that we didn’t? I reflected. We studied the menu whilst the waiter bustled furiously between the tables, scratching orders on a notepad, which he tore off and sent fluttering through a doorway. Christine opted for the vegetable couscous. I went for the highly recommended ‘Tagine Berber’. As the wind buffeted the windows we washed it all down with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Meknes, a town in northern Morocco. After dinner, and feeling suitably fortified, we huddled over a game of Scrabble in the bedroom, which I…almost won.
I bolted from the terminal, still infused with that European folly of immediacy, expectation, intolerance. I’d boxed myself in with a list which said we should be in Tangier by the evening. And that wasn’t the only consideration propelling me full tilt back to the car: who was to say if the ferries would be operating the next day, or the day after that? How quickly would they clear the backlog of passengers and vehicles waiting to get to Morocco? During the summer exodus of Moroccans departing for their holidays in the home country, I’d often witnessed the port of Algeciras plummeting into disorder.
Every once in a while the immigration officer barked at their restlessness. I gawped through the windows; no chance of even a glimpse of Gibraltar, never mind taking a photograph. We pitched into another emerald trough. I felt sure we were stuffed; this old tub would never make it. MOROCCO THE DEVIL’S HASTE Ahead, through the ferry’s sea-splattered windows, the sheets of rain briefly parted; an outline of land revealed itself. My pulse beat that bit faster as Africa loomed from the tumbling waves.