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Oceania & Australia in 2002

I left Montreal on New Year's eve not even four months after the shocking World Trade Center terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Many people who had been traumatized by the quadruple airline hijacking, were still afraid to fly and tourism had dropped considerably everywhere in the world, as people stayed at home wondering how "America's New War" was going to affect them. Personally, I realised that although the 3000 deaths of that event were horribly impressive, they would not be enough to significantly alter the very reassuring statistics of casualties per billion passenger-kilometres. I therefore did not worry too much and left.

I followed the news as well I could but it was only when I got back that I realised how relentlessly we were being manipulated by the American media to approve the US government's unconditional support for Israel and its decision to wage war on Iraq, It was like watching a chess game, a deadly chess game of American Imperialism and of struggle for oil. When I realised how much I had to learn to understand what was going on there, I started writing notes on the Middle East so as to be able to develop my own opinion independently from the propaganda dished out by the media.. alt

It was an interesting trip because it gave me the occasion to get a glimpse of four ancient inter related societies. (Polynesian, Micronesian, Melanesian and Aboriginal).

The Pacific Ocean and Australia cover a huge area that holds really very few people. Archaeological digs and the study of the fast disapearing indigenous languages allow us to generate plausible hypotheses about the origins and movements of the indigenous populations that greeted the first European explorers.

The map shows my itinerary. This year's adventure took me from Montreal to Hawaii, to Majuro and Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, to Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap in Micronesia and to Guam, Saipan and Palau which are also north of the equator in the Pacific.

Then, I spent a week in Bali on the way to western Australia, which I had missed on my first trip to that country in 1996.

Finally, I visited New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Tarawa in Kiribati, Rarotonga and Aitutake in the Cook Islands, Tahiti, and Easter Island before returning to Montreal with the migratory birds, via Los Angeles.

As usual, I am providing some information on costs and hotels  that might be useful to you if you are considering a trip in that part of the world.



I continue developing this site for the pleasure of sharing the joys of discovery with you. Meeting wonderful people of all skin colours, ethnic origins and beliefs has inspired me to set up the Humanist Foundation of Quebec to promote critical thinking and intercultural tolerance.

You may download and use the globetrotter's photos provided you mention "Photo by Bernard Cloutier" with a link to this site below each photo. High resolution versions can be acquired from our agent



If you feel like it, you may exchange comments and impressions with other readers in the questbook or express them to me privately by the e-mail link. Putting a link on your web site, if you have one, would invite your viewers to enjoy free virtual travel as I hope you did.




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