December 4, 2015: Rondon Ridge, Papua New Guinea — You can’t be picky about departure times when there is only one flight. I lifted off from Tari’s gravel airstrip at 10:40 this morning and, with a connection in Port Moresby, didn’t land in Mount Hagen until late afternoon. So today was a travel day.

I arrived at Rondon Ridge, a lodge in the hills above Mount Hagen, in the midst of a lightning storm. A bird guide named Joseph Ando gave me a quick tour of the grounds with rain drizzling down and we made plans to spend a long day birding tomorrow.

Rondon Ridge is on the luxurious side of New Guinea, with tablecloth meals and carved headboards, and a collection of artifacts inside the main building. In the entryway, there are photos of Mick Jagger and the Prime Minister of New Guinea on recent visits. It is a beautiful lodge and, as the only guest, I am outnumbered by smiling staff. I just hope there are birds here, toowe will see tomorrow!

New birds today: 2

Year list: 5560

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