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An Australian Banana Plantation

in New South Wales (October 1997)

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Australian Banana Plantation

Hillside Bananas

Banana Plantation

Bananas were a commonly grown crop in this section of northeast New South Wales. Farmers cultivated their plants on steep hills, using narrow, rutted dirt roads to tend and harvest the crop. Plastic bags wrapped around the bunches provided protected from fruit bats and other pests.

We toured a typical plantation. The tour included a ride up to the higher parts of the plantation in what appeared to be an old army-surplus troop truck. From these heights we viewed rolling fields of bananas and sugarcane, and the large fires used to clear depleted sugarcane fields for replanting. The horizon stretched all the way to the sea. Down at the base of the hill we sampled fresh bananas. We were amazed at the large number of varieties available for our choosing.

The next morning we bid farewell to Sara, flew from Brisbane, through Sydney, two thirds of the way across the Pacific Ocean, and arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii. We crossed the international date line and repeated the same day. Hawaii was twenty one hours behind Sydney but the net effect on our bodies was three hours, so we had plenty of energy to start the next set of adventures.