By DANIEL M DAVID
GUINNESS Book of Records world travellers Emil Schmid, 68, and Liliana Schmid, 69, from Switzerland, who travelled the Transgogol and Okuk highways left the country yesterday, happy that they have extended their record to 66,200km.
Papua New Guinea was the 167th country they travelled in their Toyota landcruiser, a 1982 model troop carrier which they referred to as their only family member.
The couple, who leave a modest life in their car, had been around each other 24 hours a day for 26 years, since Oct 18, 1984, and celebrating the event in Lae.
In PNG, the couple travelled from Lae to Madang through the Transgogol Highway to Bogia. From Madang, they travelled to Markham in Morobe and up the Highlands Highway to Mt Hagen in Western Highlands.
They made a special visit to the Kumul Lodge in Enga to celebrate Liliana’s 69th birthday on Sept 25 before backtracking the Highlands Highway to Lae to ship their car to the Philippines.
Both said they would leave PNG with fond memories.
The couple described the PNG experience as the best out of their 167 trips.
The Schmids were also in time to attend the Mt Hagen and Goroka cultural shows, something that “words will not describe the beauty we have seen and will treasure”.
“The shows were extraordinary and one cannot witness such variety display of traditional cultures in other parts of the word.”
Liliana said: “PNG is a land full of breath-taking sceneries, unique cultures and incredible bio-diversity which is raw beauty.
“I urge tourists around the world not to believe in media paranoia and come to see the wonders the country has in store.
“The PNG people are kind and friendly.”
They commend the efforts of Tourism Promotional Authority and Trans Niugini Tours for the help throughout their stay in the country.
The Schmids also paid tribute to the people and law enforcement agencies in the country for their help and friendly gestures.