ANZAC at BOMANA – April, 2019 – Australian Guide
Date: 17 April 2019 – 25 April 2019
This is an Australian led trek commencing at Owers’ Corner on the 17th April and walking off the Kokoda Trail in Kokoda on the 23rd April where you will overnight as our guests. The following day 24th April you will be flown back to Port Moresby. The following morning 25th April, trekkers will attend Bomana War Cemetery for the dawn service. Trek 1148: Guide: Pat Vainerere. 2IC: Clement Harika
Please Note: photographs used are stock images from our collection. Trek 1148 photographs will be posted online as soon as they fly back in upon completion of their trek.
Day 1 – 17th April 2019 : OWERS’ CORNER – UA’ULE CREEK
Day 2 – 18th April 2019 : UA’ULE CREEK – OFI CREEK
Day 3 – 19th April 2019 : OFI CREEK – AGULOGO
Day 4 – 20th April 2019 : AGULOGO to EFOGI
Day 5 – 21st April 2019 : EFOGI – DUMP ONE
Day 6 – 22nd April 2019 :DUMP ONE – ISURAVA MEMORIAL
Day 7 – 23rd April 2019 : ISURAVA MEMORIAL – KOKODA
Day 8 – 24th April 2019 : KOKODA – POM
Day 9 – 25th April 2019 : ATTEND DAWN SERVICE AT BOMANA WAR CEMETERY
Update 16th April 2019
Our first trek for 2019 is underway with trekkers arriving today from Australia. In this group we have a guy by the name of Dan Towler who has walked with us a couple of times before. This time round he has come with his nephew. Having lost his father late last year who was in the Milne Bay Province during the war, it will be no doubt an emotional time for them both. Two uncles were on the Kokoda Trail. Pat Vainerere is our Australian Guide leading this trek. He is accompanied by Clement Harika as his 2IC. Pat has decided on an early start tomorrow morning so no sleep in for this group. We have at our base tonight over 20 PNG staff who have had 6 months off so they will most likely feel it tomorrow when they take to the trail along with this group of trekkers and make their way home.
Trekkers are as follows: Rebecca Panovski; Brendan Delahunty; John Cotter; Rupert Templeman; Murray and Janine Telford; Kerry Bottrell; Dale Middleton; Timothy and Terri Ann Brown; Dan Towler; Jack McCann and Warner Van Laatum
Food Porters: Cyprian Haera (also camerman); Chief Food Porter, Lenny Enjeka; Boniface Aruo; Kingsley (Kini) Eroro; Stafford Enjeka; Gerald and Soul Juary; Eddie Ageda; Essau Tuturia; Trophian Ovivi and Terry Imaita.
Also heading out with this group is the track record holder, Brendan Buka. What this group will do in 8 days Brendan did in 16 hours 34 minutes in a non stop race. He also holds the track record in the opposite direction in 17:20. Ramsy Idau on this trek won our last Kokoda Challenge Race in 18 hours.
Update 17th April 2019
Trek 1148: Pat their guide contacted me this afternoon to say they are now at Ua’Ule Creek and that they have the campsite area all to themselves. The majority of the group arrived around 3pm with a couple arriving a short time later. Everyone has done well today. Tomorrow the plan is to reach Nauro for the night. Pat informed me we have a 78 year old on this trek, Warner Van Laatum. Picture them today as they would have crossed over Goldie River following by a tough climb before heading down to their destination of Ua’Ule Creek.
Update 18th April 2019
Trek 1148: It was a big big day for this group as they made their way from Ua’Ule Creek up their destination point of Nauro. The track is dry but the hills are still the same, up up up. Our 78 year old Warner did really well but some found the going tough. Murray struggled it seems but his wife was there by his side pushing him on. Its his second trek having walked with Soc Kienzle in 2010.
Our team had to share with 3 other trekking companies last night.
We have two trekkers Dale and Rebecca carrying their own backpacks, seems they went ok and doing well. Pat said everyone was buggered and were all in bed by 7pm. This morning they have earned a sleep in and its a 7am start as they head down to Menari for the night, so a short day. Keep up the good work team 1148.
Update 19th April 2019
Trek 1148: Pat just called to say they reached Menari mid afternoon and that they were all well. It rained sometime today but it did not stop them from having a dip in the creek to cool off. Seems tonight there are three trekking companies in the village but all ok as some are down the bottom and they are at the top.
Tomorrow they will have another tough day ahead of them as they climb up Brigade Hill. The plan at this stage is to head through Efogi to Efogi II but this could change depending on how everyone is going,
Update 20th April 2019
Trek 1148: Trekkers and staff in this group are making their way up to Brigade Hill. This hill is a tough climb. In one of our Kokoda Challenge Races, a well known Australian Adventurer Runner Damon Goerke who was leading the race at that stage remarked to me: Gail I was half way up Brigade Hill and I saw a log and spread myself out on it to take a break as I was absolutely stuffed. He added, his thoughts went to the fact he had the best shoes; best gear; fittest he had ever been in his life; power gels to him the best chance of winning the race and yet here he was lying on a log asking himself how he was going to get to the top of the hill. He said he later looked up and saw a PNG local standing there looking down at him. He said he thought he must be laughing at him, so he got himself off that log, pumped out his chest and one foot after another got to the top of the hill. Damon a short time later was running down to Efogi Village to our checkpoint with just about everyone in the village outside to welcome him.
Damon raced twice, this story was from his 2006 race. Walking in the opposite direction is Wayne Urina Tihimi one of our staff who came 2nd in the same race. Wayne passed Damon at Isurava Memorial. Wayne is a practical joker, he said when he saw Damon he remarked, I caught you, bye bye, see you in Kokoda. At that stage Damon thought he was almost to Kokoda but later found he still had a couple of hours to go.
So think of trek 1148 today as they make their way up Brigade Hill and knowing how they may feel once they too reach the top.
Trek 1148: Its been a hot and humid day for this group. Our 78 year old came in last around 5:30pm at Efogi II but Pat is just so impressed with him. The others in the group reached their destination around 5pm.
Tomorrow they head to where our other group are tonight, Templeton’s Crossing after walking through Naduri where they will no doubt stop and admire the plaque that was put there last year. A gutsy effort by everyone today especially Warner.
Update 21st April 2019
Trek 1148: Pat and his team have now reached an area commonly referred to as ‘Dump 1’. They were planning to push on down to Templeton’s Crossing but it seems there are a lot of other trekking companies camping at that area tonight. At Dump 1, they have the area all to themselves. Apparently it was a very cool dip in the creek but refreshing one none the less.
Tomorrow they have another big day ahead of them as they make their way to Isurava or Isurava Village for the night.
Update 22nd April 2019
Trek 1148: This group have stopped for the night at Con’s Rock, Isurava around 5pm this afternoon. Tomorrow morning they will have a morning service at Isurava Memorial before making their way down off the track and into Kokoda.
Happy 50th Birthday to Kerry Bottrell from all of us here at Kokoda Trekking!!!
Update 23rd April 2019
Trek 1148: This trek is slowly walking their way off the mountain. Ivan Semie the personal porter for Dan Towler just sent me this photograph and added the words:
‘We are the slow ones but can smell victory’.
From Deniki they can see Kokoda. Dan has walked twice before. What an effort for Warner at his age. Awesome effort aged 78.
Trek 1148: I just got off the sat phone after talking with Pat. He said they had all stopped at Deniki and that Bec was just about to head off and then they would all fall in behind her as they make their way down to Hoi for a well earned dip in the creek.
Estimated time now in Kokoda, somewhere between 3-4pm. Well done trek 1148, not too far now and you can get ready to celebrate your successful trek.
Trek 1148: Congratulations to everyone on this trek as they walked through the archway at Kokoda around 5:30pm this afternoon. As I write this post, trekkers are on their way to the guesthouse area where they will spend the night in Kokoda.
Tomorrow morning they will fly back to Port Moresby on a Tropicair charter. Well done and thank you for choosing to walk with Kokoda Trekking. A big thank you to Pat, Clement and all our fantastic support staff for their help in getting you to Kokoda.
Trek 1148: Some ladies at KBK Block are eagerly waiting on our trekkers as they have prepared a traditional mumu and just need the trekkers to turn up. It seems they are still at the Kokoda Station bidding their goodbyes to various staff who walked with them along the track.
Have just spoken to Maryanne and Dan. First group have arrived at the guesthouse area and the vehicle went back to reload the remaining trekkers. Dan informed me that all of them got on just great and were quite a team as they made their way along the track. He asked whats for dinner so guess they must be all hungry. Actually dinner has been ready just waiting on the group to turn up. The girls at the block were expecting them from 2pm onwards. He has given Ivan Semie his personal porter, a new name, ‘Ivan the magnificent’.
All the hard work today has been done, but if you were wondering how to prepare a mumu, please check out this video taken last year when some of our trekkers stayed at Kebara Village.
Update 24th April 2019
Trek 1148: Update: Trekkers are now back in Port Moresby and have been booked into the Gateway Hotel. We can now relax a little as weather could have played a big part but its all gone to plan.
They will all no doubt spend some time relaxing in readiness for an early morning start when they will head out to Bomana War Cemetery on the outskirts of Port Moresby for the dawn service. Pick up time will be around 3am – 3:30am so hope they get to bed early. It will be the 3rd time that Dan Towler will be at the Anzac Day service at Bomana War Cemetery. This time back with his nephew Jack.
Update 25th April 2019
Bomana War Cemetery this morning 25th April 2019.
Lest We Forget.
Dan Towler on past trek’s.