24/10/2009 at 12:59 pm #103439
Earlier today my son Shane walked off the track along with Wayne Urina (2nd fastest person to walk/run the Kokoda track in 18 hours 34 minutes from Owers' Cnr to Kokoda). Shane was on a mission to see how fast he could walk the track. Wayne was just tagging along to keep him safe and to make sure he was ok. They commenced at 3am Tuesday morning and walked off the track around midday today Saturday. Shane said it was the hardest thing he had ever done and finds it hard to believe someone like Wayne can do it in the time he does. In the opposite direction his time is around 19 hours.
I asked about Fluppy and if they saw her. Wayne immediately answered that they crossed paths around Agulogo/Menari. She was at the back of the group but doing ok. I am sure at the time she must have wondered who is this white guy with no backpack/sleeping bag etc. Wayne said village people were asking pretty much the same thing as they were trying to travel as light as possible.
According to both of them Fluppy appeared happy, talkative and seemed to be doing ok.
I do not normally post about trekkers walking with another company but in this instance with 'Fluppy' posting so much over these past few years, I thought she deserved a mention on our website.
As they spent last night at Ioribaiwa Village, it would have been the day before when they passed her. So by now she should be at the half way point! Not too sure who the person was at the rear but someone was about 10 minutes back from her and the others in the group were ahead. No doubt she will fill us all in on her return.
Go Fluppy GO!
I now know how anxious parents and family feel back home as I have been worried sick since Shane left Kokoda.
- 8 days is ok
- 7 days is a little tougher but plenty have done it.
- 6 days is for the really fit
- 5 days is a tough ask – which Shane completed yesterday. He stated he is looking forward to going back to 8 again!!!
- 24 hours or less – Wayne, he must be crazy in a non stop 18 hours 34 minutes marathon
In the 5 day trek finished yesterday he walked the whole track in a pair of THONGS!!! and they survived intact.
On the night before the walk Wayne turned up at Orohaven to deliver one pig for Russell to be handed over to the widow of his brother Kingsley as is part of their mourning cultural tradition. He had no idea Shane was going to ask him to walk with him as it was a last minute decision. So with no boots, thongs will do and off he went.
Looking at Wayne when he arrived here yesterday it was no big deal. Shane on the other hand lost quite a bit of weight and is now down to 83kg the lightest he has been in years and he looked like he had just done the biggest challenge of his life.
At dinner tonight I asked Wayne how he manages the race. He said its all in the mind and the fitness. He went on to say when you focus your mind and body it all combines to work as one. You do not think about falling only focus on winning! In his opinion its all about setting a goal and then mentally preparing for what lies ahead.24/10/2009 at 1:15 pm #103444
I do not have a photograph of Fluppy so will post one of Wayne who is the tallest of all our guides and porters.
And YES, he even SMOKES!!!
Wayne was also Ron Barrassie's personal porter when he walked the track.
Photographs:25/10/2009 at 12:00 am #103445
I'm so pleased to hear your report on Fluppy. I've been thinking about her most days.. .wondering how she's going. She's had a lot of setbacks in her life but appears to be full of grit and determination. I hope she posts a photo of herself at the finish line!! By the way, which way is she trekking?
Cheers all,25/10/2009 at 1:39 am #103446
Fluppy is walking from Owers' Corner to Kokoda. I will post a message I received from her as follows:
Wow. Thanks Gail. We are trekking from Ower's, but next time (when I go with you guys!) I'd like to do it in reverse
Hope to make full advantage of Orohaven when we get there!! Looking forward to that!! Come to think of it, I might even use that as my inspiration to keep going on the really tough days…
Orohaven, Orohaven. My haven. Orohaven. Keep going. Just one…more…step…Orohaven!!!
ETA Kokoda – 28th October.26/10/2009 at 4:49 am #103438
Thank you so much for posting news about Fluppy, Gail! We had our 492 6mth reunion up here in sydney this weekend. (can you believe it! 6 months gone already!) and it got me thinking about Fluppy- she's certainly a bit of an icon and i cant wait to have her fill us all in on how it went for her.27/10/2009 at 7:13 pm #103447
Its a small world Lorna,we had a reunion as well. A couple of the girls who were with us on our walk in July (Wendy and Terry) flew in from South Ozz to do the 7 bridges walk around Sydney and we were discussing Fluppy quite a bit. Everyone was quite concerned about he wellbeing.
Hi Gail, thanks for the news on fluppy.27/10/2009 at 11:52 pm #103448
Great to hear that Fluppy is going well and enjoying herself, do hope that she gets to visit and experience Orohavan at the end of her Trek before leaving Kokoda.
Brian28/10/2009 at 4:00 am #103449
Good News for all the 'Fluppy' fans out there. I spoke briefly to her by phone at Kokoda airport this morning (28th) as she was waiting to board her flight to Port Moresby and YES, congratulations are in order as she successfully completed her trek.
Fluppy informed me she spat the dummy on day 2 but apart from that she did ok.
Re Orohaven: I was informed she was not allowed to go in there as its considered 'the competitions' base so is a 'NO GO' zone. However, she took a photograph as she passed by.
Pity, as this is not what it is intended to be. We deliberately gave it a generic name, ie OROHAVEN KOKODA RETREAT not KOKODA TREKKING RETREAT. The staff all wear Orohaven t/shirts. The tents have Orohaven written on them and there is nothing there that represents our trekking business.
We did not intentionally build it to house only our trekkers only, but any trekking company to give everyone a special ending to their trek. Sure its another arm of our business but is a separate one altogether to Kokoda Trekking.
When I hear Russell describe Orohaven to our KTL staff he says something like:
In Port Moresby Sir Brian Bell started BRIAN BELL & CO. Years later he opened an electrical store which he named ESCO. Later again another chemicals/cleaning materials store – BELLTEK. He also invested heavily in lots of accommodation around town under various names such as DONNYBROOK.
Russell further explained, what we are trying to do is similar to Sir Brian Bell. Orohaven is owned by ourselves but is separate from the trekking business. All our guides have been given an Orohaven t/shirt to wear. When they visit Orohaven they are supposed to wear this shirt not a Kokoda Trekking t/shirt unless they are there to walk.
So in essence, we are no different to any other trekking company that would stay there. Our KTL staff will only be in uniform if they arriving/and or departing on a trek from Orohaven. All permanent staff are employed by Orohaven and dress accordingly. Other trekking staff live in their villages and only report for work when they have been requested to walk on a trek.
Recently we had Landy Noel from Efogi's trekkers stay there. They loved every minute of it and said it was nice to have a shower/wash their gear/and sit on a flushing toilet. They ate well and enjoyed cold cold soft drinks and beer.
Oh well, I guess politics is alive and well in the trekking industry when sadly we should all be working together to give our clients the best experience possible both on and off the track.28/10/2009 at 5:12 am #103450
My heartiest congratulations go to Fluppy on her well deserved successfull completion of her Trek of Kokoda.
Her merticulous preparation to overcome her disabilities is an example for all to read and absorb to assist with their own preparation.
Gail, what a shame there is this rivalry from other Trekking companies. From what I have seen you have a first class facility in Orohaven which will overcome all this petty rivallry in no time at all.
Geoff Hardie28/10/2009 at 6:47 am #103451
Well done fluppy!
And to Mr Fluppy as well – I think he was trekking as well as I can remember from 1 topic discussion
Any idea how he went Gail?
As to the Orohaven retreat I trekked with another company for a charity trek. We had a flight delay and were lucky enough to "discover" the delights of cold beer and pizza at this excellent looking facility. I would imagine it would be wonderful to wake up in one of the huts after a celebratory night at the end of your trek. Going the other way it would be your last taste of "civilised" living for the next 7 days!!
It is a pity there is such a rivilary as there now seems to be enough trekkers to support a facility such as Orohaven. One of the leaders from my trekking company was surprised at how much the facilities had improved since their last visit – and this was before the chickens,etc were brought in!
Eating wood fired pizza and drinking a cold SP at Orohaven at the end of my trek will live with for a long while.
Well done again fluppy and looking forward to hearing about your trek.
Editor's Note: Assume he too completed his trek otherwise she would have mentioned this. I only had a small window of time to talk with her as she was about to walk up the steps of the plane when the guy I was talking to at the airport caught up with her.28/10/2009 at 7:35 am #103452
Good on you Fluppy and Mr Fluppy.
We stayed at Orohaven for one night before our trek and were very impressed. Its got the biggest pool Ive ever seen at a resort.
Editor's Note: Assume Peter you are referring to the three creeks adjacent to the property!
When I was there last week being the dry season, the first creek had running water but not much; the next creek was knee deep but the third creek reminded me of Eora Creek. In time we will have a swimming pool at Orohaven but people might still prefer sitting in the creek with a cold beer in their hands. When the boys go there for a beer with Russell its their preferred place, the creek!
Photographs in reverse order:28/10/2009 at 8:39 am #103453
Congrats, Fluppy. You are the best example of the 7 P's GO GIRL. regards Moreton.28/10/2009 at 8:43 am #103454
By the time you get to read this you will be back home in Aus with much to tell us I am sure.
You made it deserving every congratulations good on you very pleased indeed to read the good news from Gail.
Pity though you missed out on Orohaven but there is always next time.
Looking forward very much to reading your posts on this forum soon after you get settled back in to home life which from my own personal experience did not happen too easily.
Brian28/10/2009 at 8:49 am #103455
Yeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa – you did it girl!!! There's no looking back now Fluppy, ever. You know you can do whatever you put your mind to. Well done.
Lorna28/10/2009 at 10:02 am #103457
I admire your dedication to your preparation.
Will be interested to hear how your fitness held out – pretty good, it seems!
Enjoy your hard-earned success and be gentle with yourself during the 'Re-Entry' process. (I always find that the only antidote to this is to plan the next trip).
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