18/11/2004 at 3:13 am #94754
UPDATES: DAY 5 & 6
Day 5, 17th November. The time 6:30am, the group is now heading out from Naoro. Though it rained all throughout last night, the weather seemed to be looking pretty good today; only the track does not look very pleasant. There was a couple of trees blown down by the heavy rain and also with the contribution of the strong winds as well.
The assistant guide Eric Uwea and two other porters, Kingsley Boropi and Cyprian, left the group behind and went ahead to chop away with their axes & bush knives to clear the track that had torn branches and other obstacles that were lying in the middle of the track. With the track in such condition, a decision is still yet to be made, whether or not the group will be spending the night at Menari or proceeding on to Efogi 1.
Gail still feeling good seems to be very much enjoying the trek and also the strumming of ukuleles and the porters singing. She?s taking her time having a good look around the trail has she walks along. Beverley on the other hand is doing well. So both women are doing pretty good so far, no broken leg or twisted ankles. So that?s good news.
Russell, who hasn?t done the track for some time now, has been having slight bit of problems with his knees and back, but his hanging in there, has done well so far too. It was decided to hire local porters from the villages to carry Gail's pack to help Russell who had been vomiting and doing it tough due to his Management role and lack of exercise during the past four months. A succession of porters would then act in relay form to carry the pack from one village to the next allowing the days porter to return to his own village the following day and also to provide more employment along the way for various guys.
Other then that, food, staff and everything else is okay. Just got a radio call from Chris, who said, there?s showers? coming down at the moment, they will be spending the night at Menari. Everyone?s washed, cleaned up and now relaxing in the guest house. Gail?s one of them, as for Beverley she?s been escorted by Cyprian around the village to visit the sick and give them some medicine.
Gail (aussie) during her training up at Ower's Corner…
Gail_on_the_trail.jpg18/11/2004 at 4:31 am #94753
UPDATE: DAY 6
Today – November 18th 2004, perhaps will be remembered in many ways for Gail and her team. We caught up with them on the radio as soon as they reached Brigade Hill – Russell's supposedly favourite spot along the track.
It is Russell's Birthday today and the as planned the group arrived at Brigade Hill just in time to celebrate it. The porters and guides wished their employer (bossman) a happy birthday. They carried with them can drinks and a birthday cake to share on the trail. Russell turns 40 today with a total of 287 treks on the Kokoda Trail.
At 10 am we got confirmation on their arrival at Brigade Hill after they left the campsite at 6:45 am. The group camped at Menari.
So hows Gail and Beverly doing?
"Mi no bagarap yet…mipela orait tasol nogat bagarap," Gail piped up in pidgin English in confirmation of her trek. "I have no difficulties at the moment…everything is fine. We are all okay no problems as yet," she said.
"I am enjoying the view up here in Brigade Hill. The weather is okay, not bad. It is very hot and I'm sweating. You've done the trek and you know how it is. It is hard – not easy," Gail added.
They are now heading for Efogi today…and decide late whether to camp there or not.
Will see more of the trek tommorrow.
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