28/04/2007 at 3:41 am #95344
The 2007 trekking season for us has gone really really well. We have had trekker after trekker coming back in from the track saying they had the most fantastic time and state our boys are the best on the track! With over 700 trekkers in 2007 we have not had even one complaint which just shows the way our KTL boys look after you our trekkers who choose to walk with us.
This year they walk even prouder as they now have their prized butterfly on their shirts. For those of you who do not know anything about the Oro Province, its renowned for being the home of the largest butterfly in the world, The Queen Alexandra Birdwing. The female butterfly wingspan can be 10 inches or more. The male butterfly has iridescent yellow, pale blue and pale green markings on black wings and the female has cream markings on dark brown wings. The Queen Alexandra is found only in New Guinea living in only a few valleys near Popondetta, and is listed as an endangered species.
In previous years our guides have indicated they would like a butterfly on their t/shirts so this year their dream has come true. They not only have one but three. One on each sleeve and one on the front of their shirts.
PNG Colours are Red, Black & Yellow and once again they are proud to walk in these colours as they want to show all trekkers that they are from PNG and love being part of a PNG based trekking company.
A group of our KTL boys seen at Bomana War Cemetery whilst waiting for their trekkers before heading out to Ower's Corner for the commencement of their trek:
KTL_2_nicer_pic.jpg28/04/2007 at 3:44 am #95343
Another photograph of the same group shortly before they left Ower's Corner. This group totalled 26 in all however was split in two to ease congestion on campsite areas.
Ower__s_Corner_Group_Photograph.jpg28/04/2007 at 4:18 am #95345
For anyone who hires a personal porter, you will get to meet them shortly before you head off as seen here in this photograph. As we say, if you start off cracking jokes with them, they will open up and be your best friend from start to finish.
SANY0056.jpg28/04/2007 at 4:42 am #97366
They will carry your packs across flooded rivers such as in this photograph:
SANY0060.jpg28/04/2007 at 5:00 am #97367
A highlight for the KTL group who where in Port Moresby was to attend this years Anzac Day service at the Bomana War Cemetery situated some 15 minutes out of town. In all his years of walking Russell Eroro my business partner mentioned that no operator ever invited him to attend this service:
IMGP3431.jpg28/04/2007 at 5:46 am #97368
As I write this, our KTL rescue unit of 8 boys is helping a trekker to get back down from Isurava to Kokoda when his insurance company stated they could not help as it was a pre existing problem and wanted to charge him in excess of $8,000.00 for a helicopter airlift back to Port Moresby.
When the word got out, some of our KTL boys came forward and offered their help to take our stretcher up to Isurava and carry the guy out to save him money. As we own transport in Kokoda he was driven to Popondetta to catch a flight back into Port Moresby. The cost for our KTL boys, transport and ticket will be less than $1000.00 so quite a saving for our trekker who injured his ankle. In flat areas he can walk but where they are tree roots they will have to carry him, 4 on 4 off until they reach our Red toyota 4wd Hilux waiting for them at Kovelo village or as far as they can drive up towards Hoi.
Update: Craig ended up slowly walking out with our boys as he could not imagine being carried over this terrain. His main comment back in Port Moresby was that he always felt cared for. In Isurava, by the guesthouse owner; once our KTL boys arrived, he knew they were with him all the way; at Rusty's Kokoda Block they fussed over him. Then he was driven down to Popondetta and our crew patiently waited for his flight. He said after boarding another passenger collapsed and they thought it was him. Even though back in the terminal building they ran towards the plane thinking it was him who had fallen. Back in Port Moresby Head Office took over and he was once again cared for. On the day his mate came back from the track we called and took him out to Ower's Corner and so on. From a military background he stated that at no time did he feel uncared for as there was always someone on hand to take care of his needs.
Craig is on the right in this photograph:
IMGP3410.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:24 am #97376
Our KTL boys are renowned for their uke'ule playing and singing on the track. One trekker was asked by another trekker walking with another trekking company if it was annoying.
Our trekker replied quite the opposite, it helps get you up a mountain, it keeps you company as you walk and in campsites it helps to pass the time away while relaxing.
This year we have been lucky enough to have a couple of musicians in the trekking groups walking with us. One gentleman Hans I believe had children entertained singing 'how much was the doggie in the window' which amused our porters. Hans brought with him a uke'ule and left without it having handed it over to a guy called WEBBER who I am 100% sure is feeling like one lucky porter! as they truly love their music…..
Singalong.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:29 am #97377
They help you with your boots…..they help to dry them out at night…..this year we heard lots of trekkers had foot rot, not our trekkers! Last year the same result! Our trekkers state they have spoken to others from other companies who have complained about their feet. By contrast trekker after trekker has returned from the track with KTL, all walking properly with no such problems. We attribute this to the way our boys look after your boots.
shoes.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:34 am #97378
Our KTL boys never leave your side and are with you all the way. They tie ropes across log crossings and help trekkers to walk across. Even if you do not hire a personal porter there will always be someone walking with you and making sure you are safe. Check out this photograph, our boys always have your safety on their minds.
SANY0250.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:39 am #97379
Same with river crossings. Our KTL boys will hold your hand until they get you safely across to the other side:
On the left in this photograph is Brendan Buka who holds the Kokoda Track Record in both directions in a little over 17 hours.
In 2006 he set the record from Owers' Corner to Kokoda in 17 hours 49 minutes.
In 2007 he showed he was still the best when he started at Kokoda Memorial Hospital at 7am and was at Owers' Corner 17 hours 20 minutes later.
His winnings of K20,000.00 for his two races is more than most PNG people take home in 12 months of working. Will he be back to try his luck in 2008, you bet he will as I gather he will be looking for another K10,000.00 !!!
SANY0143.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:44 am #97380
At campsites, they help do anything for you from making you a cuppa, to helping set up your tent:
shirt.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:47 am #97381
No matter which direction you choose to walk, when you complete your walk you will know it was our KTL boys who helped you in anyway they could so that you achieve your dream of walking the Kokoda Track. This photograph shows one of our treks walking into the township of Kokoda after completing their successful trek:
SANY0282.jpg29/04/2007 at 7:56 am #97382
On many an occasion they have been asked to sing again before saying goodbye to their trekkers. I have lost count of the number of trekkers who want to purchase their music. Unfortunately we have not been able to offer this but will have to find a way as its a popular request. This photograph, porters entertaining trekkers at the Gateway Hotel swimming pool area:
Gateway_Hotel.jpg29/04/2007 at 10:24 am #97383
How our KTL boys dry out your boots – not one of our trekkers got foot rot on our treks:
Trek_272_182___shoes.jpg29/04/2007 at 10:27 am #97384
On all our treks our trekkers integrate with our porters and guide to make one very happy group. They joke with each other, share stories and hold hands from start to finish, whatever it takes to ensure trekkers achieve their goal of completing their trek. Seen here in this trek is a group from Trek 272 at Brigade Hill. Quite a few were on their second trek with us:
Reference from Alissa – Trek 272: Dan, Michael and I from the Flight Centre trekked with Gail's company KTL two years ago and it was such a wonderful experience we have only just arrived back in Australia two weeks ago from our second trip to Kokoda.
Both trips were different in their own special way, but one of the main reasons for going back the second time was to experience the cultural side and to spend more time with fantastic boys that work for KTL.
These guys are truly wonderful, they are always looking out for you (the first trip I slipped on a waterfall and one of the boys caught my pack and pulled me back up). Each group has their own ukulele (small 4 string guitar) and the boys are always singing (it's amazing how the pain seems to disappear, when someone is singing as you are climbing a hill, hurting like there is no tomorrow). They always ensure that the entire group is OK and that everyone is safely in camp before dark – very important with the conditions up there.
I would recommend any of our friends and loved ones who would want to go PNG and do Kokoda to use KTL.
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