01/11/2009 at 11:57 am #102349
OMG!!! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! My 2nd family on here for the last 2 or 3 years has been a Godsend and every piece of advice amongst all my questions (you guys have been sooo patient answering my endless questions!) was taken on board and it more than paid off .
Gail – I can not believe I got a phone call from you! Sorry I wasn't able to talk for long – as I was literally about to put my last foot on the plane – everyone else was already seated and I was holding up the plane (I was frantically looking for my journal in my bag that I thought I had left behind back at Hoi village ) I was absolutely stoked that in the middle of nowhere, a flight was about to take off with me having one foot in and one foot out of the plane when I get a tap on the shoulder asking if I was Brooke and that I had a phonecall!! Everyone on the plane was most curious – I just told them I had a secret admirer and let them come to their own conclusions
!:lol: I am still reeling from it all. Sending you a PM.
Peter – had a look for your boots, but alas, was unable to locate them. Around 2 hrs from Goldie River, we were roughly at dump 66 where there was indeed quite a large log. I did not wait around to stick my hand down quite a large dog's mouth or simlar large wild animal to fish out your boots though
Brian – One of the bois – Stan (Stanley) knew of Brendan Buka, but hadn't heard of Wallace Lemeki, but said he would try to find out. He goes into Orohaven every now and then, so I gave him a handwritten note to give to Brendan and Wallace for you.
Everyone else – Lorna/Eve, The Jacks et al, know that I thought of you all and even printed out your advice for discouragement, other handy tips and stuck them into my journal for referencing during the trek. It really did help and eased my mind significantly.01/11/2009 at 12:05 pm #103468
good on you flup,
new you could do it … is it not the most awsome experience,
cheers mike01/11/2009 at 12:09 pm #103469
Day 1 was good. We pretty much followed the map/timeline in Bill James' book, "Field Guide To The Kokoda Track".
Days 2 and 3 for me were an absolute nightmare. Woke up on the wrong side of the bed(mattress?) so-to-speak and began what I called the first real hell-hike up to Ioribaiwa Ridge/Peak of Maguli Range. Much mud. Many tree roots. Oh God the tree roots! I never want to see any ever in my life again! Much sweat and many, many tears. Both of frustration (so early in the morning, I forgot to take into account the effect of my medications and the altitude with my asthma so early in the morning) and the expectation I had put upon myself to keep up with the group and tears of pain >.< Some (not many, but somehow I managed to find them), stinging nettles. I won't go into details, but ladies, watch where you squat to do a pee. One word: OWWWWWWWW!!!!!
So waddling up the hill with tears streaming down my face, I had had a gutful, threw down my walking pole and had a bit of a tantrum. Thank God mostly everyone was so far ahead of me they didn't know, but I feel bad for our trek guide and some of the porters that saw me have a spac attack – and this was only day 2.
Accompanied by a headache, tripping over my own feet (hadn't found my jungle-feet yet) and needing to pee again (not that I dared to this time around) from drinking so much water, it was a day I did not wish to repeat.
Things got better after that though and these were my only real tough-tough days.01/11/2009 at 12:11 pm #103470
Congratulations – got to speak to you but before I could ask about hubby you were on the flight. BTW how did he go, assume he made it to Kokoda. Check out the news area of the website as there are some messages there for you.01/11/2009 at 12:19 pm #103471
I took 800+ photos, but a lot of them look the same. Mountain range after mountain range, village after village. It is not until I go back to my journal that everything comes flooding back. Speaking of flooding, we were incredibly lucky. It only rained once – day 1 – the whole 10 days I was there.
That didn't mean there wasn't any mud though. My goodness, I have so much respect for any of you who have done it in the wet. I would've had to book a 14 day trek if it was raining. The tree roots were soggy, wet, muddy and slippery at the best of times. I simply could not imagine them when it is (as it is usually) teeming down with heavy rain. Tree roots must be what holds the entire country together I swear. At times I really did feel like I was in an enchanted forest. Or something out of Harry Potter where that big tree uplifts its roots and comes chasing after you ready to wind its never-ending vines around your ankles.
Mike – I had printed out a copy of your poem Brigade Hill, stuck it into my journal (volume 1) and went to read it out at a memorial service. I forgot I stuck it into journal 1, but not journal 2 and so was unable to read it out I was most disappointed.
However, Dean – I managed to read your poem, The Power Of Kokoda' out by chance just before we had our memorial service at Isurava as I was looking for something in my bag and found your poem in a pocket of my bag I forgot I had. It was very moving and indeed set the tone for that particular day.01/11/2009 at 12:48 pm #103472
We the Kokoda forum family are so proud of you, really am, you richly deserve every congratulation.
The past couple of weeks experience will live with you for the rest of your life pleased to hear you kept a journal and took some 800 photos some of which we may see in the coming months.
Thanks for trying to make contact with Wallace a Brenden for me, hope your note gets to them.
I was extremely lucky that I undertook my trek last year even though it rained 7 out of them 9 days as I have been in hospital twice once for a few days over the past couple of weeks and trekking Kokoda may not be a possibility now.
Looking forward very much to hearing more from you.
Brian01/11/2009 at 1:03 pm #103474
Gail – Mr Fluppy's (Earle's) knees started to go around the day 3 mark (he is 6ft 2") so downhills were a real problem for him. By day 5 he was in a fair bit of pain, but refusing to let it get to him. I drew a lot of strength from him. He showed much courage and perserverance.
Luckily we had bought two knee braces, seen the physio for numerous exercises to do prior to and whilst we were there, pumped him full of Panadeine and Voltaren every 3 hrs and soaking his leg in every deep-ish creek crossing we could was enough to get him through.
My left hip went and clicked out of place and also made my ankle roll 4 times (balance was of course off with my hip being out) and along with Mr Fluppy's knees, our physio is going to love us when we next see him. Maybe we should by shares in his company since we bring him (or will be bringing him) so much business
Brian – You're most welcome. Sorry to hear that you have been in hospital. Will any amount of physio/rehab help? What about in 5 years time? I would like to do Kokoda to Ower's in 5 years time (with KTL of course). We could hobble along together02/11/2009 at 1:31 am #10348702/11/2009 at 2:48 am #103488
Yes, your walker's guide dvd (& the map too – as I got this long before I purchased the Bill James book) was indeed a great help.
Everyone else – I am about to post some pics up of the first couple of days. You will (in time) also be able to view them on my facebook profile under the name, Brooke Preston. Add me as a friend if you wish.
1st day – only day – we got rain
Me in a Japanese trench
[attachment=8827:Happytha…fMaguliR.jpg]02/11/2009 at 2:56 am #103489
Looking out the plane window on the way to Port Moresby at the Coral Sea Islands
Showing the curvature of the earth looking out the plane window
Sunset over (current) Ioribaiwa Village02/11/2009 at 3:02 am #103490
Bloody tree roots absoulutely EVERYWHERE for the entire 9 days!!!! I am sure these contributed heavily to my slipping all over the place…
Yes, it was muddy – even without the rain. But my Zamberlan boots (good 'ol Italian one-piece leather) held up magnificently. W00T!
A rare moment of flat terrain (in which I used to focus on my breathing).
One lone trekker (me). Sometimes it was good to be both ahead and behind the group. Gave me my own head space and allowed me to think. Keep that in mind fellow trekkers-to-be…
Lonetrekkerme.jpg02/11/2009 at 3:13 am #103491
I took a friend with me. His name is Mr Otter. Sometimes he was carried in my pack, but sometimes I allowed him out and on this particular day he wanted to sit in a tree and relax for a bit
Other times, Mr Otter tried to get into the mood of it all and sat in a Japanese trench lying in wait with his own rifle…
When Mr Otter wanted some quiet time, I put him back in my pack. When I wanted quiet time, I lay down in one of the guest haus' and did a Sudoku puzzle or two (or three)…02/11/2009 at 3:26 am #103493
Me somewhere in the middle of the pack. Just past the porter with the bright yellow pack (Stan) there is a guy. Ahead of him (if you squint real hard or enlarge the pic) you'll see me. I remember this day as the song 'Paint It Black' (Tour Of Duty themesong – sung by The Rolling Stones) was playing. It was quite a sombering moment as the song is all about war.
I was amazed by the little itty bitty pineapples growing. I had seen them here in Australia many times in plantations up here in QLD, but never in the wild. I thought it was very sweet (pardon the pun)
I was equally fascinated with the bugs I found along the way. I spotted a really cool one at Menari, but just couldn't get the setting on the camera to work properly. This little fella here was on one of our guys tents at New Nauro village.
I will get around to adding more photos each day, I promise but this will do for now…
fluppy02/11/2009 at 8:42 am #102348
Sounds like the first bit of your trek was the biggest challenge. It's mentally and physically overwhelming, so I wouldn't feel bad about having a hissy fit. I reckon most people would, even if they don't show it haha. (Did I ever tell you the first day was my worst? Baaad reaction to the malaria tablets! Thought I was going to be sent home!)
I'm glad you made it and had such a great experience.
I'll look for you on FB.
Eve02/11/2009 at 9:28 am #103499
Few Brooke Prestons there hope I picked the right one
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