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- 01/07/2010 at 3:08 pm #104452
A bit of panic early on regarding this trek. Father and son team, Huw ap Rees and Owain ap Rees phoned to say one of their backpacks had failed to turn up. After they waited and waited there was another backpack there similar to theirs but belonging to someone else. Turned out the other guy must have grabbed the wrong pack and took off to wherever he was staying.
A few decisions were discussed wondering what to do the next day if the backpack failed to show up. Fortunately he wore his boots but other items would have had to be purchased at the last minute from a local store or borrowed off ourselves.
The following morning the other trekker in this group, Brent Schilf booked in for his flight. The other two, Huw and Owain went straight to the international area to see if the missing backpack turned up.
Luck was on their side, their backpack showed up and they too went into the boarding lounge. Then another lot of bad luck. As the flight from Cairns was delayed, Airlines of PNG moved around aircraft which meant the flight to Popondetta was delayed until 1:15pm. Hence a long wait in the boarding lounge before they finally boarded their flight to Popondetta.
They later arrived in Kokoda around 6pm and spent the night at Orohaven Kokoda Retreat.
The first night was spent at Isurava Village. Ernst tried to phone today but it was hard to hear him. I think he was trying to say they were going to spend the night at Eora Creek. Will confirm later once I get to talk to him again. He said all trekkers were doing ok.
My apology for not posting earlier but I have been experiencing all kinds of problems. Firstly my internet would not connect a couple of days ago and I had to wait for the internet provide to send a cable guy to move the aerial on my roof to see if they could improve the very slow service. Just when I thought I could post this morning, the power went off all day and only just came on around 7pm tonight…yes, PNG, the land of the unexpected!
IMGP1905__640x480_.JPG03/07/2010 at 10:30 pm #104451Gail ThomasMember
Update 4th July: Have heard from the track that trekkers have now reached the half way point of Efogi where they spent last night. All three trekkers along with our staff are doing just great.
They must be feeling good now knowing they have reached this point on the track. Today they will walk towards Manari. At the moment there are a lot of trekkers on the track so they will have to find a place to stay the night which is more often then not, Agulogo which is next to the river.06/07/2010 at 8:28 am #104487Gail ThomasMember
Update 6th July: Ernst phoned in to say they were all still ok and that they spent the night at Ioribaiwa. They now have one more night on the track at Goldie River and tomorrow will come up at Owers' Corner at 9am. Our vehicle will pick up the group and bring them back into Port Moresby after stopping off at Bomana War Cemetery.08/07/2010 at 5:43 am #104496
Update 8th July: We met again with the three guys on this trek last night at the Gateway Hotel and there was smiles as they shared some of their experiences with us.08/07/2010 at 9:06 am #104497Huw ap ReesMember
We just got back home today after an amazing Kokoda Experience. Trek 660, 28 June to 7th July 2010.
We had Ernest as our Guide – a great leader with the respect of all his team, Clement and Tommy singing and playing guitar every night, at breakfast and even on the Track!. Clement showed us all the military sites and helped us understand how the soldiers of both sides must have felt as the battle turned first in favour of the Japanese and then the Australians.
We had a great small party of three trekkers, Ernest and four porters so we got to know each other well and understand what life is like in Kokoda Village where they all live.
We started at the Kokoda end and imagined the Japanese attack into the mountains as we progressed – how could they believe it was possible to get through to Moresby by this route? We saw each of the battle sites and each of the new defensive lines drawn by the Diggers in the fighting retreat. They picked some great positions to defend! Eventually we got to the furthest point of the advance and the start of the Australian advance.
We walked for 7 full days with our own packs and the challenge was massive – physcially on the up hill climbs, and mentally on the long steep descents in very muddy slippery conditions. Ernest and his team walked closely with us when we were tired and let us charge off with energy in the morning. We had a well deserved swim in the Goldie River and then climbed up the last hill to Owers Corner in the afternoon and spent a great evening looking back at the view over the track we had conquered. We camped there overnight and had breakfast and a final sing song as the sun rose.
What a great feeling!
Thanks to everyone at KTL!
Huw ap Rees08/07/2010 at 11:20 am #104498
Huw, thanks for your kind words about your trek and our staff who walked alongside you. Clement is still here along with Tommy who will turn back next Monday and walk back home with a trek being led by my son Shane.
Ernst returned to Kokoda early this morning.
On behalf of Kokoda Trekking and your guide and porters, please accept our thanks for booking and walking with our team.
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