An experience that will stick with me forever, tracing the footsteps of our diggers and the sacrifices they made on one of the most significant Australian military campaigns in history.
The track was unforgiving with Anzac time offering some of the worst conditions a trekker can experience. The debilitating effect of terrain, vegetation, heat, humidity and cold (at higher altitudes) should not be underestimated. What I didn’t expect was the warmth, friendliness and generosity of the Porters, villages and everyone else we met along the track.
Although I spent most of the time looking at my feet trying to navigate the terrain, the moments I did look up I was taken away by some of the most breath taking jungle I have ever seen. It is hard to beleive that such a bloody war took place amongst this enchanting wilderness.
We walked 127km which had us spend 62hours and 42 minutes on the track. We climbed 6123m and descended 5861m. Our max elevation was 2012m. I burnt 24, 385 calories and lost a total 0f 5.5kgs body weight over the 9 days.
A big thanks to Shane, Tina, Ness + all the crew from Escape Trekking Adventures that made our trip possible and so enjoyable.
Now I’ll leave you with a little poem one of our fellow trekkers Pete Russell wrote:
Gather around and let me tell you a yarn of our Kokoda Track,
About a bunch of strangers who flew to Kokoda – with no intention of flying back.
From across Australia and different pasts we’ve come here to PNG,
From Cunanarrwa, Canberra, QLD and good old Syd-en-y.
But the one thing that’s brought us together is the sacrifice of our for brothers,
Many of whom still rest in these hills, no homecoming to their mothers.
Yes we should never forget it isn’t the track that has brought us all together,
Rather it’s Potts, Kingsbury and co who’s names we must remember forever.
Our challenges along the track are insignificant to those who fought,
Mud, rain or blisters don’t even entertain the thought.
But From Isurava to Efogi, Imitas to Bridgade Hill,
We’ve sweated, we’ve swarn and even embraced the PNG highlands chill.
We’ve slipped, we’ve cried, we’ve laughed -all the while with the porters by our side,
God bless these patient souls for garenteeing a bloody smoother ride.
But one positive that stems from such a bloody and terrible war,
Is that whilst we came here as relative strangers we no doubt leave as much more.
New mates and old mates have come together to work like a well oiled team,
Let me run you through a few names to emphasise what I mean.
Luke the big birthday boy, Terry the group realist,
Trent our David Suzuki, Katie the cartwheel gymnast.
Emma the lick lick pigeon speaker, Greg – nuts first time overseas,
Tim our elder statesman, complete with Dodgie knees.
Jac the fundraising champion and Adriana the fitness know how and ability,
Sean the group Tony Robbins, keeping up our positivity.
Had to mention Hussey here because he’s got so much to say,
And Theres no standing between Amy and Kokoda for her 40th birth-day.
Lisa keeping the boys in line, a near impossible task,
Pete the absolute wanker all you have to do is ask.
Evie the profuse sweater, Shifty always looking to pester,
Lincoln the well read brainstrust and of course Hussey the group jester.
No matter the pain we’re all in, and the 430am wake ups we love to hear,
Know that owers corner draws us closer and we can almost taste that first beer.
But we haven’t conquered the track- you shouldn’t see it that way,
Rather the track let us pass through, now staying with us every day.
To describe this experience there are only four words that are truly suitable,
Courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice- the words are unmovable.
Looking back in years to come this experience will bring us no regret,
But Undoutbilbly this has brought us new Meaning to….
“Lest we forget”