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There were six of us in total, Adam with his lad Angus (11 years old), Geoff & Howard, my own son Liam and my good self
Election time in PNG, trouble on the street flowing over to our accommodation, very exciting to be greeted by armed security guards at the Holiday Inn. No risk to us but reinforces our requirement that you stay inside secure grounds! Note to self – always carry your camera to get a good shot like this!
- Landed at Popondetta after one of the most confused check-in systems in this world. Oh oh, no NoRoads packs (silly to think that items checked in the day before would be loaded first!) so no food, tents, cooking gear etc. Procedures kick in and after a quick visit to the supermarkets and Mary’s house for mozzie nets, we are ready for the Chiropractic Express
- Chiropractic Express gets bogged. Bit of fun though really as we hook it up to an oil tanker and out she pops.
- Leisurely stay at Kokoda, soak up the museum, get some tucker into us and gear up for the next day.
- Off to Isurava Battlefield where we will camp the night, but wait, its chokkers, so it’s off to Alola for the night. BIG first day for us, BIGGER day for the porters as they catch up with the NRE packs, but these men are phenomenal as they power in by 9.00pm.
We continue on soaking up the history, the flora and fauna (look out fauna as the men go hunting tree kangaroo etc), the villages and the villagers. Then comes Kagi, yay!
The girls of Kagi are very taken with young Angus, Adam will have to save hard to get the bride price organised. The singing is as brilliant as ever, sharing the dancing, singing and our gifts always a highlight. The cries of sadness as Adam leaves the next morning echo down the valley after us!
After much emailing, discussions and diplomatic representations, it is decided that Geoff will lay a plaque on behalf of the 2/14th battalion, in memory of Bruce Kingsbury (both tied in with Geoff’s school Reservoir High) at the new Kagi Elementary School. ‘Jonesy’, chairman of the School Board is very pleased to agree with this and we trust that an ongoing relationship between the schools develops.
Howard gets his first Iced Coffee for the trip! He was experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms at this point but his trusty guide comes to the party with a tetra-pak of vitamin enriched iced coffee. Why he can’t just drink our magnificent brewed coffee I don’t know, Howard, just HTFU!
On through the mountains, the rain, the mud. Its another great trip with some magnificent swimming, meals (can’t finish off any of the pots there is so much), and friendships developing with the porters. And Geoff falls victim to a slippery rock and Dump 1 swimming hole, creates a whole new alternative to the belly whacker with a back whacker that may go all the way to the Olympics! The new move if officially named ‘The Geoffrey’. Trekkers, ALWAYS on your guard.
Special mention goes to Angus. Just 11 but always up there at the front, one step behind Guy, always smiling, always curious, and always a pleasure to have along. Did I say always smiling? Well apart from when he rang his mum on the 2nd to last day and she made him cry (and thus all us blokes too). Angus is warmed by our care though as we expressed the old NoRoads sympathy of ‘HTFU Angus’. See his video to know he loved this too! Not as heartless as it may sound.
While on the subject of Father/Son trips, now that I have experienced it for myself and as I continue to witness with the many trekkers, this trip is MOST EXCELLENT for developing your relationship with your child. Whether its father/son, father/daughter, mother son etc, etc; this trek is SO GOOD. Don’t just believe me, watch the video of Adam/Angus to find out for sure (& have a Kleenex handy!). Then book in for next years Father/Son trips. Hey Pete, what about Mother/Daughter trips too (and yes I know you won’t let me take those).
And so it ends with the goodbye dinner at the Holiday Inn as we all marvel at how much the men can put away, how huge the steaks are from the menu, how sweet that SP Lager tastes and how good it has been to share the eight days together with our new ‘besties’, the men of KAGI – three cheers hip hip.......you know.
Cheers, Andrew J.
No Roads Expeditions