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Nine in the group from a wide variety of backgrounds, yet within a few days all united as one against the Guide! Just because I suggested they could harden up a bit and cast a few questions as to whether the boys were girls, the boys liked boys or that someones wife (husband & wife) was just a little tougher than him. And so it was on for young and old (me) for the remaining days with even the porters being roped in to give all us trekkers heaps.
But that is really one of the great things about this Australian Icon shared with so many Australians, we really do take the piss so brilliantly!! (see October report to see how we coped with a yank!)
And the highlights for this trip:
- Jess took a squat in the nettle, apparently ALL my offers to assist were inappropriate but a liberal self dose of Stingose had the issue resolved in 15-20 minutes. Anyone who has had the pleasure of this nettle is now squirming in their seats. How the locals use it for muscle soreness I’ll never know
- BJ, who works out west, mucked up his packing and inadvertently ended up carrying 20kg incl his IPAD. ‘Jules’, his mum had to buy some gear for him but BJ less than impressed with his Wiggles Skivvy. Wouldn’t hear a bad word about Jules though. And apparently my request for her phone number was inappropriate too.
- Tim Trad met us at the PNG National War Museum and ran us through the absolutely amazing collection sitting in a tin shed. Tim’s knowledge is amazing and ALL of us greatly appreciated Tim going out of his way to share this with us. With so much weaponry about, I said nothing inappropriate.
- Getting Kirsty (an RN) to take over some Paw Paw for Ben the porters chafing and suggesting it was best for her to assist was priceless! Ben didn’t know where to go, what to do but spent the rest of the trek setting me up with fictitious injuries to porters that ALL involved inappropriate intervention on my part! Lucky for Ben he was my Personal Porter and found some Okari Nuts and Bush Tomatoes for us to try
- Sadly we seemed to be behind some big groups who smashed the fresh fruits & veges as well as the Coke stands. Win some, Lose some
- Choir Master Frank was in the team so the singing from the men was prolific and magnificent. Thanks Frank & team!
- Rain, rain and a bit more rain, some of it cold. Kaito comes to the front manufacturing an umbrella for Brent that went all the way from Myola to Owers and made just a few Nationals laugh along the way ‘Look Bush Man’
- Sommer Azzopardi shot from back marker on day 6 to front runner all day! What an effort but sadly made her run too soon and it was not long before she was back at the back with me. Hint to trekkers – if you want to see/hear/experience more, pace yourself to the guide (no matter how inappropriate he can be at times)
- Cards are a great source of entertainment but again, watch the teachers. We had a ‘cheater’ we’ll call Marita, because it rhymes so well, who just seemed to get amazing hands whenever she dealt.
And overall, just another amazing trip that opened the eyes, hearts and souls of all to the journey made 70 years ago by those courageous men of the Australian CMF & AIF. We are so indebted and may we all continue to promote this trip for what it is – A Truly Amazing Australian Rite of Passage.
No Roads Expeditions