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We had a great flight over the Owen Stanley Ranges from Port Moresby to Popondetta. From the air we saw the Japanese bunkers on the shores of Buna and Gona that still exist today.
From there it was a “3 hour tour” via our transport to Kokoda only to be greeted by a torrential downpour for our entire 1st day walk up to Deniki. Welcome to “The Track!”
Having a small group, all 6 of us were flying hence the sleep in until 6am before our breakfast of porridge and banana fritters and off we set at 7.15am. Isurava blew us away. You can still picture Kingsbury and Co standing up to be counted when it was their turn. The second night was spent in Alola with the now famous all night crowing Roosters.
Day 3. This was our big one. By lunch time we thought we were spent until we discovered the walk between Templeton’s 2 and 1 was no walk in the park either. Even with the cold night we still managed to rest our weary bones.
Day 4. What a great day!. The biscuit bombing areas of Myola, off to see The Fuzzy Wuzzy then onto our home Village of Kagi. The local kids sang us a few tunes before a cyclone nearly blew us all back to Port Moresby.
Day 5 stated with a huge downhill before we entered Efogi 2. Time to buy up whatever avocados’ we could get. Efogi 1 was a chance to get those gel shots into us before the big uphill of Brigade Hill only to be welcomed by a swarm of sweat loving bees. (time for a shower). Long downhill before a quick swim then a restful night at Menari. A short day was ahead of us as we arrived at New Nauru just after lunch. We had reached the top of 7 of the 9 false peaks of the Maguli range. We all enjoyed an afternoon resting while watching our fabulous porters witling away at our souveneer poles they are making for us.
Two days to go and boy is the time flying now. We pass more foxholes on our way to Ofi creek, pick up some fresh Paw Paw then up we go to Ioribaiwa Ridge. We’ve now walked as far as the Japanese had advanced and now it’s downhill and we take our boots off for the 11 creek crossings that head into our last night at Wa Ule Creek. Another great swimming spot and yet another Eco toilet thanks to “No Roads” and “Big Fish”.
6 hours of trekking to go. Imita Ridge is another tough one but it’s “Nothing we haven’t done before”. A freshen up at Goldie river before finishing up under the Arch at Ower’s Corner. We look back, reflect and remember and give our best rendition of “Once a jolly swagman”, a worthy time for The Last Post and The Ode and finally an icy cold beer and snag.
Our journey is not complete without paying our respects at Bomana Cemetery followed by a night to remember with our team of Porters who have looked after us just as their Grandfather’s had looked after our very own Diggers some 70 years ago.
No Roads Expeditions