My Excellent Kokoda Adventure Part 1
Firstly, let me say what a very humbling experience this was. I’ve had a few days now to process what I have just been through and you know something, we are as soft as Brie cheese that’s been left out in the sun for a few hours. I’m the first to admit that I love all my home comforts and am very fortunate and grateful to have all the mod cons for cooking and cleaning. We live in such a fast paced world and no wonder my head spins with each new day trying to work out what’s hot and where it’s cool to be seen… and that’s just online!!
This is not my first trip overseas to a place where the minimum monthly wage is way below the poverty line at $30.00, but it has been quite some time since I have experienced such a lovely race of people who will never have all the conveniences that we do and not even a fraction at that!
This is taken in the Kokoda Village.
Port Moresby itself is very dirty and all hotels, shops and restaurants are locked up and have razor wire around the boundaries. You DO NOT venture into the streets on your own no matter what! You see, there are many desperate people who wait for such an opportunity and then bring out a knife to take the contents of your bag. Apparently, it is the murder capital of the world and not somewhere you would want to be without security guards by your side.
Once in the villages, it is quite safe to mingle with the natives of the land. After all, their ancestors are the original Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who helped our Aussie diggers when wounded by the Japanese during WWII.
So upon our arrival, we were briefed and enjoyed a couple of quiet drinks at the hotel in anticipation of what we were to face for the next 8 days!
The next morning we had to have our packs and ourselves down at reception at 6am. Kind of early I thought and in hindsight, we could have slept another 2 hours. Everything moves very slowly in PNG. We were all anxious to get going. That nervous energy filled the space we were in. Pacing, catching a few more winks if we could… eating our snacks out of boredom… and finally at 10:30am we received the news that the fog had cleared and we were ordered to the airport to catch our late flight to Kokoda Village for the start of our trek.
Once there, we were introduced to our personal porters and others who would join us and off we went with courage and enthusiasm in our steps to discover what is the Kokoda Track and to take in the beauty and history as we went.
All in all, we were that excited to get going that the first day went quite quickly. A steady fairly easy climb until we were just outside our first camp site at Deniki where we experienced the first of many steep climbs. I think shock set in and I remember thinking that I hoped that there weren’t any others as steep as this! Did I say that? Already the psychology and mindset are prevalent.
Stay tuned for the next installment… !
The Deniki Camp site. Day 1