My Excellent Kokoda Adventure Part 3
After the first couple of days, we were woken at 5:20am for the rest of the time to prepare ourselves and pack up our things having breakfast to get under way by 6:30am. We would trek anywhere between 3-4 hours up to 9 hours depending on the distance we needed to cover to get to the next campsite.
Now please note that this map is compressed (of course) but let me tell you that when we were climbing, they did feel that steep! You can find the original map here and if you follow this skitch link, you will be able to read the notations a little clearer. These notations mark the spots where we camped so it gives you an idea of where and how far we trekked each day.
There were places where I wished I never looked up as it would look so daunting… climbing through tree roots, up muddy steps, all twisted and tangled that the top was never in sight and just when you thought you had reached the top, you would come around a bend and then see there was more climbing ahead!
My breathing was very laborious going up and by day 4, the balls of my feet were aching. I never got blisters but I did tape up my feet to avoid getting any. I also used some cushioned padding under them to help and it did a little. I kept wondering how I would go for the rest of the trek. Sore feet seemed to be my only complaint which I was thankful for.
Check out how muddy my boots would get each day! And when they did, they would also weigh a ton or that’s what it felt like.
Our respective porters would collect our boots once we had finished dinner, clean them, put them by the fire which they had going all night, so by morning we would have clean dry boots to put on again just to get them all muddied up again.
If we had wet clothes, they would also take them by the fire as nothing would dry otherwise. They couldn’t dry absolutely everything so this meant that the weight in our packs would also increase day by day which wasn’t a good thing. They managed though. I admire those men so much. Some were barefoot and some wore flip flops. Not all of them had boots. My Armstrong did but they were a couple of sizes too small for him so I left him my boots when I finished.
I mentioned that on the first night I slept in a tent but for the rest of the time, I opted to sleep in the guest houses along with the rest of our team. We were 7 girls and 5 guys and it was quite funny at times.
You can see in this picture that we all had head torches on. No power in these villages so a head torch was definitely the go!
Aside from a couple of the team who opted for the tents each night, the rest of us would set up our beds in one of these guest houses. Girls and guys all in together so you can imagine us trying to get changed and asking for headlights off or turning in the other direction so we could get dressed and undressed.
Another thing was that the showers (if you can call them that as some of them were just a tap rigged up high enough to stand under) were cold all except for one night which cost us five dollars each to have them boil up some water for a HOT shower. I was grateful for this as it had been 4 days since the last hot one!
So have I got you all excited yet… enough that you would like to go too? I’m just having a little fun. Without a sense of humour, you wouldn’t get through this thing. I’ll let you savour this post and leave the rest for the Grand Finale in a couple of days… promise I won’t stay away as long for the next one. I will also reveal why it has taken me this long to update you on how the trek was for me.
Until next post, keep smiling and have an excellent day!