Bernie called at 4.30pm yesterday. The trekkers are all well at Efogi.
Luckily he had better reception yesterday, so he got a decent report through before it cut out.
I did get their approximate location right in the last update; the previous night they were in fact at Digger’s campsite – close to Bomber campsite, and it looks so much like Bomber campsite that when Bernie took Brian to visit the site of the plane wreck, he was shocked to find the crater had disappeared…until he realised he was at the wrong site!
Yesterday they walked up to Kagi Gap; from this point they had a great view of Kagi, Brigade Hill, Maguli Ridge – all the ridges they need to climb over the next few days. Bernie says it was the best view he had ever had from that point, as the view was clear and amazing.
Yesterday they had lots of downhill walking, followed by the ‘glorious*’ uphill into Efogi through the waterfall.
Yesterday, and for the past few days, they have had quite nice weather. Yesterday they had some warm periods which were accompanied by a nice cool breeze (a rare phenomenon on the Track!). The Track has dried up a lot, and they’ve had an excellent walk thus far.
They visited Naduri and had morning tea there. They met Ovuro Ndiki, the fuzzy wuzzy who is reportedly now 108 years old. They had a bit of a sing with him and had their photos taken, and some of the fitter trekkers opted to walk up to a treehouse further up in the village.
Some of the porters who carried Corina on a stretcher last year (including Esko [spelling?] and Kevin) were with them, so they asked those guys to demonstrate how they constructed the stretcher. They agreed to do so, and after the two engineers in the group had certified the stretcher as strong and sound, the boys carried Catherine around on it. Bernie is quite chuffed that they now have photos and videos of how they did it.
They arrived at Efogi at about 1.30pm, allowing them a long, languid afternoon. They enjoyed the opportunity to have showers and dry out some of their gear.
The back-to-back trekkers (Catherine, Sam, Bernie, Lindsay, Julie) are weary but going well. All the trekkers are in good shape, and it sounds like they’re enjoying the walk, the history and each other’s company.
Today they will climb Brigade Hill. I believe that tomorrow night they will stay in Menari, Nauro or somewhere in between.
*’glorious’ obviously being Dad’s description, not mine; in 2005, this day of walking was my ‘bad day’…any of you who have seen the K05 video (i.e. anyone who has ever been to any event associated with this walking group) can probably picture this climb through the waterfall; Dad kindly included lots of footage of me trudging along, climbing up through the waterfall, set to the rather dramatic soundtrack of ‘November Rain’…! :/
After breaking her leg last year Corina has decided to finish what she started.
And yes she did it!
If you wish to support Corina’s you can visit her sponsorship website at: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/corina_poole
Bernie called at 6.20pm on Wednesday. After 7 hours of walking, the K12s got into camp at Ioribaiwa at about 2pm. They have been making good time due to being efficient in the mornings and having only short breaks.
They went up and over a very soggy, slippery Imita Ridge – there were 10 falls, but no injuries. Corina led the way down Imita and, when they reached the spot where Corina last year broke her leg, they had a nice break (pardon the pun) and had a bit of a ceremony to mark the spot…which they’ve named Fibula Ridge. Corina is quite the celebrity, as it turns out. Many of the trekkers they’ve passed/met on the Track have heard stories of Corina’s courageous K11 effort and have been happily surprised to meet her on the Track this year. One of them even interviewed her on their camera – sounds like she’s on her way to becoming the next Mr Bean.
There are lots of people on the Track, and tonight the K12s are one of three groups at the campsite – there is another Kokoda Spirit group, and a group from Adelaide with Wayne Enright’s company. There is a good mood and they’re having a nice time chatting with the other groups, but they’re also happy to hear that they will likely have a few nights coming up where they won’t have to share a campsite with any other groups.
They got to experience a lovely Ioribaiwa sunset, and have also been enjoying Chris Adey’s extremely good massages. Not to be outdone by Anne’s hot pink gaiters, Nat has proved to be the new fashionista, rocking back-to-front Skins, much to everyone’s amusement.
On Thursday, the K12s will head up and over Ioribaiwa Ridge, then Maguli Ridge and across the Brown River. They plan to then camp at Aguaro, at the base of ‘the wall’.
They’re appreciating the messages from home, and they all send their best wishes.
If you wish to support:
- Corina’s fundraising efforts you can visit her sponsorship website at: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/corina_poole
- Chris’s fundraising efforts by visiting his sponsorship site at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/chris_adey_4
- Natalie’s fundraising efforts together with husband Brian you can visit their sponsorship website at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/brian_and_natalie_horan
Dad (Bernie) called at 7pm tonight. At that stage, only three of the trekkers were still up; clearly the 3 hours of walking today has them all tuckered out!
They departed their Port Moresby hotel at 8am yesterday, and were at Bomana War Cemetery by 9am. They then headed to Sogeri with the hope of catching up with Morris; he wasn’t there, so they were directed elsewhere, but he wasn’t there either so they headed off to McDonald’s Corner to see the statue, and then got to Ower’s Corner by 11.30am. At Ower’s, they had lunch and took photos. While they were there, two other groups came in.
They then headed off at 12.30pm, crossing a waist-deep Goldie River after the initial tricky downhill. The group set a good pace today, with no-one falling behind. There were 4 minor falls as the track was a bit slippery, and there was also some ‘gloopy’ mud. There has been light rain on and off since 4.30pm. In a puzzling move, Anne is sporting hot pink gaiters – although they’ll likely be a fetching shade of mud brown by this time tomorrow (which is probably for the best, really).
As the Track is quite busy, there were two other groups already camped at Good Water when the K12s arrived, so they didn’t get the best camping spot and having only a small shelter. But all four toilets have seats, and the trekkers have all had a wash in the nice little creek followed by a lovely dinner of fried chicken and potato. The porters have been singing for hours, and even have a guitar with them, so it looks like the K12s will be kept well-nourished from an aural perspective.
They had a couple of briefings today – Bernie managed to explain World War Two in 8 minutes and the Kokoda campaign in 2 minutes, and Steve did an excellent talk on army organisation (explaining what a brigade is etc.) The group has many of the same porters as last year. For those of you for whom this means anything: Corina has Kenneth again, Bernie has Koi, Anne is partnered with Robin, Brenton is with Artie again and Alma’s porter is the charming Paul, who was Michelle’s porter last year (it remains to be seen if Alma will be similarly showered with flowers).
Tomorrow, the K12s will be awoken by Alma’s chosen wake-up music by 5am. They’ll be walking by 6.45am, heading up a reportedly very muddy Imita Ridge. They’ll then criss-cross Ua-Ule Creek and head to Ioribaiwa, where they plan to be staying tomorrow night.
We’ll get another update through to you whenever we next hear from Bernie (if at all), but in the meantime remember you can send through your messages of support by email (Claire@duddyshopov.com.au) or text (0438 293 602) to me, or by posting a comment to the blog page.
If you wish to support Alma’s fundraising efforts you can visit her sponsorship website at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/almajane_odonnell
This gallery contains 5 photos.
Most of the Tribute trekkers departed Adelaide last night, bound for Brisbane.
I think you’ll all agree they looked rather fetching in their official black K12 shirts. Some of the K12s arrived in Brisbane or Port Moresby earlier in the week, while the remainder of the group will fly out this morning.
Those not already in PoM will fly there later today, and they’ll eventually be together as a whole group at the Gateway Hotel tonight where they face a night of sweet, excruciating anticipation, as only tomorrow do they start walking.
Those doing the Retreat trek now face a week of nervous excitement as they prepare to head to PNG early next week to join what will, by then, be a very smelly band of trekkers.
If you wish to support the Centacare Kokoda Challenge team’s fundraising efforts you can visit the sponsorship website at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/bernie_victory or by downloading the donation form here.
Please Note: Click on each photo to enlarge.
So why would you want to go back on the Kokoda track after breaking your leg on day 2 last year, is the question many people have asked. I guess the first thing is to go back and finish what I set out to do last year.
1. have some time for myself , I guess a journey of reflection
2. to gain insight in what our soldiers went through
3. to help raise funds for such a worthy cause.
Some things have changed from last year my own daughter who has complex disabilities has moved into supported accommodation ,which has allowed me some time for reflection.
On reflection what we go through on the Kokoda Track: walk when you don’t want to walk anymore, climb when you are too tired to get to your destination, go without the comforts that most people have, carry a pack that is heavy and feels like a burden is very similar to how I have lived my life and some of those choices were influenced by having a father who was a soldier in the Vietnam War. We would move and then pack the next day and move again as if someone was firing at us, for some soldiers the war never ends. I went to 10 primary schools and 3 high schools so I feel like the reading I have to do and Bernie’s night briefings are giving me a lesson in history that I missed out on from all that moving.
I was never very good at sport so the training has allowed me to experience some discipline and push myself physically. And along the way on the Kokoda Track you stop long enough to experience gratitude for what you do have and you hear the children laughing or the delight on their faces when chasing bubbles from a simple bubble blower. You remember what the fundraising is for and how lucky we really are. How Australia with all its changes is still a great country to live in and be grateful for the men and women who fought in World War 2 so we could have this life this experience.
If you wish to support Corina’s fundraising efforts you can visit her sponsorship website at: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/corina_poole