Bernie called at 7pm last night. The trekkers are all well.
I think they stayed at 1900 Crossing last night, although I’m not quite sure as the reception was a bit patchy when Bernie was reporting their location.
Bernie reported that it was a hard walk to the top of Mount Bellamy, but otherwise a good day. They took a new track to visit Big and Little Myola, which was a ‘nice and cruisey’ walk.
They arrived at camp dry as there wasn’t much rain, and had a nice wash in the river and a ‘domestic’ afternoon around camp. They also had some presentations, with Catherine reading some nice poems and Brian talking about the 53rd Battalion.
They enjoyed some coffees and whiskey while marvelling at how quiet the place was.
I believe today will see them on Brigade Hill, then onwards to Menari (one of my favourites). They will likely camp there tonight, but they’ll see how they’re going.
As you’d now know, the Tribute trekkers finished their walk at Kokoda yesterday. They then camped at Kokoda last night. Most of the Retreat trekkers arrived in Port Moresby yesterday and stayed at the Gateway Motel last night.
Today, the plan is for the Retreat trekkers to fly to Kokoda, and for the whole group (minus a few who have opted not to do the beaches and to head straight back to Port Moresby) to then get to Popondetta by truck, and then head to the Northern Beaches.
As of 9.30am this morning, the scenario is textbook PNG: the plane from Port Moresby has been delayed because of low cloud over Mount Bellamy, and the trucks coming from Popondetta have been delayed by breakdown. But all being well, the K12s will be in Buna tonight.
Bernie called on Sunday night from Eora Creek. The trekkers are all doing well.
They got away from camp at 6.30am yesterday and arrived at Eora Creek at 4pm. Their day included climbing to the highest point of the Track (Mount Bellamy) and passing through Templeton’s Crossing; a quite lovely section of the Track. There is no bridge across Eora Creek at the moment, only a log part-way across, meaning the trekkers have had to wade through. They stayed at a new campsite on the river, on the other side of the creek to the usual spot; it is a nice campsite, but small, so they were packed in fairly tight (here’s hoping they slept well and weren’t kept awake by snoring fellow trekkers!)
Sunday was another very muddy, rainy day, but the K12s had a nice day. Despite having mud and water through everything (clothes, shoes, tents), the trekkers are in good spirits. They have a real sense of “we’re going to make it!” They must be doing pretty well because their main concern was finding out the footy results, which I was able to pass on.
Today, the K12s head to Isurava. Ten of the trekkers will be going there via Abuari, an optional ‘detour’ which takes them to a different village on one of the wartime tracks while the rest of the group go straight to Isurava via Alola (the Abuari group will re-join the rest of the group at either Alola or Isurava). Because the Abuari trekkers will not pass it today, those ten did a bit of an extra walk after getting to Eora Creek last night to see some gun positions…they then had to cross the creek in near-darkness upon their return, which would have been an interesting challenge.
Today will involve less walking hours than they’re now used to, but I suspect they will enjoy a fairly lengthy stop in Alola and probably a full afternoon at the haunting Isurava battle site.
With only a couple of days of the ‘Tribute Trek’ to go, the ‘Retreat Trekkers’ are gearing up to join the rest of the K12s in PNG.
Anyone wish they were going too…?