Zorana Bogatic

K12s At Ioribaiwa

Ofi Creek - Ioribaiwa Ridge

Ofi Creek – Ioribaiwa Ridge

Bernie called last night to report that the trekkers were all well at Ioribaiwa village.

This morning they crossed the Brown River, which was raging; so much so that Catherine was swept off her feet and the porters decided to carry her, above their heads, across the river – which would have been quite an experience.

Yesterday was warm, with no rain or intense heat; weather as good as you could hope for on the Track. Maguli Ridge was a hard slog; quite muddy both up and down. They then climbed up Ioribaiwa Ridge, which was also a bit muddy.

They got in to camp at Ioribaiwa village around 4pm, weary but still in good spirits; it was a good day.

Encounters with wildlife have continued, with camp dogs still lurking in the hope of seizing some scroggin and poor Zorana encountering a rat in her tent!

Ioribaiwa Village

Ioribaiwa Village

The trekkers have appreciated the messages I’ve been sending through from you all, and they send their love and thanks to you all. They are also happy to hear that donations are continuing to come through for the Gift of Time Appeal, as of course they are all participating in this challenge through Centacare in order to raise much needed funds for respite care for intellectually disabled children and their families.

Today they will descend Ioribaiwa Ridge and climb Imita Ridge – a very steep, tiring incline. They will then descend and, I believe, set up camp somewhere around Uberi. That will leave crossing the Goldie and climbing up to Ower’s Corner for Saturday morning.

Claire

K12s Safe And Sound At Aguaro

Brigade Hill

Brigade Hill

We heard from the K12s at 6.40pm on Wednesday night – quite literally heard from all of them as I could heard them all chatting and laughing in the background as Alice provided the update. We had nice (relatively) clear reception too, so Al got a fair few details through.

On Wednesday morning they left their Efogi campsite and headed up Brigade Hill. On the top of Brigade Hill, they had a lovely ceremony led by Brian, and Catherine sang ‘Abide With Me’. The porters also sang. In fact, the porters have been singing a lot during breaks; the same 5 songs over and over, so there’s a fair chance the trekkers will have them stuck in their heads for a long time after they depart PNG.

They all walked together down Brigade Hill, and made quite good time. They had a beautiful lunch at the lovely village of Menari, including fresh pineapple. From there, they headed uphill in fairly hot and humid weather – at this point Ben felt the need for speed, and raced up and then down the Wall, so the rest of the group didn’t really see him again until they got into camp – let’s hope he’s saved enough energy for the big ridges yet to come! :)

They camped on Wednesday night at Aguaro; it is a nice little campsite in a beautiful spot, with lots of little kids running around. The K12s befriended two other trekkers staying at the campsite, who are walking the Track, just the two of them accompanied by two porters. One of those porters currently holds the record for running the Track (17 hours I believe).

The trekkers are all well and in very good spirits. Those who had had a few problems with blisters due to the wet conditions during the Tribute trek are enjoying the much drier conditions, which have allowed their feet to heal. Last night, many of them had a nice wash in the creek, and Sam shared a block of chocolate he’d been saving for a special occasion (which had thankfully survived the camp dog raids on the trekkers’ tents). Ben has encountered a few leeches and Zorana and Julie came face to face with a snake, but otherwise it’s been fairly smooth sailing thus far.

Vaguiagi River to Menari

Vaguiagi River to Menari

They’re all doing well  even after a tough day of walking, and there’s been lots of joking and laughing. Some of them have managed to stay up til 8pm each night, and from what I could hear on the phone last night as I was talking to Alice, they’re having a great time chatting around the camp fire and getting to know each other. Ben is unfortunately on his last camera battery – I passed on everyone’s good wishes for his photographic endeavours; I’m sure he’s going to come back with some amazing shots.

Today they will be climbing Maguli Ridge, a tough hill with 9 false peaks. A fair portion of it is in the open, too, so you don’t have the forest foliage keeping you cool. They will then head down Maguli, and I believe they will then also climb Ioribaiwa Ridge before camping at Ioribaiwa village tonight. Some very steep climbs and descents today, but the end is in sight…

If you’d like to sponsor the team or contribute to the fundraising efforts of a particular trekker, you can visit these pages by clicking on the trekkers name below.

Claire

The Team
Alice Victory
Ben Clark
Bernie Victory
Brenton Williamson
Brian Schumacher
Catherine Norman
Julie O’Leary
Lindsay Ames
Paul Williams
Pauline Victory

Peter Scherer
Sam Pittolo
Zorana Bogatic

Tribute Trekkers Home, Retreat Trekkers Arrive At Isurava

Isurava

Isurava

As you would know, the Tribute trekkers have now returned from PNG, and no doubt enjoyed their own beds (and showers) last night.
 
Meanwhile, the Retreat trekkers arrived at Isurava battlefield on Saturday afternoon, where they set up camp. They had a leisurely domestic afternoon with plenty of time to enjoy the monument, where they would have held a dawn service this morning.
 
In an indication that yesterday’s walk wasn’t as wet and slippery as what the Tribute trekkers encountered last week, Bernie reported that Zorana made it all the way to Isurava battlefield without a speck of mud on her pink socks…but then it rained, heavily and for a long time.
 
The plan for today is to walk to Templeton’s Crossing, via Alola and Eora Creek, although for the next few days they will play it by ear a bit in terms of how far they walk and where they set up camp. 

Claire

Comings And Goings

View From The Air

View From The Air

I just had a call from Pauline, who is relaxing with a coffee at the Gateway Motel in Port Moresby. This morning, Chris Adey flew out, Pauline went to the airport to collect Peter’s bag, which didn’t arrive with him on Tuesday, and Lyall met up with some local friends before heading home.

As for the K12s heading to the Beaches: one of the guides Pauline spoke to in PoM said he thinks they’re still stuck in Kokoda, but Pauline’s friend Cecily, in Kokoda, thinks they’ve left Kokoda – so who knows?! Hopefully, they’re at or en route to the Beaches. At this stage they’ll probably only visit Buna, as they then need to be back at Popondetta by about 7am tomorrow to get their flight back to PoM.

This afternoon, Brian Schumacher will arrive in Port Moresby, and he and Pauline will spend the afternoon touring around PoM with a guide. They (and Peter’s bag) will then fly to Popondetta tomorrow morning to meet the rest of the group and distribute additional Leukoplast tape, fungal cream and video camera memory cards (which Brian kindly packed last night) to the back-to-back trekkers and – perhaps as importantly – supplies of cheese, Vegemite and mayonnaise to Cecily (essential items the villagers cannot buy in Kokoda!).

One Of Nature's Beauties On The Track

One Of Nature’s Beauties On The Track

Pauline reports that it was hot and sunny in Kokoda yesterday – hopefully that means the Retreat trek will be a bit less wet than the Tribute trek. The Tribute trekkers’ spirits were given a real boost by the arrival of Alice, Ben, Zorana, Paul and Peter yesterday, with their bountiful energy and enthusiasm. Ben was taking lots of photos and Alice took over drug duties (making sure everyone was taking their anti-malaria medication etc.), in between general excited bouncing around the campsite.

We may not hear from the group tonight due to a lack of battery and reception, but whether they’re at Buna or Kokoda I understand that they’re enjoying the break before flying home or commencing the walk back over the Track to Ower’s Corner.

Claire

Nice Relaxing Day and Birthday Celebrations

Birthday Celebrations for Brenton and Zorana
Birthday Celebrations for Brenton and Zorana

The K12s made the best of yesterday’s delay, spending a funny, relaxing night in resort Kokoda. They enjoyed some birthday celebrations for Zorana and Brenton. This may be related in some way to the request for further supplies (of scotch whiskey) that came through yesterday…

They were hoping to truck it to Popondetta at 4am today – no word yet as to whether or not that has happened. They are particularly keen to hear whether any more donations have come through since they’ve been in PNG.

If you’d like to sponsor the team or contribute to the fundraising efforts of a particular trekker, you can visit these pages by clicking on the trekkers name below.

Claire

The Team
Alice Victory
Alma-Jane O’Donnell
Anne McEwen
Ben Clark
Bernie Victory
Bob Kass
Brenton Williamson
Brian Horan
Brian Schumacher
Catherine Norman
Chris Adey
Chris Horan
Corina Poole
Graham Peck
Ian Steel
James Trezona
Julie O’Leary
Lee Russell
Lindsay Ames
Liz Maddigan
Lyall Willis
Natalie Horan
Norman Tate
Paul Williams
Pauline Victory
Peter Scherer
Sam Pittolo
Steve Langdon
Zorana Bogatic

Heading To The Northern Beaches

Northern Beaches

Northern Beaches

Pauline, Alice, Zorana, Paul, Ben and Peter flew from Port Moresby to Kokoda mid-morning today.  All but Pauline have now gone to join the Tribute trekkers to head to the Northern Beaches, except Chris Adey and Lyall who have flown back to Port Moresby with Pauline. Those three are not going to the Beaches – Chris and Lyall will, I believe, return home in the next few days (please note this is not due to injury or illness; this was the plan all along), while Pauline hopes to visit some people and places in and around Port Moresby before joining the rest of the Retreat trekkers at Kokoda on Friday, along with Brian Schumacher who leaves Adelaide tomorrow.

Confused? Yeah me too!

:)

Claire

Retreat Trekkers Depart Adelaide Today

Zorana, Alice and Pauline

Zorana, Alice and Pauline

Some of the Retreat trekkers departed Adelaide bright and early this morning to join their fellow K12s (in their muddy, wet, stinky glory) at Kokoda or Popondetta (depending on where the plane can land in the wet conditions).

Pauline, Alice, Zorana, Ben, Paul and Peter were farewelled by a small, bleary-eyed crew, and arrived in Brisbane mid-morning. They had a 3 hour wait for their next flight and will arrive in PNG later today. Brian Schumacher heads off on Thursday, and the rest of the Retreat trekkers are already in PNG as they are doing the Tribute + Retreat option (Bernie, Brenton, Sam, Catherine, Lindsay and Julie) – I wonder what they’re thinking about that decision now!

Retreat Trekkers Farewelled This Morning

Retreat Trekkers Farewelled This Morning

Most of the K12s who are coming home after the Northern Beaches will arrive in Adelaide on Saturday evening (15th September), and most of the rest of the group will return on Sunday 23rd September…so we’ve still got a while to go; I do hope you stay tuned and keep those messages from home coming – especially for those who are not even quite halfway through their adventure yet!

Claire

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.

Centacare Adelaide
Centacare Adelaide

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