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Published: February 5th 2020
After having lived and worked in Port Moresby for 12 years, in May 2012 I finally signed up with a Cairns based company called Kokoda Track Experience to walk the Kokoda Track. The trek was for 7 and a half days and we started from Owers Corner, just outside Port Moresby to trek through to Kokoda. For those that are not aware, the Kokoda track is where the Australian forces , supported by local Papuans, referred to as "the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels", stopped and pushed back the Japanese forces who were advancing on Port Moresby, which would have given them the launching pad to attack Australia.
The track is only about 100kms long, but is harsh, muddy, wet and very undulating. Thankfully we had local porters who carried our backpacks and gear, mine porter wore thongs or flipflops the whole way, where I tramped along in my Merrell hiking boots. When arriving at Isaravu War Memorial, you are met with four pillars. On these pillars are the words, Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice. Sitting there looking down the valley to Kokoda and having those words go through my head, the feeling encompassed in those words related perfectly with my feelings
towards my trek companions, my porter and those that had given so much for me to be able to sit there and take in this remarkable view. It was certainly an emotional few moments and the spirit of what had occurred there was alive in me.
Having reached Kokoda we said farewell to our porters which was again an emotional moment. They were returning to their villages on the track byfoot, these guys are incredible. We headed off to Popondetta on the back of a PMV for our flight home. Having reached Port Moresby, I was able to take my fellow trek companions to the Bomana Cemetery, where many of the Australian soldiers who died on the campaign are buried.
A hard trek, coupled with being an emotional journey.
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