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KTL Boys, Ktl Treks, References Etc


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#16 Boss Meri

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:29 PM

Porters at Ower's Corner receiving a bonus from the leader of trek 272 for a job well done!

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#17 Boss Meri

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:33 PM

If you are thinking of walking the Kokoda Track and wondering which operator to choose, we assure you we at Kokoda Trekking (KTL) will do our best to offer you the trek of your life!  We will send you home with great memories of a fantastic experience and a whole lot of PNG culture.  

Photograph: a group of our KTL porters at Brigade Hill during the Anzac Day treks in 2007:

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#18 Boss Meri

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:41 PM

Another unique part of our uniform is the tapa cloth design shown on the left hand side which also represents the Oro Province.  Our guide Ernst Jinga mingling with his trekker on Anzac Day at Bomana War Cemetery:

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#19 Boss Meri

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:43 PM

What better way to finish off this article on our KTL boys than to show this photograph taken on Anzac Day at Bomana War Cemetery with one of our trekkers, an aussie flag and some of our staff.  We trust that you too will come and trek with us and experience what our PNG guys have to offer you by way of their services, you will not be disappointed:

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#20 Boss Meri

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:47 AM

Peter Frasers comments:

Hi Gail, we are all back safe and sound in melbourne. A couple have stayed on in Brisbane to enjoy the warm weather. Its only about 15 degrees here, so its hard to get used to it again after the tropics.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the  trek, it was a blast. The guides and porters both personal and food, were exceptional. They are such an easy going but very professional group of young men. We enjoyed their compnay and everyone agreed this is what has made the experience so worthwhile.

Kim's dad summed it up beautifully on the last night in Kokoda at Rustys block. We had a lovely dinner and a few beers with with the boys. Bill then said that he may never see Harold, Thomas or the other guys again in his life. But after everthing we had been through he will never ever forget them. It was a very short sentence but we all found it to be so powerful and so emotive.

During our stay in Port Moresby we spoke to other trekkers from other companies, every one loved the experience but their biggest complaints were always the size of the groups. When we explained we had only 10 in our group, they were always dumbfounded, plus what the cost was compared to the other companies, some were over 2 1/2 times more expensive. So we spread the word that KTL is the best trekking company by far!!!  Other trekkers from other companies had a multitude of complaints, we have none!

Again, thanks it was a great trip. Pass a huge thanks again onto Harold and the boys, they were the ones that made it such a great trip and I already have 4 people interested in doing an anzac trek next year so I will get them to contact with you. (alas i wont be there!!!) but in a couple of years time we will be looking at doing the black cat trail.

It was the second time I have trekked the Kokoda Trail with KTL and they have continued to leave an impression of professionalism and excellence with me.  The guys knowledge of battlesites and points of interest along the way impressed me greatly.

Pete FRASER - Trek 302
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Maree's comments:

This was an amazing experience.  Harold was fantastic as a leader.  He was informative and encouraging.  The boys were amazing, knowledgable and personable.  They interacted with us around the campfire, laughing and telling stories.  They looked after us everyday, made sure we all got through each section of the track safely and put our safety first.

Fantastic team had a great time thank you, Maree Cordes, trek 302.
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Kim's comments:

This whole group was exceptional.  They were always polite and considerate.  Special mention for Thomas he was a legend and worked magnificently.  Nothing negative to say.  Everyone of the boys were always willing to help.

I nearly fell off a cliff and Thomas pulled me back and nearly went over himself.  That was unbelievable.

Kim Gardiner Trek 302
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David Fraser's comments:

The level of experience, care and knowledge has gone up another level in the two years since my last track.  The safety of the trekker is the boys No. 1 priority.  If someone was struggling they would arrange to stay in guesthouses wherever possible which was a godsend.  Personally, I struggled around lunchtime on Day 3, but the boys never ever gave it a 2nd thought to distribute the packs to help me out.  And to help not just one person but all of us to break the barrier to get to the next point.  Every single one of the guys would go beyond their call of duty but Harold and Thomas in a word were exceptional.  If I was to do it again very soon I would personally ask for these two and will be recommending these guys to anyone I know who wants to do it.  I cannot speak more highly of Harold and all the boys.

David Fraser:

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#21 Boss Meri

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 12:03 PM

Comments from trek 264:

The entire experience was absolutely amazing.  All the guides and porters did an amazing job in ensuring we were all safe and enjoyed our 8 days.

All of our trekkers noted that the guides from other companies were not as animated or happy as our KTL boys.  At all times, the trekkers felt safe, supported and cared for on our trek. Whenever we needed help, water or just a quiet word the boys were always there.

We cannot speak highly enough of the job ALL the boys did.  

They are a credit to your company.

Luke Roberts
Trek 264

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#22 Boss Meri

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 12:35 PM

Comments from trekkers trek 301:

Danny Burns: One of the best experiences of my life.  Every day was a different challenge.  I can not speak more highly of our porters and guide David.  Everything was taken care of and organised properly.  Could not have had a better trip.

Adam Forde: An amazing experience.  I found it physically and mentally challenging but came through with the help of the 'A' team.  David, Ross, David and Dominic have been amazing and have made the trip more worthwhile.  One of the best experience of my life!

Nick Forde: One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life.  While being physically challenging, the professionalism of David and his team, made the experience far more enjoyable.  It's an experience I will never forget!  Thanks to the 'A' team and we will see you on the next Oro.

Alex White: What an amazing experience! both physically and mentally challenging which has resulted in a very rewarding experience and a great achievement.  I have been on many tours in many countries around the world.  The team of porters and guide we had on this trek have been the best I have come across.  They did everything possible to ensure we enjoyed our time and experienced the culture of PNG.  

Finally I now have a much better appreciation of what the diggers of WWII experienced.

Philip West: The most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.  The porters and guide made the difference between walking Kokoda and enjoying 'Kokoda'.  My highest praise goes to David, Ross, Dominic and Daniel as we could not have asked for a better trek.

This completes trek 301:

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#23 Boss Meri

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:59 AM

Hello everyone at Kokoda Trekking from group 296,

We can't thank you enough for the wonderfull time we all had trekking with your magnificent team of trekkers. We could not have been looked after better and considering there was so many of us it could not have been easy. We will never forget you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our trip a journey of a lifetime. I cant believe we are back home and we miss all the beautifull people of P.N.G already.

Thank you once again and who knows maybe we will be seeing you,

Tracy Tobin x
Trek 296


Dear Gail,  I had the best time on the trek. In fact I'm really struggling to get back into this world. I really loved the place & people. I would have loved to of stayed in Kokoda a few more days to look around etc. You know I feel as if I've left home to go home, so I'm hoping to come again next year, depends if my husband gives me leave ?

Your company did a fantastic job, I couldn't have had a complaint. From what I saw of the other trekkers yours beat them hands down. My Porter Freddy Yauga was the biggest support to me & I couldn't have done it without him, I feel as if I've lost my best friend. I need you to email your postal address so I can send Fred some things &  chrislea (our guide) couldn't see it on the internet.

Gail if there is anyway I could become involved in helping the people in the villages or kokoda I would love the opportunity to do so, so if you need any help please let me know. Thanks once again for a life changing experience, hope to hear from you soon.

Regards
Jane Boswell
Trek 296

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#24 Boss Meri

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 07:04 PM

Dear Gail & Russell,  A note to express my thanks to you and your most professional crew.  It's hard to know exactly where to start as this has been a most remarkable holiday, and by far the best walk I have ever had.  The scenery was all I expected and more.  The unfolding panorama superb to the max.  Your crew of guides and porters are superb. They are both friendly, fun and entertaining - a better bunch of gentlemen you'll never meet.  While seeming nonchalant, they are none the less appraising and vigilant, constantly gauging the condition and welfare of those who have put themselves in their care.  They are pleased and proud to show their backyard to anyone who wishes to experience it, and rightly so, as it is one of the world's loveliest unspoilt places.  

They are courteous and helpful, and more than willing to go the extra yard to make it the trip of a lifetime.  Informative, and if they do not know, they will not bullshit you.  I asked a lot of questions and after a short confab there was not much that went unanswered.  Your program is well structured and time scale realistic even for those who are not regular walkers.  I've only seen evidence of three of the major eight companies who do this work and feel I must state your people are the best presented, neatest people on the track.  Your food the most plentiful, and tasty of all, this knowledge I've gained through conversation with fellow trekkers who were unfortunate enough to pick the wrong company.  Where others tend to look unkept, your people tend to take care of themselves at every opportunity.

Your recruiting and training scheme seems to be well thought out, well managed and working well.  Your people regard you as more the Aunt and friend than employer.  What a sound base to work from!  I can see KTL only going from strength to strength and good on you for it.  I am most definitely coming back again with between two and five fellow Hamiltonians.

Your kwila walking sticks as you said are very resilient and perfect length for those big downs especially, I don't think my 'aussie' hiker will ever come out of the bag again, I'll find some mug to buy it off me.

Trekkers with other companies are paying to have them made (once again knowledge gained by speaking to them) and carved, so they go home with a souvenir.  Whereas, yours are well loved and used working tools when they get them back to Australia.  Once again guys thanks a bunch for a great time.

'Bear' Clements
Trek 275

Bear is true to his word and has already booked again - did he say he would be bring back two to five of his mates along with him, guess what he has exceeded this number and on the 12th May booked '6' as follows for a trek on the 10th October this year.

List of Trekkers:
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1. Lennard Clements; 2. Alister Burnett; 3. Tod Leys; 4. Nick Firsch; 5. Paul Reynolds; 6. Xane Matsen


#25 Boss Meri

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 12:27 PM

Hi Gail, I wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the most wonderful/amazing holiday. You're so very well organised (the briefing, the food, the communication).

You guys really do an excellent job. The porters are sensational blokes, particular thanks to John (he organised the whole group after all & he carried my tent); Chris ("B" group boss, always provided moral support to me & offered to help carry my gear) & Crissley (he carried my mattress from day 2 & helped me through some tricky down-hills on a couple of days). Fred & Leo too rate a special mention - they were looking after me.

Please note: I've already decided to walk the trail again (yes, you heard right)!! In August next year, timed so I get to Isurava on 29/8. I got the hot tip from Chris about the service that's conducted there on this day. He also told me there's NO MUD. Next time I plan to hire a porter - so my next experience should be markedly different to the first. It's a while away yet I realise, but I just thought I'd mention it. At least 1 mate is keen to join me, I'll work on the others.

Judith
Trek 296 B

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#26 Boss Meri

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 12:00 AM

Tonight when I caught up with Bryn and Tamara I was handed a note written on Coral Sea Hotels letterhead which I will share with you now.

Gosh!, Where do I begin!

Firstly, Gail, I would like to extend our thanks to you and Russell for your absolute professionalism from our first enquiries into doing Kokoda to the completion of it.  You (KTL) covered every possible need while remaining absolutely flexible with all our requests - thank you.

The Kokoda Track far exceeded any expectation I had considered, physically and psychologically and I began to realise by about the third day, that it becomes less and less about the Kokoda campaign and more about the struggles you face within yourself (although due respect and acknowledgement should be given to the diggers).

Kokoda forces you to go beyond all boundaries, limitations you set for yourself and pushes you right to the very end of your trek - I personally am taking with me so much more than just a difficult hike!

As for our three beautiful angels, Tony, Roland and Waima, these are some of the most warm-hearted, humble and gentlemen I have EVER encountered in my life.  We came together as strangers but are leaving as friends.  I have learned so much by watching and listening to these guys - Tony with his wonderful insight into life (always good campfire conversations), Roland and his ever present smile and wonderful voice - sort of a father figure on this trip - knowledgable and protective) and Waima, the shy guy in the group but always made me smile with his cheeky grin and great sense of humour (extremely motivated man).

Without these guys, Kokoda would not have been the same.

Gail, in summary, this was by far the best trip of my life and I really do owe it to yourself, the company, but especially Tony, Roland and Waima.  I leave a piece of my heart, my spirit with them - until next time!

By the way, if I do come back to do Kokoda again - I would love to be able to trek with these guys again.  Thank you for a truly life-changing experience.

Humbly yours,

Tamara Graham - Trek 365

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#27 Boss Meri

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:42 PM

Trekker comments:

Alf Sullivan: I found the trek harder than I thought it would be.  Thanks to the KTL boys for getting me through, I WILL BE BACK!

Alf Sullivan
Trek 286

Donna & Mason: I did not know what to expect, but we had a ball.  All the guys were fantastic especially Cyprian.  Without him I do not think I would have got through!  

He was fantastic.  All the guys were fantastic.  Arthur is a very funny man.  Chris is very cheeky too!  Thanks for a great time!

love

Donna Sullivan & Mason Heidon
Trek 286

Brett Poole: From Day 1,  I experienced the toughest time ever!  The porters and guide made the experience for me.  I will never forget the Kokoda Track and the way the KTL boys helped us.

THANK YOU

Bret Poole
Trek 286

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#28 Boss Meri

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:57 PM

Glenn Parker: the level of friendship and the overall experience of the journey through some of the hardest terrain and personal sweat was made bearable by your group.

A changing environment, from wet to dry was great and seeing how people survive in the highlands was very interesting.

Glad I was here to see this.

Thanking you, Glenn Parker - Trek 294
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Grant Colman: this being my second trek, I was surprised by experiencing a totally new experience with weather and sights.  Being 2 years older I found the trek that little bit harder, although still finishing on time with the superb help of Rod and all the KTL porters.

Once again, Rod was excellent in his lead of the trek and creating a musical and friendly environment.

A big thanks! Grant Colman - Trek 294
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Mark McGrane: firstly I would like to thank Rod and his boys for there unending help, attention, kindness and full time entertainment (ie singing and jokes).

When I was in trouble walking, Pius (my porter) was always close by too help.  A big THANK YOU, and also to all the other KTL boys who helped me at different times, thank you.

It has been the biggest single experience of my life to see life in another example.

At times when I was suffering it would not have been possible to get through without the help and encouragement of the boys, again thank you and may the future be good to all the boys and your country.

Mark McGrane, Trek 294
PS  and thank you for carrying our packs and feeding us 'Very Well'.
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Peter Mundey: an absolutely inspirational and unbelievable experience.  Words can't describe the joy and happiness I will take away from this trek.

The level of care and concern I got after getting sick on the second day from Rod and the KTL boys, was an eye opener and over the top.

To Joey (my personal porter), I can't speak more highly of his friendship and concern.  He was like my shadow and treated me like one of his family.

The boys have catered for us along the track and also at night with their music and laughter and the interaction of us all.

I leave here with a bond of mateship and friendship that I will have forever.

Peter Mundey, Trek 294
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Mark Goodear:

"Fantastic", great care and friendship given, will recommend to anyone!

Mark Goodear, Trek 294

Group Photograph taken in Kokoda before the commencement of their trek:

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#29 Boss Meri

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 02:14 PM

Day 6: Camp 66 to Owers' Corner: Hooray !!! Two hours walk and we're finished.  One last  big hill to cheer Rosie up!  Thank you to all the boys, we could not have made it without you.

Very happy, very tired, very proud!

Tony and Rosie Brandon, Trek 333, 3rd June, 2007:

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#30 Boss Meri

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 09:44 PM

Update Saturday 16th June:Trekkers decided to come back in early off the track and as such finished on the 14th.  After a few anxious moments trying to find accommodation, they were finally offered a room at the Gateway Hotel which is where we caught up with them.
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All seemed to have enjoyed their trek and were happy, smiling and cracking jokes.  We asked them for comments about their experience and they all wrote something as follows:

Trek was physically the most demanding sustained challenge of my life!  The porters and guides were fantastic, helpful, courteous, and good humoured.  Most seem quite shy and have a great sense of humour.

This is a life changing experience.

Barley Ward Thomas
Trek 334

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Kokoda Trekking delivered an exceptional experience.  Cyprian was a magnificent group leader and his guys were a great and pleasant team to trek with.

I would always recommend to any of my friends that Kokoda Trekking group delivers the best conceivable service for inexperienced trekkers.

thanks

Peter Neville
Trek 334

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A fantastic experienc beyond expectation.  Physically tough, but very well managed by Cyprian and the KTL porters.  Always felt confident that we were well looked after.  Much more like a holiday - an experience that will remain with me.  Would recommend KTL without hesitation.

Mark Lawrence
Trek 334


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What an experience!  I loved and enjoyed every minute of it - the pace, the sweat, the mud, wet track, rivers, waterfalls, hills and all the terrain.  It was really good and I intend to do it again in the rainy season.  The guide Cyprian was very experienced and helpful.   All the porters were courteous, humble, and helpful.  It was worth the time and effort.

Thank you for making it happen!

Moses Otyek
Trek 334

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Fantastic Trip!  I would suggest that anyone who has worries in their world should do the Kokoda Trail.  Porters and Guide did a great job!

It is where and when you discover the depths of your self and establish whether or not you have a sense of humour.  

Anthony Ward Thomas
Trek 334

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