Preparing For Kokoda - The Average Joe
Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:35 PM
Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:24 PM
I exchanged my money at Brisbane airport, at the top of the stairs, before you go down into the customs area - and actually got a better rate than other places I noted. The exchange rate was better here than at the airport in PNG.
The kids carrying machetes to school were amusing...laptops here, machetes there...
What raised our eyebrows was the two policemen with bullet proof vests and machine guns who closed off the main street in Popondetta while guards cleared the bank vaults.
Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:38 AM
1. Check for personal liability insurance. A lot of operators do not think this is important.
2. Check that the trek will go ahead no matter how many trekkers are booked. It would be a shame to have to replan your holidays, because the trek didn't attract 12 trekkers in the group forcing the operator to cancel the trek.
3 Check that your operator provides satellite phones along with radios, in the case of medivac.
4. Check that your operator has 24 hour monitoring of treks.
5. Check what you will be eating along the trail. Food supplied by the different operators varies a lot.
6. Check the quality of your accommodation in Kokoda. Orohaven.com is the best campsite in Kokoda and has the only flushing toilet on the trail.
7. Read the testimonials on the Tour Operators sites.
8. Last of all try and support the operators that put the most back into the Kokoda community.
Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:23 PM
I'm delighted that my prep' notes provided some assistance. Having originally written these notes for my eldest brother, who was to join me on my 2nd trek of the Kokoda Track, they are a very candid account of what needs to be done to prepare well.
I remain in debt to Gail and her KTL crew for the wonderful job they did and continue to do. You cannot find a better company than KTL to trek the track with. I continually get updates and emails from trekkers who have experienced the highs and lows of The Track thanks to KTL - and never a bad word is written. All credit to Gail.
For a life-changing experience, it's quite a simple formula: KTL + Prepare well. It doesn't make it "easy" but it makes the experience one that can be appreciated in context of our wonderful diggers. They and the Fuzzy Wuzzy angels are the true hero's. We must never forget this.
On a personal note:
Gail - I again wish to forward my deepest sympathy to Rusty and his family for the recent loss of their brother and legend. I spoke with the Barai family the evening prior to the funeral - having had their mobile phone tower just activated in Kokoda for the very first time. Sylvester was at Rusty's family block at the time of my call. I felt their deep sense of loss of a pillar in the KTL & Kokoda communities. Please pass on my best regards to the family and that all of we "two-time trekkers" who have stayed at Rusty's block pass on our sympathies.
Best regards to you Gail & Rusty
Note from Gail: Hi Dan, thanks for your kind thoughts as always. Together with the Kokoda Track Foundation we have now in place the:
Kingsley Eroro Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Scholarship
set up to honour the memory of someone truly missed in Kokoda.
Message from Dr. Genevieve Nelson of the Kokoda Track Authority:
In memory of Kingsley’s life, and in paying respects to the ‘Eroro’ family, the Kokoda Track Foundation is honoured to announce the ‘Kingsley Eroro Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Scholarship’. This scholarship will be awarded to Orokaivan students from the Kokoda district region who are embarking on secondary studies in 2010. The scholarship will be awarded to students from Grade 9, who have demonstrated exceptional ability and promise for the future and who are committed to returning to Kokoda after their education to make a living and contribute to their community.
The Foundation will announce recipients of the Kingsley Eroro Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel scholarship in February 2010 when it conducts its annual audit of the 23 schools supported by the Foundation.
Friends and colleagues of the Eroro family can make donations to the Kingsley Eroro Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel scholarship through the Foundation and all donations will be directed towards the education of Orokaiva children from the Kokoda region. Please contact Genevieve Nelson if you are interested in making a donation or would like any more information about the scholarship or the work of the Foundation in PNG.
Alternatively, please click here to make an online donation and write "Kingsley Eroro" in the "Purpose" box.
Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:30 PM
Bo Sunnefeldt wrote:
Hi Gail! I really would like to thank you again for the VERY PROFESSIONAL arrangements on my Kokoda Trail trekking! And I am speaking from 45 years experience of demanding outdoor activities around the World. I will for sure recommend your company in my coming article!
- I think personally that the trek is not just a physical, but also a cultural and MENTAL experience. As I told you already in Port Moresby , a 8-day trip should be 8 days. It is not just a matter of getting out of the rain forest as soon as possible! That gives time to enjoy the trek FAR better – and it is also with respect for the porters: they have a pretty hard time.
- In case of an even minor accident all human resources will be needed
- Unless the party is homogeneous and fit, a backpack on just some, will result in a split of the group, which is not too good in case of an accident
- Gives the possibility to share thoughts and ideas between locals (porters) and clients – it is a cultural dimension in this trek!
- Will prevent not fit clients to struggle with a backpack they really not should carry. According to my knowledge - and experience even from this trek! - I suppose that some clients collapse or even die because of exhaustion.
- Gives employment for the locals.
All the best,
P.S. Before I left for the trek I asked you about a tip. You then said K50.00 per client would be fine. I gave them K100.00 to split and my porter got another K150.00.
Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:25 PM
Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:07 PM
Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:10 PM
Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:15 PM
LOL There are a couple.
The thing that was the 'issue' for me was the tarp doors. You'd get comfy (sitting or squatting) and the wind would pick up and blow the damn things open. Sometimes it paid to go in pairs.
Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:03 PM
They are not your average bathrooms.
Non semper erit aestas.
Posted 08 November 2009 - 01:42 PM
The first photo is of the 2nd set of toilets I came across. Doors fell off. Oh well, at least these ones had doors...
The toilet in here was much like a camping one - a green bucket with a proper toilet seat (but of course, don't actually sit on the seat unless you have wipes laid down first):
This next one was a toilet hut at Brigade Hill (I think):
And these were pretty much what most of the toilets were that we got at the places we stopped to camp:
Posted 08 November 2009 - 04:12 PM
Disposable loo seats... just a waste of space and something extra to carry. Really - the loos were no big deal.
Posted 08 November 2009 - 05:49 PM
One thing for sure I bet none of us forgets those Kokoda toilets and I bet will be a talking point around many a camp fire when we go hiking and camping with friends here in Aus.
I bet if they and the showers were all Five Star they would not get a mention or for that matter even photographed.
All part of our Kokoda experience and memories.
Do not think anyone was hanging around at all, in and out in a flash and I bet some world records were made doing so.
Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:39 PM
just adding my thoughts on the Toilet pits....or "Long Drops"....Its par for the course and quite necessary...it would be quite dangerous to quickly duck off into the bush and dig a hole to do your business....my only concern with the pit toilets is that they need to be located away from water courses. I have photo of a pit toilet at Eora Village with a pit toilet located about 6 feet from the water.....This will eventually pollute the water source......In the 1980's I was posted to South East Asia with the Australian Army and it was common to have similar toilets in cafes and bars....with two porcelain feet pedastels for squatting.....Its all a part of the experience
Posted 09 November 2009 - 12:25 PM
... Then my porter informs me it's actually a cover to put over the hole when you've finished... kinda like putting the seat lid down. It cracked me up.
Ohhhh!! Is that was these were for??!!!!! I thought they were some sort of decoration thing!!!
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