Hadyn's Story

So… doing a 6 day Fast Kokoda (as opposed to the standard 8 or 9 day) seemed a good idea at the time! Now that we were in Port Moresby’s Holiday Inn at our pre-trek briefing, with Track reports coming in of swollen rivers, bridges washed away , knee deep swamps and the worst mud in 10 years, to say we were apprehensive about attempting the “Fast Track” was an understatement.

And at 1.30 we were off, through the small Kokoda arches signifying the entrance to the Track, the end of civilisation as we know it for the next 6 days and 96 kms of “mud, sweat, tears and a whole lot of laughs”. So day 1 was completed after 8kms and the short uphill to Deniki, we were safely in camp by 4.00, tents up, getting ready for tomorrow’s early start and our first treat for the trip – popcorn and cajun spice! Everyone’s in good spirits and shut eye by about 8 or 9 o’clock. Then at 11.30 pm she started… a tropical downpour that came down in buckets – for 5 hours! Thank God we were 800 meters above sea level because I fair dinkum thought we might flood! Wide awake listening to the torrential torrent, wondering how the tents can hold up – only to then hear a kerfuffle from the 2 guys (Jimmy and Pete) who potentially didn’t put the tent fly on as securely as one should, as a small tropical river made it’s way through their tents, honestly, some of the language emanating from those tents would have made a fish monger’s wife blush, all to the amusement of those of us in the dry tents and the others in the very dry hut a short 15 meters away! Thankfully the torrent eventually became a mere drizzle by 4.30 am, a whole 30 minutes before our 5 am wake up call.

ANZAC eve and we’re doing Ofi to Owers or bust! Mud, down hills, mud, aching knees, hips, backs,etc etc, we cross the Goldie River – and by 2.45 pm we finally breach the arches at Owers’ Corner and in doing so have completed Australia’s greatest pilgrimage and one of the toughest treks in the world. My sincere thanks to the amazing No Roads support crew in Australia and PNG who make this all possible. And finally, to Paul and Nathan (the 53rd), Pete the Pom, our Doc from QLD and JB, Ollie and Nick (the mighty 39th), thanks guys, you made my job so easy and with an ANZAC Day now forever etched in PNG folk lore – forever, My Band of Brothers.

APR 2017