Andrew's Story

There are so many interesting and challenging things happening this year in support of the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign. Our journey across the Owen Stanley Range to be present at the Dawn Service was just a small part, but so very special to all.

In all, 14 trekkers made the journey to Port Moresby, some only just as the airline handed out incorrect information about visa’s – the PNG tourism motto of ‘Expect the Unexpected’ kicked in early. A quick settle in at the Holiday Inn, introductions (easiest to call everyone Paul or Pauline as there were so many Pauls), a briefing, a substantial dinner and we were prepared to hit the track the next day.

From the outset, we could see life was going to be busy over this period. Some monster groups from other companies made our 14 seem very cosy. A change of camp ground to Kovelo on the first night, left a long day to Alola for Day Two and the crew got a real introduction to ‘the bloody track’. But as always, the dramatic qualities of Deniki, Isurava, Con’s Rock and all the track in between, raised our expectations of how good this journey would be.

Up early for the Dawn Service & we are escorting Havala. Into the VIP section with Havala, Jack & I, to then be totally blown away by the GG, Sir Peter Cosgrove, coming over to take Havala to the Cross and lay a wreath. Then a follow up with the presentation of a medal. Havala, a truly humble man, looking so proud and the rest of us blown away by the honor that was totally out of the blue.

Anzac day continues with most heading off to the yacht club to party away the afternoon and a few heading off for a chopper ride out over Imita Ridge & back. We’re all a little jealous of Kevin (2nd time trekker) as he heads off to Milne Bay and the Northern Beaches for a few days with Dave Howell.

All in all, a very special trip, long to be remembered by all, none the least me!

APR 2017