Andrew's Story

Tracy’s Team (& a couple of ring-ins!)

This little trip was a long time in the planning as Trace brought together some friends to hit the track. To think that one person could have so many gullible friends! So Carol, Libby, Jackie, Vicky, Michael, James & the Phantom Friend who not once turned up for the training events, Owen, survived Trace’s constant abuse to get out of bed every Saturday (early) and hit the trails. And just a few comments of gratitude as we moved along the track.

Joining the team were the boys, Colin & Brendan, who having married sisters, look for any excuse to get away……at least I think that’s what they said. And of course, Zenda, the long suffering Zenda who life long abuse of her unique given name, got a hefty pummelling for another 11 days. So many variations culminating I think in Helga, but there were so many……

A relatively dry crossing left me very smug having read Justin’s July report and having rain EVERY day, read my September report to see how much un Karma can be. Apologies to Justin for laughing at you!

And the highlights were:
Loving those cushions on the Chiropractic Express! But still using the blue mats to make sure no body parts are shattered before Kokoda
James lost luggage turning up at Eora creek after a mammoth effort by Wesley to run, yes literally run, the pack up from Kokoda. James heeded the advice to wear his trekking gear and pack the essentials in his carry-on but sleeping bag missed the equation so he did spend one night in five sleeping bag liners, fully clothed and snuggling into Owen but still cold
Dudley being heard to say ‘Oh Shit’ when in a moment of distraction Carol went down. To be followed up next day with a brilliant somersault over Carol as she stumbled, rolling into the classic upside down turtle pose…. And saying ‘Oh Shit’ when he realised how much the men were going to rag him for it
First Sabbath break for me but a real pleasure for all involved. Full points to No Roads for respecting the locals request to do this. Poor form to the others.
Zenda kicking out at an insect in her tent, badly bruising her little toe, then spending the rest of the trek making up death defying accidents to account for it. But full points to her for braving out the obvious pain any foot injury provides.
Meeting Soc Kienzle at New Nauro and spending a great hour listening to life on the track post war with Bert and all his mates who kept returning.
And so we rolled over the track, porters continuing their amazing support culminating in John David getting my award for taking so much care of Vicki. And just to rub a bit of salt into a lot of great weather, the final hour in the rain which continued on all through the lunch and photo session. Nearly had to close windows on the bus.

New friends, new sites, new experiences. Challenges, on so many levels, met and overcome. Life, so much the better appreciated. Kokoda Track, you never fail us.

Andrew Johnson

AUG 2016