papua new guinea 2007:
Papua New Guinea 2007
The toughest part of the Kokoda Track is the fact that it never goes flat. It either goes steeply uphill to a ridge or steeply downhill to a river. Crossing the river happens on log bridges, most of the time one tree fallen across the river where you balance yourself and your backpack across. Just to start another steep uphill section on the other side.
The good thing is that there is no need to carry heavy water around. There is rivers and creeks everywhere, so clean that we just drank the water straight from them and never had any trouble with it.
The most memorable part of the Track is the interaction with the people living along it in the villages. When we walked the track, there were no westerners on it at all (so we were told by the authority issueing our track permits). So we had the attention of everyone and shared it just the two of us. Which lead to inmeasurably pleasant times in the villages. On one such occasion we were invited to play soccer with the village. With the whole village. Grandmas as goal keepers, kids of all ages barefoot, a soccerball with not too much air in it and two travellers in their heavy boots. Otty and I had soon enough of running around in the heat but the kids just wouldn't stop. It was truly big fun.
Our soccer team
The Isurava war memorial
The village of Isurava was an area of fierce fighting in WW2. Today a memorial reminds people of the lives lost. The memorial is made up of four tall black stones, each one engraved with one of the qualities that made the Australian diggers survive their campaign: Courage - Endurance - Mateship - Sacrifice.
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