"Kokoda Trail - Papua New Ginea" Kokoda by mavis77
Kokoda Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 117 photos
My friend and I walked the Kokoda Trail in November 07, what an experience. I originally went for the mental challenge of it and as a second part to see what both my Poppy and Grandad experience in World War II. I didnt really think about it before leaving but you foget that it was a Third World Country and the people I would meet would be so amazing. Yes, naive I know. It is now under attack with America and other countries digging in to the Track and surrounding villages for their oil and gold which is in abundance over there. The people have no choice but to accept the small one-off payment they receive for the purchase and destruction of their land.
It is beautiful countryside with hills that roll on and on in peaks so high they hide the tops in the clouds and valleys with raging rivers that commonly break their banks and wash away carefully handmade bridges and huts.
Shortly after we left they experienced wild storms and cyclones with local fatalities. Also recently one of the villages we stayed in, Efogi, was burnt to the ground. They have nothing yet they are so happy that way. One lady we spoke to was offered a Scholarship at a Sydney Uni. She stayed for three months before being choked by the disgusting city and returning home.
When you stay there for even two weeks like us in huts you soon forget your 'valuables' at home and embrace bathing in freezing creeks and going to sleep with glowing fireflies and bush cicadas all around. (yes they sound like a car alarm but are strangley interesting and earthy to listen to!!)
It is definately a rite of passage and a place to help you when you just need to stop and think about life. Of course it was very hard to walk but not impossible. After hiding in Austalian and Japanese foxholes, standing in places of battle, finding bullet shells and visiting the memorial museum and hospital you can get a real sense of being grateful for Australia and our freedom. I learnt so much about personal will, human nature, persistance and history on this trip. Your legs learn to switch off from your mind as it works on trying to take in the beauty and magnitude of it all. Well worth the trip.
I would suggest to go through Kokoda Trekking Limited (KTL) as the guides are locals, with the leader, John, walking the track approximately 500 times. They invest in the young men whom in turn give it back to their communities. Other companies are Australian based, which im sure are fine, but probably don't quite give you the full experience as they are more like tour guides ive heard. Whereas the KTL porters are full of information and really take the emotional journey with you, some even invited trekkers to stay with their families at the end. One porter even killed his best rooster for a feast with his trekker. Thats the kind of people they are, they would literally give you the shirt off their backs (or in some trekkers cases, their only shoes they had so you could walk it and they would go barefoot.) They treat you respect, unlike some countries treat 'westerners' so please go with the same respect and an open mind and upon returning home you will think about your experience everyday and be forever grateful you were one of the lucky few who were able to go.
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