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-   -   Trekking the heart of Kokoda (http://www.pngbd.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11149)

Jessie 12-07-2004 05:14 PM

Trekking the heart of Kokoda
 
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Ö..My extra-ordinary walk through the Kokoda Trail

By Jessie Garap

I hear and I see people write and say Kokoda Trail is one hell of a track.

Itís also written on one of my shirts: (Kokoda Trail one hell of an adventure, one hell of a track)Ö.and itís true.

But to actually walk the Kokoda Trail itself, was one of the best experiences of my life. This is speaking from my heart. I didnít think the trail was easy nor did I think it was hard. My aim walking the trail was to learn, to see, to understand and to feel what it was like for those, young brave soldiers, who fought and walked through the hardships during the war.

Jessie 12-07-2004 05:27 PM

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During my eight nights of sleep and nine days of walking, I learnt so much. I felt as though, I was one of these young soldiers, walking through thick virgin forests with my back-pack and a stick to support me so that I may not fall. But somewhere along the track, my stick broke, and I had nothing to lean on. I twisted my right ankle five times, this was nothing compared to what those young ones, went through. It was like the survival of the fittest I was not alone, my personal porter plus my fellow trek members were there with me. We helped each other along the way like real soldiers.



Crossing Eora Creek....with a personal porter on hand to assist me


Jessie 12-07-2004 05:31 PM

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There was this one particular time of my adventure that really struck me, and that I will never forget. I was walking alone up this particular mountain, when suddenly, I heard footsteps of boots running past me, it was so real. At first, I thought it was my younger sister, Ilyana. But it wasnít her, she was about 12 feet away from me. It was truly amazing. After that walk or climb, I told the guide and the porters about what I heard.

And they told me that, its always like that. When youíre walking alone, youíll hear so many different noises. Itís really unbelievable, how good is that.

Me, Jessie and my sister Ilyana seen here in a campsite on the Kokoda Trail, June, 2004:

Jessie 12-07-2004 05:42 PM

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If anyone out there is looking for an adventure of a life time. I encourage you, that you should really think about walking the Kokoda Trail. Instead of just sitting in the house and reading a book about the Kokoda Trail or looking it up in the internet. Why not go out there, and really experience the real Kokoda Trail

Anyway, thanks to all the food-porters, personal-porters, and guides, for doing such a terrific job out there. All credits go to them

And to all my fellow trek mates. You guys were awesome. Hopefully, weíll walk the trail together someday in the future. Good-luck to you all and best wishes.

Tom Polley, Tom Polley Jnr, Jacqui Karambasis,Robert Polley, Steven Polley, Mark Polley, Micheala L Hamilton, Shane Weekes, Sarita Lawler, Scott Richeads, Chris Worth, Glen Worth, Nathen Keen, John McRae, James McRae, and Ilyana Garap.

Many, many thanks to my boss, Gail Thomas, www.kokodatrail.com.pg for making this trek adventure possible for Ilyana and I. We will treasure every day moments we spent out there.

Thank you.

Ends/

Me, Jessie with other trekkers seen here before we departed for Kokoda...gee was I excited!

Mum 15-07-2004 11:05 AM

Thanks for sharing your story Jessie. I really enjoyed reading it and loved the pictures.

Good for you and your little sister; you are better woman than I am.

meripng 16-07-2004 10:07 AM

Your story is an inspiration and hope all young people could be involved in something like this .... just to experience the other side of PNG.

aussie 19-07-2004 08:05 AM

How it all began!
 
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Jessie was employed by us to man our radio whilst trekkers, porters and guides are out on the Kokoda Trail. So she would understand the remoteness and difficulty of such a trek, I sent her out on the trail to experience herself what it is like to be a trekker.

Her sister Ilyana showed interest to tag along so I invited her to accompany Jessie as it was a family trip with the Polleys and other trekkers and their sons it seemed they would all get along just fine.

Ilyana (left) & Jessie (right) on the Kokoda Trail:

aussie 19-07-2004 08:09 AM

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The Polley Family arrived a couple of days earlier than the others in their group which gave us a chance to get to know them. Jessie had her first lesson in 'meeting' and 'greeting' international trekkers when she came with us for lunch at The Royal Papua Yacht Club on the harbour in Port Moresby.

A little nervous at first but I she settled down and enjoyed her first meeting with the Polley family.

On the verandah of the Yacht Club overlooking the boats anchored on the harbour:

aussie 19-07-2004 08:15 AM

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Jessie & Ilyana Garap at Jackson's Domestic Airport booking in for the flight to Kokoda:

aussie 19-07-2004 08:19 AM

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Eric Uwea (Kokoda Trekking Guide) and Ilyana at Brigade Hill on the Kokoda Trail:


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