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Old 05-12-2004, 07:19 PM
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Pls help me to help PNG
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Port Moresby
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Kokoda - the ultimate challenge for anyone looking for the adventure of a lifetime!

When the Tourism Promotion Authority first suggested I go one step further with my pngbd website and help promote a PNG person to run their own business attracting tourists from overseas, I never thought for a second that it would lead one day to me walking the Kokoda Trail. However, in November 2004 I successfully completed a walk over the infamous trail that made me personally feel like I had just climbed Mt Everest.

The rush you feel when you finish is hard to compare to anything I have done in my entire life! The closest I can come is the birth of my four children. Someone asked me what was the toughest day...gee, everyday was tough! Each day another obstacle to get over or another hill to climb, combine that with many river crossings and the ultimate challenge for anyone and it all gets very exciting but challenging at the same time.

For my friend from Brisbane Beverley Howell and myself, Gail Thomas, we proved that you do not have to be young, an olympic athlete or sportsperson to complete the trail. We fit the ordinary working housewife over 50 category, who went looking for a thrill and a bit of history thrown in and we certainly found it on the Kokoda Trail or as some say Kokoda Track.


Many thanks also for the emails I have received congratulating me on my Kokoda Trek. The visits on my Kokoda Website the day I ended my walk totalled 985, so thanks to all of you who were checking up on me and wondering if I would at last make it out of the jungle in this case known as the infamous Kokoda Trail. Yes, I managed to walk the trail much to everyone's amazement as I do not fit into the 'super' fit category, nor the under 35's, nor the training for 12 months!
I work all day sitting behind a computer for the accounting firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu here in Port Moresby as their Finance and Administration Manager. At night I sit and answer the many emails I receive daily on questions relating to all over PNG as well as the Kokoda Trail. So basically I lead a very unhealthy lifestyle going from one computer and a car ride to another computer in my home and if I am lucky in bed by midnight.

What makes this trek so unique is the following:
  • I turned 55 on the 7th December'04 and Bev is 65 and a proud 1/2
  • Neither of us are into sport, just trained for this trek
  • Bev has trekked a little before but for myself personally, this is a first!
  • I have never been on my feet standing for any length of time let alone walking for hours up and down hills, water crossings and the likes. Bev is a nurse so is used to being on her feet.
  • Neither of us has been on a trek where you walked for 9 days
  • We have never been in the jungles of New Guinea before despite both having lived here for many years.
  • We have never stayed in a village before
  • As for guesthouses, this is a first!
  • With regards to tents, the last time was as a teenager when I was 14 at Evans Head in Northern NSW.
  • Neither of us has lived on rations before
  • It was my first time to walk in boots except for the few training runs to Sogeri
  • Gaitors....what are they? do I really have to wear them?
  • The first time to walk with my guides and porters to see how they look after you the trekkers as well as myself
  • The first time I have ever walked across a river crossing
  • Overweight and not what one would consider fit.
etc etc

Deloitte Tower where I work on the 12th Floor situated in downtown Port Moresby. This became my training grounds for the past two months. Four times per week during lunch I would walk down then up one step at a time from the 12th Floor to the ground floor. Then back down again and back up every second step. Back down again and up one floor second step, one floor third step. Back down again and up once again one step at a time. Believe me at my fitness level, this is really quite tough but I continued to train and it got me successfully home across the kokoda trail:

If you are interested in walking the Kokoda Trail why not contact me: gail@pngbd.com

Alternatively, please log onto our Kokoda Website: www.kokodatrail.com.pg


We can also arrange shorter walks either around the Sogeri district with Eric Uwea our Koiari Guide or in Kokoda with Kokoda Trekking.
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Gail Thomas
www.pngbd.com
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