I have just been fortunate enough to experience one of the best adventures that I have ever been on. I knew that hiking the Kokoda Track would be an amazing challenge, but I had no idea the impact that going to sites of such significance would have on me. I was lucky enough to go with a great friend Charlie Bisset and some of her extended family members. It was a memorial walk for her grandfather Stan Bisset, who fought at Kokoda and passed away last year.
One highlight was waking at 2.45 am one morning during the trip and we all walked in silence up the mountain with head torches, to where Charlie’s grandfather Stan nursed his brother Butch who was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. We held a ceremony at the exact time and site where he died 69 years ago. A haunting moment was Charlies cousin Ben singing Danny Boy on his own which is the song Stan sang as Butch died.
Not only did we have a fantastic group of hikers, the local PNG Nationals who were hired as porters, cooks etc added immensely to the experience. Every morning waking at 4.30am was no drama as these guys all huddled together and did local war cries to motivate the group. They constantly sang at any time of the day along the track and their singing and harmonies were incredible.
We spent much of the day laughing and carrying on as there were so many great characters in the group. I could go on forever about the different amazing moments of this trip. If you ever get the chance I suggest you get over there.