Big thanks to Kokoda Spirit for the trek I participated in (25/06 to 4/07). It was a wonderful experience, very fulfilling and eye opening. The track is done no justice by photos, which never really capture the gradient or atmosphere of the track. Only by walking in the footsteps can you begin to contemplate the difficulties faced by the soldiers during the campaign for the Kokoda Track, and the spirit it must have taken to overcome those difficulties (and we had good weather – not even close to the mud of 1942).
Thanks to Pete, the Aussie leader of our trek. Very knowledgable, and with a obvious passion for the story, his enthusiasm was contagious.
I was already well read on the campaign, but Pete managed to add another layer to events. I was especially moved by our commemoration services at Brigade Hill and Isurava arranged by Pete, in a way that I have never been at a Dawn Service in Australia.
The commemoration services that were organised by Pete were the most emotionally satisfying part of the pilgrimage, being able to honour those who fought, at the locations where many gave their lives.
Thanks to Charlie and his Buna Boys, who (besides from carrying our gear and food, which is deserving of thanks enough) loved a laugh, are better singers than us (as proven at Brigade Hill and Isurava), always ready to answer questions about themselves and their culture, and just all-round top blokes. It goes without saying, but it would not have been possible without them.
And thanks to Serrin in the office for being patient with me. Due to some of my buddies changing plans, I was a little caught out with date changes, but she was always quick to respond when I needed it, as well as being a big help in organising gear to be sent to me, even at rather late notice.
The Holiday Inn Express had very comfortable digs, and with access to the restaurant and pool area of the Holiday Inn, made for a great place to start and finish the trek. I give it 5 SP Lagers our of 5.
I have readily recommended Kokoda Spirit to those who ask me about my experience, and I would highly recommend Pete as a tour guide (if his knees allow) and Charlie and his Buna Boys for future trekkers.
Once again, many thanks to the Kokoda Spirit team, from the office to the Kokoda Track, for the unforgettable, moving, and humbling experience.