DAY 4Revaly (or revelry
as I was calling it until Dad set me straight) was at 5am. Up, packed up gear & into our
rations for breaky before loading our packs onto Rick’s ute to be transported
to the starting point of the track around 2kms away. We bid the villagers thank you & farewell
& started walking with many of the children joining us until the ute came
back for us. 10 minutes later were
The beginning of the trek. Finally we were
able to meet our porters:Kerry – lead guidePaul – 2nd
lead & K’s assistantRay – deafJohn – Cat’s porter
& Dad’s assistantJerry/ShaddowSowiPaul 2 – black
trilby HatMartinNathan – Gary’s
porterRoger – Dad’s
Reg instructed us
to take of our boots as we needed to cross our first river which was knee deep
& no point getting our feet wet this early on.
On with the thongs & down a hill to the crossing & then a
supposed 20 minute walk til the next river crossing, in our thongs. I made it maybe 5 minutes before my thong
middle piece pulled through & ended up walking in bare feet. Reg decided I should put my boots back
on. K had already decided this
having the same difficulty as I further back & had already stopped to lace
The others all had reef walkers or
enclosed type sandals which is fine for walking through the muddy grass
land. Thongs just did not cut it. Of course I should mention our fearless
leaders footwear at this point. Dave had
forgotten his sandals. When Reg was able
to borrow some from & when confronted with two color choices of course he chose these.
Lucky Dave is a good sport as those croc’s
were the butt of many a joke on the trail!Up & down a few
hills, across some muddy boggie bits, boots off, across the river, boots back
on, up a steep incline & there was THE PLANE!!!! A B17 flying fortress well intact & very
cool to see.
Hung about there for ½ hour or so, some of the boys went inside
the plane to have a look.I was happy to
stay on the outside.Munched down my muesli
bar for smoko although it was only 9.30am.
Next was a very
steep continuous climb for around 3 hours on grassy slopes til lunch time. I was walking last out of our group
intentionally so as to let Dad & or K set their own pace; I was itching to
get going, but as I’d dragged the others along on the trip, I thought the least
I could do was walk with them & it was only the first day! PB & K had gone on ahead at this stage
with Dave & most of the porters.
Kerry, G, Dad & I were walking together with Dad in the lead. About 10 minutes from the bomber, Dad started
to feel sick & went down on one knee & thought he was going to
vomit. We convinced Dad to take off his
day pack to cool down. He went a very
odd shade of grey, was panting & sweating & actually lay down on the
grass. For the first time I wondered
what the F#ck I was thinking bringing him along & my second thought was MUM
IS GOING TO KILL ME. After 5 minutes or
so his color returned & he started to feel better.Reg sent me on
ahead & said that Kerry would carry Dad’s day pack & that Dad had to
walk with Reg & Kerry for the rest of the day & drink small amounts
often. Reg said Dad’s reaction was
typical behavior for people starting to dehydrate & struggling to acclimatize.
I should note that Reg worked as a paramedic
in Australia (was also in the army reserve) until he retired & still works as a paramedic on
trips over to PNG with mining companies.
I went on as instructed
with mixed feelings. I understood that Reg
probably wanted to have Dad separated from the rest of us so he could monitor
him without Dad feeling under any pressure to walk faster. I guess my plan to let him set his own pace
kind of backfired on me.
stopped to wait for us as PB as going too fast for her as well; we went on
together with K in the lead. Lots of
breaks for K who was still suffering from her cold, plus the heat & the
hills. I kept looking back to see if I
could see Dad, Reg & Kerry – Kerry was conveniently wearing a red shirt so
I was able to spot them between hills. I
found it not to bad & would have been happy to move a bit faster to get
into the shade of the jungle sooner. There was an interesting landslip we could see on the way. Of course we called it "big foot".
We caught up with
some porters who’d stopped for a rest on the last hill; they lead on ahead
along the side of the jungle til we found the way in. The porters had taken off on us, or so we
thought. K & I wandered down a steep
slope with no sign of a trail & big bamboo!
spotted Paul 1 waiting for us! Around 10
more minutes of hiking through the much cooler jungle & PB calls down to
us “do ya's want a drink?” 2 minutes til the lunch stop! Yay!!!
Down with the day
packs & PB convinces us to walk 5 more minutes to the creek for a
wash. I was hungry & wanted to eat,
but I did need to pee & Kez was keen for a wash, so off we went, Kez armed
with a face washer!! It was nice &
cool & refreshing & we refilled out camel packs while we were at it.
30 minutes later
Dad & a porter arrived followed by Reg who was 10 minutes behind Dad &
was pretty spent having carried his own full pack. K & I were an hour behind PB. 2 Minute noodles & a tin of Tuna for
lunch. Now Dad tells me he doesn't eat
tuna!!! I made Dad his noodles, which he
struggled to eat. Luckily I’d packed a
spare mini snickers for him in my rations for each day! He was able to manage the snickers with a cuppa.
A quick pow wow
& a change of plan with Reg determining there was no way we’d make it to
our planned destination of Skindewai.
Instead we continued on for another hour or 2 to Banis Donkey &
called it a day (arrived around 3.30pm).
Set up our tents & beds & chilled out til dinner @ 6pm. We all managed to come up with a chicken tikka masarla trail meal to combine which was served with rice our porters shared with us. A hot milo with a nip of Reg’s OP followed & then bed by 7.30pm.
First night on the
thermarest. After an hour, I realized why
I felt like I was laying on the ground.
I’d forgotten to close the nozzle & had squashed out all the air by
laying on it. Oops! Out of the sleeping bag & blowing it up like
a lilo sorted the problem. Back into the
sleeping bag. Half an hour or so later I
needed to pee. After much deliberation,
I donned my headlamp & braved the dark.
In thongs. Back to bed &
tossed & turned all night as I kept rolling off the thermarest every time I
moved as my tent wasn't on flat ground!
Everyone else pretty much had the same experience. While I didn't sleep very well, I really enjoyed the first day of hiking & was keen to see what day 2 of hiking would bring.