The first day I arrived back in Australia, I could not even hold a conversation without balling my eyes out and I still shed a tear talking / thinking about the experience now. My time on the track was just so special and incredibly amazing.
Somehow, I walked through those archers at Owers Corner with No blisters, NO strapping tape and NO walking stick. I did not even touch my medi-pack. But, to get there I trained my absolute ass off. I would put on my pack with 16-18kg and walk up and down hills for hours when I could and when I could not I was that weirdo in free camps lunging up and down with a kettlebell.
Being in the mountains is everything I LOVE, it is where I really feel at home. So, I guess being on a major hikers high and being there when my team was kicking their fears in the ass also helped me push through.
I made memories that will last a life time with what I deem the dream team! Everyone was the epitome of strength on the track. Even if there were hours of silence, I will really miss their company.
In saying all that, trying to put my whole Kokoda Track experience into words is beyond me… it just cannot be done. So instead I wrote a quick poem…..
Scrambling tree roots in downpours of rain,
Through the sticky mud and clay,
It was a surreal feeling walking in the footsteps of our soldiers,
This was no vaycay.
There was a roll down a hill side
And a dislocated knee,
The track was a big slip and slide,
Oh how could I forget about the failed itb’s.
With 4am wake ups and the morning chant followed close by,
Hearing “packs on” was almost enough to make us cry.
As exhausted as we were,
There was power and strength pulsing through our veins.
We could not wait to begin a new day,
Remembering that this was nothing on our diggers pain.
On the big hills,
No one would speak.
Especially on Imita Ridge
And up the seven false peaks.
Standing at the battlefields of Isurava and Brigade Hill
Left us all feeling so proud
And more Australian than I think we ever will.
With tears rolling down my face,
I turned to look around.
There stood my saving grace,
My own fuzzy wuzzy angels all gathered round.
The 8 other trekkers
And porters too,
Became my second family
And that will forever be true.
We all formed a bond that only we will know,
From reaching out a hand to help
To dancing downhill like a pro.
There were times where we all rolled into one rollercoaster of emotion,
But that is what really showed our pure devotion.
Through popcorn and Cajun,
Jungle poos and pees,
There was never a dull moment
And the constant reminder of how brave the Australians were
To fight the Japanese.
The Kokoda Track was more than I could have ever believed,
The history, the villages, the kids
And especially what we achieved.
I think a part of me was left somewhere on the track,
So watch out 2019,
I will be coming back!!