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RED-i on (Kokoda) trek

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Our Kokoda Blog

This is an account of the lead up and journey to Kokoda in PNG. This trek has been on our dreams list and I know that Tanya and I will make it to the end. Stay tuned and visit regularly to see our progress.
May 3rd, 2009

Photo - Jye Dummy Spit!

Is that a dummy you have around your neck in the middle of Brisbane International Airport Jye?  You must have been the Dummy Spit Champion.

Is that a dummy you have around your neck in the middle of Brisbane International Airport Jye? You must have been the Dummy Spit Champion.

Filed under: Photo Out-Takes | Comment (0)
May 3rd, 2009

Thanks Darren and Chris

Shortly after we arrived in Port Moresby we were surprised with a gift each waiting for us from Darren and Chris.  We were allowed to open the presents but had to wait until dinner to find out what they all meant.  How exciting.

 

Dinner couldn’t come quick enough and we all sat around and talked about our Kokoda experience.  Here is a shot of everyone with their gifts and explanation. This was such a spot on and memorable gift…  on behalf of our all of us… thank you.

 

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Pete - Wanted to get you some ‘fuzzy wuzzy’ hair but hoped you could borrow some from this guy!

Jye - Smash glass when you’re 18.

 

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‘The Chad’ - Big LOUD toy for a Big Loud Boy!

Anna - Better to spit the dummy rather than swallow it!

 
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Wade, Aaron, Deane, Jon - Boys enjoy you last night in Moresby. Couple of things to get the party started.

 
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Karly - While Clint was busy directing traffic on the track, you being his sister was directing Clint.

Clint - This is to go with your gaters. Thanks for doing a great job with directing traffic on the track.

 

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Lee-Anne - thanks for the great description of how a lady wears her skins. We hope these help!

Margarita - Some bettle nut, mustard stick and lime. Make sure you brush your teeth after use.

 
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Tanya - Thought we would get you off to a flying start for the next thing on your 101 dreams list!

Marian - Hoping you don’t need this!!  :)  (it reads -  Hip Replacement Voucher. Issued to Marian Jowitt at the successful completion of Kokoda 09. This voucher entitles the holder to one additional replacement hip.  This voucher is only redeemable under the following conditions: 1. Replacement must take place prior to next trek  2.  Replacement must take place in Port Moresby  3. Replacement must take place my a Fuzzy Wuzzy Surgeon  4. Ideally the entire medical team should be on Beetle Nut.

 

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Matt - Strap this on and we are sure you will be a valid ‘ Matt Replacement’ and be initiated into the Gladstone Crew.

Belinda - We looked for a school girls uniform as you looked so ‘cute’ in the group photo, but settled for this, hope it numbs the pain for the few days a week you have to spend with Tanya!

Filed under: On the Track | Comments (8)
May 3rd, 2009

We made it to Kokoda

After a 13 hour day walking our team made it into Kokoda. The last part of the trek was done with our head torches on, as Wade had said some 5 hours earlier at Isurava ‘if the diggers could do it so could we’, so we weren’t going to let the darkness stop us.  The pain in my feet couldn’t get any worse and I was in full discussion with Chooka as to what would be the first meal I would have when we got back to Brisbane… then we heard the excited squeals and yells of the kids in Kokoda running through the trees to welcome us in.  There was nothing more special then the kids giving us high fives and welcoming us into Kokoda…. that was truely amazing.

 

Belinda, Tanya, Jye and Pete at the Kokoda Plaque. We had made it.

Belinda, Tanya, Jye and Pete at the Kokoda Plaque. We had made it.

Tanya and Belinda the next morning. Yes we are still smiling.

Tanya and Belinda the next morning. Yes we are still smiling.

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (1)
May 3rd, 2009

What an experience

We made it back safe and sound and the experience is hard to capture in words. We lost a member of our group the second day in and I can’t begin to explain the effect that had on all of us. We will always remember you Chris, thank you for being a part of our journey.

 

This is our group on the stairs at the Crown Plaza in PNG ready to leave for Owers Corner. Look how clean we are!

This is our group on the stairs at the Crown Plaza in PNG ready to leave for Owers Corner. Look how clean we are!

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (0)
April 23rd, 2009

Into the trek

Hi Everyone,

Paul, Belinda’s husband, here! Just a short post to let you all know that I have heard from Executive Excellence that Belinda and Tanya are OK and well into the trek now.

Thanks,

Paul.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comment (0)
April 13th, 2009

Ahhh the GOLDEN SHOVEL

Well Murray was definately going to be a winner of the MOST golden shovel moments having it 3 times but it was then down to Tanya and me (who had both had it twice each) as the final contenders on who would draw with Murray.

 

At the beginning of our final 6 hour training session Graeme Newton handed the shovel over to his good mate Justin Ribot with a very good limerick.   Justin then had the shovel for the first 3 hours and in our break it was Justin’s chance to deliver the Golden Shovel over for the final time… and Tanya and I knew it was going to be one of us!… so in true Biggest Loser style Tanya and I both had to plead our case as to why we wanted or didn’t want the new and so much larger final ‘Golden’ shovel that Justin has so generously organised complete with chain.

 

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I went first and started my speech that was timed as I have been know to go on and on and thought I pleaded a very strong case…. then Tanya only had to say a few words before the vote was taken.  She said ‘ If you vote for me, there will be NO chocolate brownie for you!’  hmmmmmmm wonder who won???  

 

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Yes it was me…. so Justin presented me with the shovel, just a little bit heavier than the other version!  So Murray and I both had the shovel three times and when we were to get back from our final 3 hours we were to have a ‘Shit Off’ where as Justin defined, Murray and I had to use our shovels to dig a hole to specific dimensions and then do 10 squatts over the hole in the fastest time. Who ever was the fastest would be declared the winner.

Only thing was after 6 hours of training, Murray and I decided we would declare a tie and now ‘troops’ we are looking forward to our reward ! What will it be????

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (4)
April 13th, 2009

A BIG thank you John Chad

Good Friday - our last training session before our Anzac Kokoda groups head off to conquer the track. How quickly the time has gone!  So it was with much pleasure that on behalf of the group John Selfridge presented John with a trophy for a job well done in training us for the last 10 weeks. Thank you John for your professionalism and for making our training so enjoyable.

 

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Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (4)
April 5th, 2009

We all have a reason.

I was driving to training last week thinking about what really has motivated me to take on this challenge of walking Kokoda. It got me thinking, I wonder what has motivated members of our training team to go, so I decided to ask.

 

Below let me introduce you to some of the team Tanya and I have been training with and who will share the Anzac Day Kokoda experience with us.

 

I asked them the question - why are you doing Kokoda?

 

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1. Robert Steinhardt - It’s a pilgrimage I needed to make. I want to test myself physically and mentally.

 

2. David Wainwright - I always wanted to do the trek, especially for Anzac Day. Also I wanted to test myself physically and mentally. Really looking forward to it.

 

3. Graeme Hopgood - I wanted to see it before it disappears and I wanted to get fit again. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the first attempt last year.

 

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4. Kent James - I had alway been interested in PNG and doing the trek. Carmichael Builders invited me so I jumped at the opportunity.

 

5. Tanya Heading - She just wanted to be with me! (real reason: I needed a challenge that would test me mentally and phyically, this was something that has been on my list of things to do for a while now, and I feel it is something that I want to do for myself.)

 

6. Steven John Barton Grant - John Chad and I have been dating for some months and doing Kokoda was a way we could spend more time together!  (real reason coming soon!)

 

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7. Graeme Newton - I wanted to take on any future mid-life crisis head-on! Also, I am too old for the Contiki version.

 

8. John Selfridge - I was feeling very uncomfortable with the way John / Steve’s relationship was developing and had to be present to see if for myself!  (real reason - Some things are just so much more important than material possessions we always seek!)

 

9. Madeline Kennedy - Cos I just can’t get enough… a test of will, courage and intestinal fortitude - and on the off chance that Priscilla Queen of Kokoda makes an appearance.

 
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10. Justin Ribot - I want to be like Chuck!  (real reason coming soon)

 

11. John Chad - EE trainer and our tour leader - (I asked John the question - Why do you enjoy what you are doing with EE?) I love working in the outdoors and having the chance to train up clients so they can achieve their goals. It is rewarding to see my clients improve not only physically but mentally. 

 

12. Dave Clarke - Because Muzza (Murray Smith) said he wouldn’t go fishing!

 

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13. George Sofronoff - Dad asked me to.

 

14. Walter Sofronoff - To lose fat in mind and body.

 

15. Peter Pferri - A father son adventure.

 

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16. Jye Pferri - The more you walk the more snakes you can eat.

 

17. Joe Ashcroft - Something I’ve always wanted to do. A reason to get fit.

 

18. Brad Davies - A very good excuse to get fit and get away with a group of friends.

 

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19. Murray Smith - I am going for the physical and mental challenge and the chance to do something with a good mate.

 

20. Belinda Vesey-Brown - A few years ago I wrote out my 100 dreams list and put it up on my wall in my office. Walking Kokoda is number 40 and I put it on there as the Australian history around it strikes a cord with me due to my Grandfather being involved in the war (he was captured in Singapore).  I think the challenge of walking the track is going to inspire me and I know I am going to treasure the memories that it will create.  I can’t wait. Thanks Tanya for wanting to be my buddy.

 

21. Glen Carmichael - Something that I always wanted to do. Test myself physically and mentally.

 

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22. Jeff Goward - (Jeff is our piper on the trip). I have done Kokoda a few times now and each time the reason has been different. The first time it was for the memory of my father and step father who both had a military background. The second time it was really experiential, there are so many moments that were really special for me, you don’t get that from any other experience. 

 

23. Michael Alexander - Treking Kokoda to escape boredom of daily life as a barrister. Raising money for charity - www.vitae.org.au

 

24. Levente Jurdh - Sounded like a good idea.

 

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25. Robin Slade Jones - I’ve been a guest in Australia for 7 years. I enjoy the lifestyle and I thought going to PNG to see the price the diggers paid for my lifestyle was worthwhile.

 

26. Bart Turner - Challenge and to experience what the war was like and what they have done for our country.

 

27. Kerry Carmicheal - was forced to do it.

 

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28. John Carmicheal - to experience what our young troops went through and the challenge.

Filed under: Preparation, Training | Comments (10)

I had the golden shovel again! but I handed it over to a deserving recipient with a bit of a poem. Murray all the best with your strategy on not being the man who has received the shovel the most.

 

Murray the proud new owner of the golden shovel

Murray the proud new owner of the golden shovel

 

The rain did fall but only a bit…. but gee the humidity was a killer. I think we all ended the training session in a ball of sweat.

 

Tanya and Belinda.

Tanya and Belinda.

 

Boys in the mist.

Boys and girl in the mist.

 

Belinda.

Belinda.

 

Ahhh, almost finished!

Ahhh, almost finished!

 

 

Dave - the man in the mist!

Dave - the man in the mist!

 

  why doesn't it look as steep in photos?

why doesn't it look as steep in photos?

 

Working our butts off at training

Working our butts off at training

 

Who are these handsome men?

Who are these handsome men?

Filed under: Preparation, Training | Comment (0)
April 1st, 2009

Not long now!

Well it is getting close now, only 18 sleeps to go (shorter for others). It’s getting very exciting. This morning we trained in the rain, only a sprinkle compared to what we are in for I’m sure. Sure good to have a hot shower afterwards… savour the moment!!!

 

Well, enjoy the next installment of photos…

 

 

John, Tanya, Belinda, Graeme and John.

John, Tanya, Belinda, Graeme and John.

 

 

Robin and John.

Robin and John.

 

John and Robin... march on boys!!!

John and Robin... march on boys!!!

 

Training group.

Training group.

 

We are getting great feedback on the blog, and encourage everyone at training to send in their photos to either tanya@red-idesign.com or belinda@red-idesign.com so we can included them.

Filed under: Preparation, Training | Comments (2)