Weather: Sunny, Occasional Rain Place: Templetons Crossing to Alola - 7 hours
12.07.2011 - 12.07.2011 28 °C
Woke 5.40am. Slept in!!! Packed up camp. ONe of the boys helped us pack the tent and offered to carry the tent so that he could put it up before we got to Alola. Had breakfast; same cereal but with PNG pancakes and honey. YUM!!! Had a little briefing and then started walking. Flat to start off with then a slippery and boggy uphill. Got to the top (1910m) but couldn't really see much. Too cloudy and too many trees. Started the long downhill. Very steep in some parts. Got ot some huts and stopped for morning tea. Dad, Paul, Chris and Tom were taken by 'Quiet' John to a spot off the track to dig for war relics. They found a lot of .303 cartridges (some unfired), bullets and a glass pill bottle. Crossed a wide creek on a couple of logs and came to Eora Creek Village (abandoned) (1425m) where we stopped for lunch; baked beans, Bik Red spaghetti, cheese, Spam, tuna, crackers and deep fried pastry puff with 2-minute noodles inside. Saw a very long 'Tarzan' vine. Very big and beautiful waterfall on one side of the village.
Eora Creek is where the Japanese ambushed the Australians whilst they were retreating (advancing to the rear as there was no Japanese order for retreat!). The battle lasted 4 days but ended in the Japanese being forced back all the way to Oivi/ Gorari.
Started raining. Crossed another log bridge after lunch. Kept walking until we were told to take off our packsfor we were going to take a detour and see where the Japanese had been during the battle at Eora Creek. Saw lots of shells and bullets, trenches, bunkers and where the Japanese field guns had been. Very interesting. You could easily look down on the Aussie positions from a 100m up. It is not surprising the Diggers could not dislodge the Japs until the outflanked them - it is a near vertical slope.
Steep downhill. Log crossing at the bottom - 6m wide. Bardi, Andrew and I had to keep stopping for the others to catch up. Steep uphill. Great views down to Yodda Valley where Kokoda is. Finally came to Alola (1340m) which was at the top of another ridge. Our tent was already set up! Unpacked things and then I went to a small museum in the village, 10 Kina, whilst Dad had a shower. Very very good. Lots of guns and bullets. Held a gun. Could see the Yodda Vsalley from our tent. Rained heavily all afternoon. Had dinner; fresh corn, pasta, taters and curry. Just talked in evening whilst Dad dried our hiking clothes.