Weather: Sunny & Rainy Place: Ioribaiwa Village to New Nauro Village
08.07.2011 - 08.07.2011 28 °C
Woke 4.30am, a very early start!! Packed up camp and had breakfast, same as yesterday. Had our usual little brief. Did some stretches and started walking 6.00am. Up hill first to Ioribaiwa Ridge (850m) where we had another short service to remember the 55 Diggers who died there. Took off packs and walked along a line of Jap trenches on the ridge. Then steep down hill, slow but steady. Finally got to the bottom and took off our boots to cross Ofi Creek (600m). There would be no water for the next 4.5 hours. Started the constant very steep up hill and stopped at Dump 88 for a rest, which is half way up to peak of Maguli Range. Very muddy and slippery with the track covered in tree roots. Kept going and finally stopped at the Japanese Camp for morning tea. The same food as yesterday. Went to the place where the Japanese guns that bombarded Ioribaiwa Ridge were located and saw all the trenches. Past another group going in the other direction. Kept walking while having an argument with Andrew about different things and this lasted the whole day. Finally arrived at some huts where we were to have lunch. We were very happy and glad to have lunch, which was baked beans, Spam, cheese, local cucumber, crackers, corned beef fritters, savoury crepes, fresh bananas. It was yummy!!
After lunch kept going up hill to the peak of Maguli Range (1350m). Glad to be at the top!! In the end it took us only 4 hours and John said we did very well and were the fastest group he had led. But now we have got a long downhill. It was very tiring and Dad and I thought it was worse than going up. About half way down we arrived at New Nauro village (950m) where we are staying the night.
It is a very pretty village and we camped in a bamboo haus (Pidgin for hut). Pitched tents on a wooden shelf a couple of feet off the floor. Paul and Ian did not fit in so they slept in there tents outside. Had a freezing cold shower and it started raining - rained all afternoon and night. Spent afternoon sitting in hut and talking. Chickens roaming about and a dog which I called Jock. Talked to Andrew until we had dinner of rice and chicken curry. Very nice and Andrew and I went back for thirds! Played cards with Tom again. Very competitive but fun, I won 3 to 0!!!
There were two other trekking groups in the village which meant we did not have a hut in which to have dinner so the boys quickly built one from scratch using bamboo and vines plus a tarpaulin. It even included a table, benches and a fire pit. Dad washed our hiking clothes and stayed up drying them in front of the fire with some of the others.
- Ioribaiwa Ridge is the most southern point the Japanese reached and is also where the old Ioribaiwa village was located in 1942. Walking along, and mostly in, the Japanese trenches that run toward Spotters Hut gives a good impression of their defensive position. It was a good thing the Aussies did not have to force them off the ridge.