Weather: Sunny, Rainy Place: Naduri to Templetons Crossing - 9 hours
11.07.2011 - 11.07.2011 26 °C
Woke 5.00am. Packed up camp. Had usual cereal for breakfast. Did some stretches and had our little briefing before starting to walk. Went up very steeply. Finally got to the top (2000m). Great views and could nearly see Owers Corner - blimey we have come a long way!! Went down quite steeply, very muddy and slippery with many tree roots. Walked through a giant Pandanus Tree forest - very prehistoric.The trees reminded me of the dinosaur age. Area is quite flat compared to what we have been through. The track is much wider and goes through a very pretty forest with some abandoned huts along the way. Walked through the Kagi Gap and came to 'Propeller' Junction (1950m). Rested here and then took off our packs and walked approximately 20 minutes to the B25 Mitchell bomber crash site (paid 10 Kina to see it). On the way down Dad touched a plant which made his thumb very painful for about 10 minutes. The boys called it Iwrongo. Finally came to the site. There was a massive hole in the ground filled with water where the plane would have crashed. Saw piles of old plane parts, including a huge wheel, propeller and a 500lb bomb. The American government excavated the site in the 1970's and found 4 of the 7 crew. Maybe the others had parachuted out only to die hanging in a tree - what a lonely way to die!
Walked back to 'Propeller' Junction and continued on for another 10 minutes when we reached a camp called 1900 Crossing (1900m) where we stopped for lunch. A few huts and a log crossing over Efogi River. I talked to Andrew and then took off my boots and rested my feet. Had lunch; donuts (made by the boys with pink icing and sprinkles), baked beans, Spam, cheese, crackers, sardines, Big Red spaghetti and savoury fritters. YUM!!!
John told us Wayne Wetheral (owner of Kokoda Spirit) had last year found after a lot of rain the skeletons of 3 Japanese soldiers sticking out from the bank of Efogi River and believed there was a mass grave under the camp site. 1900 Crossing was the scene of an Australian ambush in the war and a number of Japanese soldiers were killed.
We could not go via Myola 1 or Myola 2 as there was a land dispute in progress and to dangerous for trekkers.
Kept going after lunch, a gentle uphill and came to the tree where trekkers in 2008 had thought they had found a WWII pilot's body suspended in a tree. It turned out to be just a branch but it certainly looks like a harness and parachute lines. Kept walking through the Moss Forest. The trees remind me of Ents from Lord of The Rings!! Later came to the Kokoda Gap (2190m). Great view but soon started raining heavily and mist closed in. Steep downhill to Dump 1 (1850m). Rested then crossed the 20m wide rushing Eora Creek on very slippery logs. Uphill, steep and slippery (1970m). Rested at the top then a 2 hour walk down a steep hill. Finally got to Templetons Crossing (1700m) which is at the bottom and also where we are staying. Dad was last down as he had stayed back to see if John needed any help (his knee was still painful and swollen after falling over in one of the creeks) - he also saw some shell craters.
Set up camp then went for a wash in the river. Freezing cold water but it felt nice afterwards. Played with four kids. So adorable!! An old man that lived there has some war things so we went to see him. His collection was amazing! He had boots, grenades (still with the pins in), helmets and lots of other things. Talked to of the 4 kids. Then crossed a very rickety old bridge that looked like it would collapse at anytime. It was only a few logs tied together with vines. Saw more old war stuff. Guns, grenades and shells plus a Japanese Knee Mortar. Went back to the camp site. Toasted Marshmallows for Dad, Stallon, the 15 year old porter and myself. YUM!! The smoke stung my eyes so badly that I was actually crying!!! Had dinner: spaghetti and curry sauce. Delicious! Talked!!