Trekkers: Kapa Kapa Trail a tremendous journey

(Original article posted November 13, 2016 3:15 PM via looppng-sb.com, © 2016)

Trekkers who walked the Kapa Kapa Trail along Central and Northern Province in Papua New Guinea last month have described the journey as tremendous with fun-filled experiences.

The trekkers, from Australia, Belgium and Scotland, commenced the 220km journey at Gabagaba Village, Central Province, on October 4.

They successfully completed the track in 17 days, led by experienced trekker Peter Gamgee from the Getaway Trekking Company.

They’ve all taken home wonderful memories of the diverse plants, animals, culture and people living along the trail.

The track was used by American soldiers during World War II in 1942 during a battle to defeat the Japanese on the northern beaches.

The 220km trail runs roughly parallel and thirty miles southeast of the famous Kokoda Track and passes through about 20 villages.

Kevin Wainwright said the track recreates the feel of how it must have been for the explorers of the early 20th century, venturing into the mountainous interior of Papua for the first time.

Wainwright remembers passing through about 15 villages where the inhabitants rarely see white people but they welcomed them, fed and accommodated them.

He said it was a humbling experience and the highlight of the trip was a full-day boat trip up the Kemp-Welch River to a point from which you can only proceed by foot.

“It is not a track for the faint-hearted, but neither is it a track to be missed. It is indeed an experience of a lifetime that you are unlikely to equal in any other country on earth,” Wainwright said.

Another trekker, Robert Huston, said passing through villages that rarely see white people was a highlight.

The Kapa Kapa Trek was Huston’s sixth trekking trip to PNG.

Huston said the welcome dances and songs and the fascination of the people in them, especially from the children, was wonderful.

He explained that it was an arduous trek and the big climb up and over the Owen Stanley Range through Bardy’s Pass was taxing but worth every step.

“The view from the ‘Grassy Knoll’ was inspiring and now I have crossed the Owen Stanley’s in two places, Kokoda Track and the Kapa Kapa. What a gift.

“I’m looking forward to my next trekking trip in PNG,” Huston said.