Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 12 - Sogeri > Port Moresby > Brisbane

A late start today - breakfast was at 7:00AM, but I was awake at 6:00, so got up and had a shower. Just being able to have a shower, flush a toilet, and drink water without having to put tablets in it and wait 30 minutes is fantastic.

Everyone was chatty at breakfast, and the plan was to be at the airport for check-in at 8:30AM. It seems that flights are often overbooked, so getting in early is advised. I was on an Air Niugini flight at 2:30. Alex and Catherine were going to a diving resort off Port Moresby, and Paul and Sam were on a 2:00PM Pacific Blue flight to Brisbane.

We arrived at the airport, after experiencing Port Moresby's version of peak hour traffic, and I was the first to book onto my flight - it went without a hitch. They even gave me an exit row seat! Paul and Sam had to wait till almost 10, so we had a coffee and sat around.

After that we went to a local arts shop, where I bought presents for the kids, and then back to the Foodland store for lunch. We had planned to go to a flash hotel, but time was against us, so Foodland for a sandwich it was.

We said our goodbyes to Peter, Alex and Catherine at the airport, and Paul, Sam and I went and waited. We chatted about the good times. It was all good times. They left, and I was there by myself, lost in my thoughts.

So what did I learn?

I learnt that in the jungle, there is no point whinging, bitching, complaining. The only option is to find a solution and get on with it. I learnt that a lot of things go buggaup in New Guinea. Live with it. I learnt that it doesn't matter how well you prepare your body for this trek - the thing that will ultimately let you down is your mind. I learnt that the New Guinea natives are the most caring, giving people I have ever come across. And I learnt a bit about myself. I've got some ideas for when I get home. I've changed. Things will change. It is a trip of a lifetime - that every Australian should make. It would change our country for the better.

With these thoughts, I boarded the plane. I had a screaming kid sitting next to me. I wasn't in the exit row. I couldn't see the TV. None of that mattered. Yes, I cared. But it didn't matter.

You see, that's because it's not what happens to you that matters. My big lesson was it's how you deal with it that counts. When things go bugaup, you've just got to -
"Get over it. Get on with it."

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little adventure. If you are looking to trek the Kokoda Trail, I implore you, stick with a reputable company that will give you the best chance of survival if things go wrong. You may be able to save $1,000 with a cheapie - but how much is your life worth? I highly recommend Adventure Kokoda - give them a go.