Despite the cold and the snoring during the night, I must have had a great sleep because I woke with bundles of energy. The first part of the days walk was all uphill but it wasn’t so steep that it was too painful. There was plenty of chatting and singing as we traipsed up the hill.
My task for the day was to get a couple of the students who were struggling with the trek to be more energised. We took it to another extreme – we went for a run. Sure my ankle was strapped up and we were both carrying stupidly heavy backpacks but it was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and the ridge we were crossing on the way to Naduri was pretty flat and easy to manoeuvre along.
Besides, I had remembered from last year that we would have a rest at Naduri before meeting the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel and there was likely to be fresh bananas to munch on, or cans of coke for those wanting some fizz!
Those that had excess energy used this rest time to play footy or soccer. I actually used the time to rest!
At the appointed hour, whatever time that was (I have no idea really, time truly was irrelevant) we wandered down to the village to meet the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, a man who supported the Australian soldiers during World War II, carrying much needed supplies to the troops and helping to medivac the wounded soldiers to safety.
Last year when we were here the Fuzzy Wuzzy was said to be 104 years old, this year he is 106. As I mentioned earlier, time is irrelevant, as to is age. Whatever his true age, he is old, very old, particularly when you think the life expectancy in Papua New Guinea is 61 years.
I hope he is around for many more years to provide inspiration to all that meet him whilst supporting his village.
After leaving Naduri it was all downhill for ages, the walk that is. Unfortunately, any walk that goes down, must go back up.
The walk up to Efogi was hard, even the fit guys in the group were struggling. It didn’t help that it was stinking hot and humid making the climb even harder. Luckily at the top of the climb there was another village with more bananas and soft drink for sale. We sat around in the shade waiting for the rest of the group to catch up before wandering down to the village that was to be home for the night.
I loved knowing what to expect of each village and the surrounds as we arrived. I knew that at Efogi there was a good shower but an even better swimming spot. I decided to pass on the shower and wander back down to the river for a swim instead, as did half of the group.
Even after spending hours walking, visiting the Fuzzy Wuzzy, swimming and lounging by the creek for hours, there was still plenty of daylight hours left. First it was time to make use of the peppermint massage lotion that my boss insisted I carry. It was put to great use with massage aplenty to celebrate making it to the half way point of the track.
The shorter day of walking also meant we had plenty of time to play with the kids of Efogi, or in my case take photos because the games they played were too much for my old body to cope with! Never before have I seen games of Duck, Duck, Goos being played with so much passion or energy. The local kids could really, really run!
After the games there were races and even impromptu dance classes for the kids with everyone laughing and having a great time. Once the church bell sounded and the majority of the community wandered away to go to church, the trekkers and the porters commenced the annual touch football competition in the dirt of the village thoroughfare. I couldn’t make out who won, but it was a fiercely fought game.
Then there was a museum to visit and the obligatory photo by the half way sign all before dinner.
It was a seriously amazing day to mark the half way point of the trek, and looking forward to more awesome in the remaining half of the trek. According to the sign it is only 4 hours walk to our next campsite in Menari. Of course that is 4 hours by local time, at local speed so it would translate to 5 or 6 hours for us. Still, another short day of walking with lots of fun to look forward to!
The same journey last year is here – Day 4 2010, Diggers to Efogi via Naduri.