Knowing that we had a short walk for the day was a great feeling. I also knew that whilst it was a short walk, it was going to be a bloody hard one. The first section of the walk, to Brigade Hill was more like a scrabble than a walk.
In places it was like climbing a ladder the path was so steep.
The terrain made me wonder how it was possible that any war could be fought there. When we made it to Brigade Hill we learnt of how the Australians fought off the Japanese attack and were forced further back along the track to Menari. It was a difficult section of track, with well fitted packs and shoes without the threat of bullets. Again there was a reading about a soldier who fought at Brigade Hill and there was barely a dry eye left on the hill.
From Brigade Hill it was downhill again on the way to Menari. There were plans to make it to Menari for lunch however we were a little sidetracked by the swimming hole about 45 minutes walk below the village. I had a quick swim there last year but didn’t brave going up to the waterfall and I planned to change that this year.
I was one of the first in the water but every time I went to get out, someone else wanted to see the waterfall so I would drag them upstream and into the waterfall. One of the other girls was terrified but really wanted to experience the waterfall. Together we battled our way upstream and right into the waterfall. It was the most amazing feeling standing under the downpour of the waterfall but even better was seeing the excitement in her face.
I think this is one of my favourite and most memorable memories from the trek this year!
Eventually we dragged ourselves out of the water and wandered up to the village to spend a quiet afternoon. We were planning another fun afternoon of activities with the kids of the village but it was school holidays and most of the village had been in Efogi with us the previous day for a religious celebration. Instead we made our own fun. Some played footy but I was happy to be the recipient of more peppermint massage lotion!
I have to admit that I was feeling particularly nervous about the night ahead. It was in this village last year that I started to get sick. I had memories of midnight dashes to the long drop on the other side of the camp and really didn’t want to go there again.
I was hoping that my my stomach would stay somewhere in the realm of normal and my head would leave me alone so that I could sleep soundly and not do the bathroom dash again. Just in case I strategically placed my sleeping mat closest to the guesthouse door. Fortunately I didn’t have to make the mad dash but I was woken by others who did have to make the mad dash!
Head over here – Day 5 2010, Efogi to Menari if you do want to hear about the dramas that unfolded for me last year.