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Andrew Lock on the Kokoda Trail

Hills, Heat and Humidity Add to the Challenge

Scouts Australia Ambassador, Andrew Lock OAM, has recently returned from a challenging nine day hike on the Kokoda Track, and shares his experiences with us below!

Andrew Lock, the accomplished mountaineer and Scouts Australia Ambassador, has recently returned from a nine day expedition along the gruelling Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. On the trip, Andrew helped lead a team of ten novice hikers through the challenging terrain and demanding environment on a journey that holds significance for many Australians. In particular for Andrew, it was about  following in the foot steps of a close relative who fought during the second World War.

After returning from the accomplishment, Andrew told us the main challenges were the heat and humidity. “Coming from the cool and dry of Canberra, Papua New Guinea was quite a shock to the system, but we adapted quickly and by the end of it I was enjoying the hills, the heat and the humidity.” Unlike Canberra, the added risk of disease was ever present too. “We camped in tents every night which was lovely (I always sleep best in the outdoors) but we had to be careful of mosquitoes due to the risk of malaria. I’m still taking my anti malaria medication and will have to do that for several more weeks.”

As a former Scout, Andrew was well prepared for the adventure, having summited all fourteen of the worlds 8000m “death zone” mountains, led expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica, and embarked on journeys to every continent on Earth. The brutal conditions really highlighted how dangerous the conditions were for soldiers during the war.

 

“It was a real privilege to visit this area and gain a better understanding of the brutal conditions in which our soldiers performed so valiantly in defence of our country”

Andrew says that walkers today are lucky to undertake the hike. The “beautiful dense rainforests, cloud filled valleys and enormous trees” were worth every step. Andrew notes that in today’s conditions, that track is very doable, but appropriate physical training and preparation is required.

Andrew’s adventures keep on continuing, with winter expeditions to the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales planed soon. To keep up to date on Andrew’s adventures, follow him on Facebook at Andrew Lock – Mountaineer, Adventurer, Author, Speaker or head to his website.

 

Just back from a great walk along the Kokoda Track. Wonderful trekking but an awful place to fight a war. Very humbling to understand what our soldiers went through. The memorials and left over munitions provide stark reminders of the brutal conflict however the gentle hospitality of the Papuan "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" is a reminder of the extraordinary bonds formed at the time and which still continue today.

Posted by Andrew Lock - Mountaineer, Adventurer, Author, Speaker on Thursday, 2 August 2018