Kokoda by bobfoto

Kokoda

Behind me, just over my left shoulder and down and across to the right of shot is the Owen Stanley Ranges, on one side is Port Moresby, on the other is Kokoda, a small Oil Palm plantation.

In September of 1942, the Japanese Forces landed on the north coast of Australian New Guinea and tried their luck in capturing Port Moresby by sea. However the Australian Navy with support from the US, defeated the Japanese in the Coral Sea and in the Battle of Midway. the Japanese decided that maybe it would be easier to walk over the Owen Stanley Ranges and take Moresby by land.

Only 96kms separated the two. 96kms of mountains, rivers, steep spurs and incredible heat and humidity. It wasn't an easy walk for the Japanese soldiers for a ratbag crew of "reserve" soldiers from Australia were sent across the ranges to try and slow the Japanese advance. These soldiers of the 39th and the 53rd were our Militia forces... poorly trained, poorly equiped, not even good enough for our "professional" soldiers, the Australian Infantry Force, the militia were called "Chocolate Soldiers" because the Chief of Army believed that they would melt in the heat of battle. But this motley crew made it to Kokoda, and held Kokoda for a few days before retreating back to Deniki.... they held Deniki for a day before retreating back to Isurava. Here they held on and miraculously the AIF arrived, the 2/14th, the 2/16, they all showed up and the lot of them held the Japanese forces for 3 days.

The front and back rivers of Isurava ran red with blood.

It was from this location at Sogeri, that I decided to plunge off the edge and down to the Goldie River. My walk across the Owen Stanley Ranges had begun. 96kms of mud, sweat, blood, tears and laughter lay ahead.

Photo taken 13 September 2008
Fabulous selfie Jason
September 24th, 2012  
Amazing story of bravery,will, and determination. Way a view ! Oh, and that valley behind you us pretty amazing too! Lol
September 24th, 2012  
@peterdegraaff - I didn't look this good a few hours later... it took me 8 days, a hot shower and a cold beer to look even close.
September 24th, 2012  
@espyetta - Thanks MaryBeth, Kokoda was a pretty amazing experience, a great trek indeed!
September 24th, 2012  
Two of my wife's uncles fought on Kokoda. Only one came home
September 24th, 2012  
Great selfie...just been looking at all your other posts for the week...wonderful shots !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 24th, 2012  
September 24th, 2012  
@debsulzberger - Thanks Deb, and thanks again! :)
September 24th, 2012  
Amazingly beautiful sight ( besides the handsome man in the foreground), Jason. A fantastic history lesson,too.
September 24th, 2012  
Please tell me there's an ugly big supermarket in front of you. Make me feel better ;-)
September 24th, 2012  
@sangwann - You're too kind Dione, thank you! Cheers!

@sludgster - nope. Only thing in front of me except more mountains and trees was an Olympus E-510!
September 24th, 2012  
That is one heck of a tale of resistance Jason. The 96km walk sounds a grueller.
September 24th, 2012  
@seanoneill - the story of Kokoda has become Australia's story of the Second World War, we tend to get a bit fuzzy on Milne Bay, the Finistere Ranges, Wewak, but Kokoda is 'home' for us now. Even the previous exploits in Africa, Greece and back in France tend to take a back step.
September 24th, 2012  
your profile-pic in large! awesome! :) so this was the "before the walk selfie" will we see a "after-selfie" too? ;)
September 24th, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - no, I have a sadder photo for the end...
September 24th, 2012  
Thought I needed to get my eyes checked as I was seeing double here for a minute on my dashboard page. :) Beautiful view and what an incredible story.
September 24th, 2012  
What a great history lesson and a picture to boot.
September 24th, 2012  
Stunning photo - glad you showed the whole background of this photo.
September 24th, 2012  
Awesome landscape!!
September 24th, 2012  
hello sir, it's behind you!
September 24th, 2012  
Great shot and narrative. Looking forward to seeing photos from your trek ahead.
September 24th, 2012  
@geocacheking - hee hee hee, I knew this photo needed to appear eventually.

@tthompsonca - Thanks Terri, the story will continue!

@sebella - Cheers Sebella, when I first used this shot as a profile pic, I had a few cool comments regarding it, so I knew then, that this one would eventually appear in full on the project.

@carolmw - It just goes on and on and on and on!

@houdiniem - not for long.

@boatpainter - Thank you Janet :) Pictures coming up.
September 24th, 2012  
..And there I was thinking you hadn't changed a bit! Doh. Lovely green lush view. I think most of our mountains here are free of trees so it's quite a fascinating view
September 24th, 2012  
Mr Daniels.. This is in fact a lovely shot of you.. Not int he least bit scary (for once).. Love the history, amazing what a small bunch of determined people can achieve when they dig their heels in deep :)
September 24th, 2012  
Nat
Fantastic shot and it's nice to see the whole picture. Looking forward to travelling with you along the track.
September 25th, 2012  
@michelleyoung - Thanks Michelle, that is sweet of you to say so... is it because my eyes are obscured in this one?
September 25th, 2012  
@natr - Hope you enjoy the journey!
September 25th, 2012  
@filsie65 - On the track I even found some Banana Trees! 60ft high!
September 25th, 2012  
This person looks like your avatar but younger :D
September 25th, 2012  
@johnnyfrs - Hmmm what would @houdiniem Miss Tull say about now? Oh I know.... ooooooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOooooo.
September 25th, 2012  
Nice beard but I'm still waiting for the maggot shots :)
September 25th, 2012  
@fjh - Oh yeah, forgot about that.... hmmm? *JD off to look for some raw meat*
September 25th, 2012  
@johnnyfrs @bobfoto or hahahahahahaahahahahahaha
September 25th, 2012  
wow what a story. i couldnt imagine. i love reading your stories. And i must say, a beard like this looks good on you :) I dont think many can pull it off, but you can. A great selfie and a gorgeous view!
September 25th, 2012  
Very nice shot of you. You can have that 96kms on your own!
September 26th, 2012  
@houdiniem - heeheeheeHEEheeheeHEEhee

@kdimagery - Thank you for the kind words Kd, but the beard is gone... I am currently experiencing Beardom, and soon the moustache will go too... just for the summer though.

@kjarn - Thanks Kathy A, it really is just like walking. I bet you do that every day?
September 26th, 2012  
I'm sure I could walk 96kms as long as it was along flat dry ground!
September 26th, 2012  
@kjarn - This is flat... except for the wee uphill bits and the occasional downs.
September 26th, 2012  
@bobfoto yes i read somewhere that you had shaved it off. Does it feel like you lose 5 pounds when you shave it off? lol. I just ask because when i get even an inch or two cut off my hair it feels like i lost weight. HAHA.
September 26th, 2012  
@kdimagery - not really, but the wind feels different against my cheeks and I hear that others say I have more expression in my face...
September 26th, 2012  
I walk a half marathon on a very flat surface every May, and that seems grueling enough. I can't imagine 96kms across this terrain under the best of conditions. Looking forward to following the journey.
October 1st, 2012  
@lisjam1 - While it did take 8 days, that would sound a relatively comfortable pace, but there were some days when 7 hours of walking only covered 10-14kms, so fairly slow going with plenty of rest stops. Technically tiring on the knees and ankles.
October 1st, 2012  
Hello you... you look right at home there.
October 3rd, 2012  
@hellcat - It felt good. When I got to the end, I wanted to turn around and walk back again!
October 3rd, 2012  
I think you're pulling my leg.
October 3rd, 2012  
@hellcat - Only for a minute, then someone said they found beer in a fridge.
October 4th, 2012  
Whoosh. Beer saves the day!
October 4th, 2012  
@hellcat - Hoorah!
October 4th, 2012  
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