Submitted by blackcat on Sat, 2006-02-11 00:26.
BLACK CAT TRAIL - Expressions of interest for anyone interested in walking this trek:
We are planning on running two separate treks initially, one led by Pamela Christie an experienced expatriate Guide who has already walked the Black Cat Trail. In fact Pam is fast gaining a reputation for having trekked just about everywhere in PNG. On the 15th October this month Pam summated at 6am - Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In the country she calls home, New Zealand, Pam has trekked / climbed just about everything there is to do over there. Pam will lead our 2nd trek walking from Wau to Salamaua.
Our first trek of the season will be led by one of our 'Senior' Local Guides from Kokoda Trekking along with a staff member from the Morobe Tourism Authority who has trekked several times before. Joining them will be experienced locals from the Salamaua or Wau area of the Morobe Province. Heni (Morobe Tourism Authority) has walked this trail three times already and is dying to make it four. As this trek has never been walked before with regards to trekkers, we plan on sending ahead of you some of our fittest boys to talk to villagers and help clean up the trek so it is more jungle friendly than in its present state.
For the first few treks our Kokoda Porters will also accompany trekkers until we are satisfied the local staff of Wau/Salamaua and surrounding areas are adequately trained to look after you in the same way as they do on the Kokoda Trail.
The first trek will commence in Salamaua and walk up to Wau. The second will commence in Wau and walk down to Salamaua. These treks will run back to back so the staff can walk up and then walk back home again. Obviously the walk up from Salamaua will be harder and more challenging. I have had many enquiries, two alone today, so am hoping a lot of ex Kokoda trekkers will want to come back to PNG and explore another war time battle ground. Only villagers have wallked this area since WWII so lots of war relics around. As trekkers you will be creating history in these parts as villagers welcome their first ever trekking tour to their area and will be VERY EXCITED.
I have two reasons for wanting to grow this area of PNG. The first being my mother's brother Robert Norman McMillan who fought in the 2/7th Infantry Battalion on the Black Cat Trail, Ramu & Lae. Later he was transferred to Australia for further training with his battalion before being despatched to Aitape where he lost his life. He now rests in the Lae War Cemetery.
Date of Enlistment:
15th April 1942
Date of Death:
10th March 1945
The second is that earlier this year a group of our guides and porters walked the trail to give me some feedback as to how we could grow this trek. They reported to me that it was achievable providing you were 'fit'. They added that the villagers are really poor but made them feel welcome. They begged our guys that next time they come back can they please bring tourists to walk in their area just like the KOKODA TRAIL. So lets do that, shall we?
We would like to limit each trek to no more than 20 trekkers, so is on a first come first serve basis. The treks will commence early March 2006 and if successful more treks will be added to our website to cover the Black Cat Trail.