Fourth time a charm for Kokoda trek
MANY people would say that hiking the Kokoda Trail once is an achievement, but for Airlie Beach resident Patrick Glynn, once was never enough.
Mr Glynn first tackled the trek with his son in 2017 and has made the journey back three times since.
”My son went to high school in Benalla and part of the year 11 curriculum was a trip to Kokoda,” he said.
“I told him when he heard about it that he’d be going, because I really wanted to go.”
Now, Mr Glynn takes those brave (and fit) enough on guided tours along the 96km track through a company called No Roads Expeditions.
With two trips planned this year and many more in the future, Mr Glynn hoped he could encourage others to take on the challenge.
“You don’t understand what it’s like until you get there,” he said.
“I’ve always been one of those people who love Australia and thought you didn’t need to travel too far outside of it, but once I got over to PNG and saw the track, I thought there was so much more out there.
“The first time that I went over all I wanted was more - more culture, more history, more physical challenges, it just keeps giving.”
But behind the rich culture and history is a strict and challenging training schedule.
Mr Glynn said making the commitment to trek Kokoda was something that should be done a year out to leave enough time from training.
“It’s a pretty hectic walk physically and mentally. You spend a lot of time in your own head, but I’m always up for a challenge and the more challenging it is the more you get out of it,” he said.
“Basically, as our locals guide say ‘tomorrow we have a lot of ups and a lot of downs with a little bit of flat in between’.
“Depending on how fit you are, you definitely need about six months of good walking training with packs that weigh something,” he said.
“The first time I went we did a walk every two weeks for 12 weeks prior, and each time we did it I’d increase the weight in the pack.
“The last trek we had 22kgs in the bags.”
He said the mountainous terrain of the Whitsundays provided a “perfect” training ground for the trail and he hoped he could encourage more people from the region to join him in the challenge.
“I love being on the track and I love the story behind it and I believe more people should know about it,” he said.
“Whether it’s for historical reasons in regards to the war, cultural reasons in regard to the people of PNG or whether it’s physical with people wanting to push their limits … it’s pretty special.”