Matthew Iovane, of Shoreditch, East London, met restaurant hostess Michelle Clemens last year while he was visiting her native Los Angeles.
The adventure holiday regulars agreed to meet in Sydney, Australia, and then fly to Papua New Guinea together.
They planned to tackle the arduous Kokoda Trail, a 60-mile hike through one of the last great unexplored wildernesses on Earth.[i]
On Wednesday, 6 January, Mr Iovane called Sogeri Lodge from the Port Moresby airport to book transport and accommodation for one night for him and Ms Clemens. They had sourced the contact details for Sogeri Lodge from their Lonely Planet book on Papua New Guinea.
The Lonely Planet contains the following warning in regard to trekking across the Kokoda Trail:
‘The Kokoda Track is not PNG’s most difficult trek but it’s no walk in the park. You must be pretty fit and, if in doubt, aid to do it in nine days, not six. Be sure to use local guides and carriers and never walk with less than four people. If there is an accident two can get help and one can stay with the injured. Most trekking companies carry a satellite phone or a two-way radio. If you don’t have one and there’s a problem, no-one will hear the screams. Most villages have radios but it could be a long walk to the nearest one. Conflicts among traditional landowners have led to the track’s closure in the past, but in recent years the situation has been fairly calm. Still, it’s worth keeping an ear open.
‘When to Trek
‘It could rain at anytime of the year, but between November and February it will rain, and most companies don’t operate because it is too dangerous and uncomfortable.
‘Guides and Carriers
‘If you’re trekking independently, don’t do it without a good guide.’ [Read more…]