Local nurse battles famous Kokoda Track
Wednesday, 8th September, 2010
Faced with muddy slopes, dense tropical forest and climbs of 400 vertical metres; a local nurse has battled through the toughest ten days of her life.
Elissa Tweedie, 28, took to the challenge of the Kokoda Track recently, and although some days were tough, she said it was "amazing".
"It's one of those things I can't describe," Ms Tweedy said.
"It's the best thing ever."
For almost two weeks Ms Tweedie trekked with a group of Australians and local porters for more than 96 kilometres, which included days walking three hours through thick tropical forests.
Ms Tweedie said the journey wasn't as difficult as she thought it would be.
She said after seeing old war photos from troops in Kokoda, her experience was "nothing like it."
The group were provided with luxuries such as three-course dinners and not having to pack up and un-pack tents on the trip.
She said the fifth day of the trip, which included climbing 400 vertical metres to Taipan Gap, was the hardest day out of them all.
Ms Tweedie chose to attempt the track after her pilgrimage to another war site two years ago.
"I went to Gallipoli in 2008, and I thought why not do Kokoda."
Ms Tweedie said the media's portrayal of the Kokoda area following the deaths of hikers and a fatal plane crash was nothing at all like what she experienced.
She said the best part of the trip was Isurava Battlefield, where the group stopped for a dawn service and ended their 6000 metre trek.
Despite the amazing time the 28-year-old experienced, she said her family was coming to terms with it more than she was.
"My father was worried on the last day because I didn't (call him)."
Ms Tweedie said the plane was very small and she was anxious about the trip to Port Moresby.