Wednesday, June 22, 2011


KOKODA can now rest! I did it :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am now finding other uses of various items I have packed. Some from experience, so from others experiences, but in all, its all coming around together!

1. Shawl: Those nice, flowery coton shawls have always worked miracles for me. I have tied it around my upper body as a top to swim in Thailand, folded it up to use as a pillow in long distance buses, wrapped it around myself to prevent freezing, used it as a cover to shield myself when changing clothes, sometimes in public, used it as a head scarf, to cover up when entering temples... I neevr go without one!

2. Rubber bands: Handy to tie up my hair (of no use any more), to secure things in place, like socks, underwear, clothes that I have rolled up into tubes to prevent crushing and space saving, keep imp papers together.

3. Duct tape/silver tape : Secure everything, from self-untying shoe laces to tear in mosquito nets, can be used as plaster when you are out of band aids, stick rips in the backpacks, fix wobbly tripods...just about anything. I never go without one.

4. Swiss knife: For just about everything!
5. Headlight: Works better than a torch and leave your arm free

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Packing list for Kokoda

So finally, the time has come for packing the stuff! Of course, I have only just begun, there is a lot more to do...but for my own self, I have taken pics of things I am going to take (might help if I lose my baggage and have to clain insurance too). Not to mention the camers, video cameras etc etc!

Did a bit, no make that a lot of walking over the weekend...walked over sand, soft rocks and climbed few almost vertical dunes...I almost believe I lost a few pounds over the weekend!! Hope Kokoda Track will reward my determination.

Backpack: 2 (An 80ltr and a 35 ltr pack)
Backpack covers
Boots: 2 + sandals
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mat (self inflatable)
Quick drying t-shirts
Quick drying shorts
15-20 pair of socks (hiking socks)
Rehydration salt
Walking stick
Vaseline (cant go without that one!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back on Track: 35 DAYS TO GO

After a long, unhealthy break from training, I am back on track...hope that I will keep it up as well.
I feel it in my bones that this week on (and it better be a right feeling), I am going to hit the track. Began with stair climbing this morning. Well, I had done quite well with stair climbing while training for Kilimanjaro last year, but I think keeping away from the stairs has had its toll on my heart, coz when I go back to climbing after months of using the elevator, my heart beats faster and breath comes in gasps. This wont do...with less than 40 days to go (I have been seeing pics of the track and trust me even pics so easily bring out the steepness and hardness of the walk), I cant afford to waste time getting my breath better come together fast!

Oddly enough, I already feel lighter. I guess, its the thyroid tablets that have done half the trick, making me lose a lot of the bulkiness I had added on suddenly, so thats an added advantage. Looking leaner somehow makes me feel happier and more focused.

Happy training Me!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Of late mornings and no training...

Quite like the title of the post, I have been having late mornings...meaning, I do wake up at the correct time, ie between 4.30-5am and have enough time to step up on my cross trainier for atleast half hour but then I wake up, count the days and happily curl up and sleep for another half hour. This is however most disturbing and quite unlike my earlier self when I would jump out of bed and waste no time in puffing away on the CT, now, even with such limited number of days, I simply dont feel up to it. Well, not something I am particularly proud of, because I happen to know just how tough Kokoda can be, seeing that the High Commissioner himself has warned me of the extremties I would face on the track.

Then there is the meticulous packing. Fortunately years of experience has shown me that I can live on very little, clothes and stuff dont matter too much in the jungle and am not finicky when it comes to looking pretty for the I guess I would be able to manage in far less than is recommended.

Good luck to me, I say!

Monday, April 11, 2011

VISA at last

Finally after months and months of wait and struggle, I got the PNG VISA. So well, I do suppose patience and prsistence pays! Now I can resume dreaming of the Kokoda Trail and continue my preparations to walk the jungle tracks.  Very few days left to even begin or end a count down and unfortunately for the last two weeks, I havent even been able to train for this...its been trying. Health etc have been worrying and then I catch the freaking flue...there is little time and that little time must  hence be employed in looking after the physical health.

Well, finally Kokoda seems a reality!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Visa issues

Imagine that my visa application is held up because people in Papua New Guinea think that India is "High Risk Country" and therefore my application is pending review.

Now, I can understand that if a PNGian must feel this way, there could be only one reason. They are blissfully unaware of India and her thousands of achievements. I am not going to write down all of that, naturally, but it has amused me no end (and also frustrated) that PNG thinks that because I come from India, it is risky business for them. I am not surprised that there arent many takers for this place...but for reasons unknown to me, I am still hung up on going there. Well, Kokoda is still a dream and in 'few days' as they assure me, I will know whether I am still under the 'risk' category and would be allowed entry into the only country in the world that practises cannibalism and has the highest crime rate in the world!!

Such is the irony!