Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Ray of Hope

A Ray of Hope gleams in the distance...I might, just might be able to procure a VISA to PNG and do the Kokoda afterall! This time round, the organisers of my trek will apply for the tourist visa and facilitate the process...just in case the PNG govt decides that I might 'settle' down there and hence refuse to give me a visit visa. To be honest, I dont care anymore how I get the visa, so long as I get it. I have set my mind on Kokoda Trail and I want to do it at all costs...

Tentatively, the trek dates are March 4-11, which means I leave my city on March 1st. Well, nearly five months to go, but the preparation promises to be more intense and tougher than Kilimanjaro. I have, well, begun the 'training' so to speak, but I see that I need to buck up and get a move on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Few obstacles

I am in the mid of July and havent heard about any Visa. Looks like I will have to apply again and hope it will come, second time around. The trip, originally sheduled for September of 2010 will now be postponed to early 2011, for various reasons...Visa being one of them! Also, its a bit expensive trip and seeing that I am not doing this for any organisation or chairty anymore, I want do this at my pace.

But yes, Kokoda will happen. Sooner or later!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An application form--- Hurrah

Okay, so I have it. A 3-page PNG Visa application form! Oh, to look at it and woner why it is so hard to come across one!

(Had someone told me I could download any of these forms online, I would have saved a few calls to PNG and wouldnt have had to wake up at 3am to speak to an official, 6 hours ahead of UAE time.)

To download a form, click here

The application form is simple and straightforward and they have rightly put in a question.

Have you ever been a patient in a mental home/institution or do you suffer from a disease which may constitue a health risk to PNG?

I wish I had enough space to reply!

No, I havent been in any mental home, but good question. I suppose no person in his/her right mind would consider walking Kokoda, seeing that even a simple application is hard to come by, concerned officials first ask why not try walking in India and why an Indian woman wants to do it...just what is in it for her?

Oh, yes, I do suffer from adrenaline defficiency which can be restored only through walking in rainforests and risk getting cholera and collapsing from exhaustion, being held up by kids with guns on streets etc!

If you can ignore these occasional bouts of insanity, I am a healthy, normal  woman who wants to walk the Kokoda Trail in order to raise funds for an institution doing their best for the special needs children in the UAE.

Thtere, that's my reason to walk this.

Now to see what happens to my application. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Visa for PNG

Okay, this seems to be turning into a nightmare! PNG doesnt have any embassy/consulate in the whole of the Middle East, which makes it very very difficult to seek info on how to get a visa. And visa for all countries except US, UK, Australia, NZ is a must, Indian included.

There are very few options available online. Most sites will direct you to the Australian High Commission and then you are stuck with unreturned phone calls and unanswered mail queries.

The only proper info I have managed to find regarding a visa is to write to the officials is Papua New Guinea who will then send you an application form, that you need to fill out and fax back to them. They will scrutinize it, and approve it. Once approved, the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi will gladly issue your visa.

(And two weeks after I have started my seach, I am still waiting for an application form!)

How is that?

The only hitch in this otherwise smooth operation is that it could take anything from a week to two months!

Few helpful links: For entry requirements

People wanting to visit PNG and living in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan may contact

Papua New Guinea High Commission

B-2/19, Vasant Vihar
New Delhi 110 057

Contact: Mr A. Rajan, Administration Manager
Telephone: +91 11 26145909
Fax: +91 11 46012812

Thursday, April 29, 2010

About the trek

Kokoda Trail (Track): I would rather call it a challenge!

Distance from Owers Corner to Kokoda: 96kms
Access: By foot only
Terrain: Rugged, mountainous rainforest
Trek type: Rated as one of the toughest trek in the world.
Expect: Gruelling uphill slogs and knee-trembling downhill slopes

Dangers: Fast flowing rivers,dehydration, exhaustion, malaria, cholera, mud.
Death: Not unheard of. Last reported was October 2009. Death due to exhaustion


Papua New Guinea
Capital: Port Moresby
Currency: Kina
Where: Pacific Ocean (Melanasia)
Famous for: Kokoda Trail, tribals

About Kokoda

Okay, any wannabe visitors to PNG or anyone intending to walk the Kokoda Trail, please do not be discouraged with what is to follow. These are few links I found while googling about what one needs to know about PNG...better to be prepared.

To be honest, the more I read about PNG, the more I am tempted to go there ASAP. The sense of excitement and adventure is heightened by the very thought of danger and hardship. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. My friend Andrew who is currently in Arusha (Tanzania) teaching Physical Education to the poorer children in Tanzania (after having chucked his job back home in Australia), told me (on seeing the pictures of the volcanic eruptions in Iceland), that he wished he was right there to see it himself...and photograph it!

Let's face it. Danger appeals to all, for some more than the others, but danger holds universal appeal. I dont know what it is about danger that is so mysterious that one, against one's better sense, wishes to run right into it.

Like Kokoda for me.

Well, people have walked it successfully. And long as people have survived the hardhsips of the trails and the surroundings..well, I can too! I am not quite sure if my Kilimanjaro experience is enough to see me through the rain forests in PNG, but well, its time I found out.

Click here. Keeps you prepared! Let in not put you off.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Kokoda Trail

Hopefully, in the days to come, this space wont't look so empty!

Okay, so I am planning a walk on the Kokoda Trail sometime in September. No, I havent got any idea what put Kokoda into my head, and anyway, why bother?

But the good thing is that, if everything (VISA, flights and trek) fall in line, I will walk for a cause through the dense rain forests of Papua New Guinea!

Wish me luck!