today, i went with ian to attempt the challenging 1000-step kokoda track memorial walk at the base of the dandenong mountains. the actual kokoda trail is in pupua new guinea. you can read about the history of the kokoda trail here. as usual, i misheard it as the crocodile trail and so i had imagined that the trail ran along some river and swampy area.
the walk or rather the climb up the steep track is supposed to provide a sense of the exhaustion experienced by the australian soldiers following the trail during the kokoda campaign in 1942. i think the difficulty was just a fraction of what the valiant soldiers had to endure.
when i started the climb, i told myself not to hold on to the railings by the side - in some places, there are railings on both sides of the narrow track. but, after the half-way mark, i gave in and grabbed the railing to aid my climb. at the two-third mark, i was using the railings on both sides, where they were available, to pull myself forward and up.
along the way, i was passed by some fitter and younger climbers. i also came across some young children - not yet in their teens - and some who looked older than i, so it gave me the motivation to push on.
when we reached the end of the track, we took a rest on a wooden bench before making the descent via the lyrebird track. i think ian still had fuel to continue but i felt drained, so the bench provided a much welcomed respite. we chose to come down by a different track because the steps were a bit slippery.
i would rate the climb four or five times tougher than climbing the steep slope at bukit timah, back home.