Day 3: Woke up quite ahead of time once again, but thankfully not due to the snoring of my camping compatriots. Despite the apparent epidemic of sleep apnea previously plaguing our campsite, this morning was quite serene inside my tent – I could hear crickets and birds chirping against the backdrop of a constant crash of water falling over rocks adjacent to our camp.
After packing up and having breakfast we crossed the river and headed up the hillside for one of the most demanding climbs of the trek up and over the Maguli Range to the village of Naoro. It was instantly arduous; steep to the point where it was more akin to rock climbing. Within seconds my lungs were burning, and my legs felt stiff and heavy. Scampering up the stone steps soon led us to the old faithful tree root steps that wind all the way up the mountain to reach the ridge. Ten minutes into the climb and everything was aching; Feet, ankles, calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, back, shoulders, and neck. When my minds starts to wander, and wonder if I can possibly lift my feet at all, I keep reminding myself that it is simply one foot in front of the other. Thus far I have found the strength to keep pushing just a little bit more until we make it to the next rest stop.
When we finally reached the ridge we had morning tea, and whilst we ate biscuits the porters pulled out the guitar and sang some beautifully sweet songs as we took in the magnificent vista of mountain ranges and valleys. The rest of the day was filled with equally magnificent scenery, enjoying lunch in the picturesque village, after continuing on through some swamp land. When we finally made camp we went swimming and had a delicious rice and casserole for dinner. After dinner we again discussed our high and low points of the day, where Nick told us everything that he was thankful for. This was basically an itemized list of the McDonald's menu. After this the porters again pulled out the acoustic guitar and sang some lovely songs, the most poignant being the last song of the night when they sang the PNG national anthem.