Malekula Sunset

Malekula Sunset

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Malekula Hiking Trail Komiti Explores the South Trails of Malekula

Reflections on a Week With no Shoes

From March 10-March 18 the members of the Malekula Hiking Trail Komiti (MHTK), based out of Lamap, Malekula walked the stretch of the island from Lamap to Southwest Bay. Over the course of the first five days the members of the MHTK marked the 44.7 miles of trail that spans from Lamap to the village of Lembinwin in Southwest Bay. The komiti then pushed on up "the dog's neck," to Dixon Reef, before taking public transport to Lakatoro. The entire hike, from Lamap to Dixon Reef was just over 60 miles long.

Along the way the trail komiti spoke in each village close to the trail, explaining that the markings are just to steer tourists and also how a successful hiking trail could benefit the small villages in the future that currently do not see too many tourists.

The walk was filled with stunning beaches, challenging terrain, and plenty of river crossings. The trail is marked with yellow calico, but the trip was primarily to gauge just how difficult the trail is. In the future the komiti hopes to mark the trail out with something more permanent as well as place signs along the route indicating distances and places of cultural significance.

I'm going to update this blog with each segment of the trip and highlight where dangerous and problematic spots are. We took GPS readings from the trails, but it is safe to say that the trail sticks pretty much along the south Malekula coast. We are going to work to get a detailed map prepared as well. Guides are currently being trained in Lamap, and it would be a good idea to bring one along if you were to attempt the hike before we can improve the roads.

A special thank you goes out to the members of the MHTK who went along for the walk, some sacrificing valuable football training time to help the cause. Also, thanks to the guides we picked up in Farun and Mborvor to steer us to our final destination.

Malekula Hiking Trail Komiti (Hikers):
Kusy Damasing
Rino Sali
Jean-Erik Soksok
Joachim Batikakon
Lona Telisi
Festi Talis
Jean-Guinea Bakolili

Farun Guides:
Kensy Keneth
Mark Anis
Bong Masing

Mborvor Guide:
Aso Ising

Also thanks to Tito Luan and Jacky Abong for their work in preparing the trip and providing Kava for a weary group upon their return!

3 comments:

jt said...

Nice account of blazing. Describe those river crossings.

David Stanley said...

The 'Kula Trail looks fantastic and I'm sure it will be a great experience for anyone adventurous enough to do it. I've done some shorter hikes out of Lakatoro but nothing this ambitious. The description does remind me of a hike I did across Erromango in 1983. I'll never forget those two days.

lefobserver said...

HI FROM GREECE.
PLEASE,
CAN YOU ENTER IN MY BLOG IN ORDER TO TAKE THE FLAG OF VANOUATOU AND IT IS WRITTEN IN MY MAP OF VISITORS?
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
lefobserver.blogspot.com

Joakim Batikakon

Joakim Batikakon
Joakim walked the entire 60 miles with this duck backpack. So it can't be that hard...Can it?