After another night under the stars we were ready to start the hardest section of the walk - the walk around Cape Girumia. Early that morning we were fortunate enough to be able to talk with another walker coming from the opposite direction. This walker informed us that, if we took care, we would be able to traverse that section of the track without too much difficulty. Up until now we had been walking along beach tracks.
Now the mountains came down to meet the sea and there wasn't much room left for walkers. Wisely we had left our backpacks in the boat for this. In patches the trail was little wider than the width of my shoe in other areas it was as wide as the length of my shoe. In patches the trail faded away to almost nothing due to waterfalls eroding away the track. As we walked the trail rose to be about 50 metres above the sea. From here we had wonderful views of the ocean and we could often make out our boat following us at a distance. Whilst we had to walk around the bays they were able to take a short cut across the mouth of the bay.
Half way through this section of the walk we came across a section where I had visited on a previous occasion so I knew that we were within striking distance of where we intended to stay at a village called Wamira. It was a wonderful waterfall with several deep-swimming holes where the natural rock formation was able to hold the water.
Once out of the steep dangerous section we cut inland for a little bit out of sight of the boat. This was, I think, the hottest and most tiring section of the entire walk. It was flat ground with a covering of almost dead grass which reflected all of the fierce PNG sun back at us. It felt to me as if the already high humidity level had doubled. I was glad when we returned to sea level and were able to walk along the beach again.
By now Joe was almost fully recovered and he was able to walk with us for most of the trip into the village of Wamira. The closer we came to Wamira the more of my wife's relatives came out to greet us. Stopping off for morning tea at one of Geraldine's close cousins was another highlight. These people are several hours walk from the nearest of any shops yet they have no real need to go to the shops. They have food gardens that provide them with enough vegetables to eat. Of course they have the beach at their doorstep with a plentiful supply of fish. I was intrigued by the massive jaws of fish on display and was told that they were from sailfish that they had caught. Professional fishermen would eat their heart out just to tackle one of these let alone to catch such a prize.
The following photo has been taken by Jeffrey Macniel Demesi Harding for a photography competition held by the PNG Photography Association. It is a photo of Animala Beach, Wamira, Milne Bay province. We stayed close to this wonderful beach. The photo was selectd as 1 of the top 40's in the comp. Thanks to Mac Harding for permission to use the photograph.
Animala Beach, Wamira - looking towards Girumia Point where we had walked from.
Once again thanks to Mac Harding for permission to use the photo.