THE Moonee Valley Kokoda crew have finished their gruelling seven-day trek.
Students of St Bernard's and Mount Alexander colleges were faced with unseasonable downpours and constant fog on their trip, making each day on the challenging Kokoda Track just that little bit tougher.
In the face of the adversity, the reports coming back to the Moonee Valley Weekly via satellite phone have been overwhelmingly positive.
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A recurring theme has been that while everyone at times feels the pain and struggles, the collective willpower of the group comes to the fore and on any given day there is no shortage of helping hands and encouraging words.
There have been reports of a few stomach upsets, some rolled ankles, blisters and even "a spew" from Victoria's Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on the first day of the hike.
None of these is rare for any mere mortal who attempts to cross the infamous Owen Stanley Ranges.
Along the way, the group climbed Mt Bellamy, a mountain higher than Australia's Mt Kosciuszko, took a wrong turn on its descent and visited the only area along the ranges flat enough to land a plane, the Myola Lakes.
The crew's resolve was steeled by the reading of a poem at the Isurava Memorial. Isurava is the site where Australia's 39th Battalion dug in against a furiously approaching Japanese army.
The average age of the depleted battalion was just 18, marginally older than the Moonee Valley students taking part on the trek.
Four pillars stand at the Isurava Memorial with the words 'Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice' inscribed on them.
Those words represent what the World War II Kokoda campaign required and are also signposts to the mindset required for anyone attempting to walk the famous track.
For a full account of the Moonee Valley Kokoda crew's experience in Papua New Guinea, see next week's Moonee Valley Weekly.