This weekend we decided to climb the nearest mountain to Suva, Mount Korobaba (Ko-rom-bam-ba). It’s located just outside in a town called Lami – you pass through it on the road down from Coral Coast from the airport. I’d spoken to a couple of people who had climbed it and the homestay’s sisters’ cousin offered to take us all up there.
We started out early, and I made us all porridge so we had plenty of energy for the climb, we were picked up about 7.15am and drove the short distance to the cement factory where the trail begins. We were walking by 8am along a vibrant orange/red clay track. We instantly were surround by the rainforest which kept us fairly cool. Luckily, the sun wasn’t out and we weren’t suffering to hike under a blaze.
The hiking was good and fairly steady. We met several groups who were on their way back down the mountain (who knows what kind of crazy time they started!) Worryingly they all wished us the best to get to the top… As the track wasn’t very steep we thought they must be referring to it being slippery – as it was a clay type mud and had rained that morning. But it wasn’t long before we found out why we needed their regards.
The last part of the climb was steep. Very steep. Plenty of trees and roots provided foot holes and would hold our weight so we could pull ourselves up. I enjoyed this bit the most-working out the route ahead and then really scrambling up it, getting a bit muddy along the way!
Once we got to the top our view was obscured by clouds, but these cleared now and again so we had a good view of Suva, Beqa and the Coral Coast. We had sandwiches and some pineapple before a quick snooze and thought about how to get down.
This was the bit I really struggled with. I would have rather climbed up it again than struggled down! The guys with us collected sticks to help us keep our balance but on the steep smooth rocks they didn’t really help with the skidding! Nonetheless, we made it down through the roots, along the little bridge, crossed the river, ducked under several logs and leapt over a few more to end where we began.
I spent the rest of the day reminding my walking companions of that huge sense of achievement they felt rather than how sore their legs were…
By Kat Barber - Project Coordinator
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