Adventurer takes on Kokoda trek

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014
Vince Moores
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

KEEP ROLLING: Vince Moores.

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When his father retired at 61 then died at 62, Vince Moores made up his mind not to waste any time in getting through his bucket list.

"I made a conscious decision to retire at 50 and do all the things I've ever dreamed of doing," Moores, 57, said.

He recently returned from walking 96 kilometres in nine days on Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Trail.

The track starts east of Port Moresby and crosses rugged and isolated terrain, passable only on foot, to the village of Kokoda in Oro Province. It was the setting for a series of battles in World War II between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.

"Because the track was so narrow most of the fighting was hand-to-hand combat," Moores said.

Walking the single-file track through the jungle across slippery tree roots and encountering tropical troubles from tummy bugs to leeches, the plight of the soldiers was easily imagined, Moores said.

"About 32 degrees, humid, shrouded in mist and mud everywhere." Moores walked to Everest Base Camp last year, reaching 5800m in sub-zero temperatures, but he said the Kokoda was tougher physically.

He was the only Kiwi in the group of 20 Australians, some of whom had relatives who had died or fought in the Kokoda Trail campaign.

Having spent some of his younger years guiding tours to Gallipoli, as well as tours through Europe and North Africa, Moores has a keen interest in history as well as a zest for adventure.

He read Australian former rugby union player and journalist Peter FitzSimons' book Kokoda a few years ago and made up his mind to walk the trail.

Extreme pursuits are the norm for Moores - last year he cycled from Canada to Mexico on the Pacific Coast Highway, and other trips include overland from the US to Panama, a month through Indochina and two months around South America.

He has visited more than 100 countries and he's not slowing down - next year he's cycling from Cairo to Cape Town overland, a 12,000km journey.

"I just like the adventure."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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