How am I feeling about the walk you ask?
Super crazy nervous, but also 100% focused. This is the biggest thing that I have ever attempted (some may say the craziest too).
I have been in committed training since January the 1st of this year and now with my uni studies wrapped up for the semester, I am full-time focused on the walk.
Our training consists of a minimum walk each day of 10km and then we try and fit in a 20km hike (grade 4 level) at least once a week. This week I am amping my training up to two sessions of walking, equal to approximately 15km each day, as well as a yoga or swimming session to take care of my muscles. I have been incredibly fortunate that the Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre are taking very good care of me as a training partner. I finish each session with a can of Kanguru which is a botanicals-based drink and helps my recovery.
There are a few questions that people are always curious about: “Why (usually with expletives) are you doing this? What do you eat out there (I always assume they are imagining me trying to hunt a camel or something) and where do you go to the loo out there?” Why? Regardless of how many times I get asked this I always stop and think about it.
The enormity of the challenge and the desire to experience something and somewhere that is so much bigger than me is a significant driver. What I have discovered is a deep feeling of satisfaction at training to such a point where I can feel that my body is capable, strong, and in tune. Additionally, the year of COVID has clusterfu#@%!!ed my brain. I have felt an inability to focus or find mental clarity. Having one huge singular focus has been fantastic to reprogram my brain. Learning to focus on one thing for more than a few minutes and executing a plan. There is no room for shortcuts or days off.
What do you eat out there?
Well, initially I had visions of amazing campfire slow-cooked food with a lovely glass of red wine. Much to my horror, that thought is a big fat no! We will be carrying everything, so the weight on our backs is really important. Each day we have to carry 3 litres of water for each person and we should have enough water for 3 days (you do the math!).
Our brilliant support team travel in front of us and will bury caches of food and provisions which we pick up every 48 hours. We will eat protein bars and items like tuna (from sachets) in wraps during the day. At dinner, we enjoy a hearty meal using dehydrated food. This sounds gross however it is actually quite delicious! I have made a little video to show you! In this clip, we have been enjoying Back Country Cuisine meals.
Finally – where do you go to the loo? As Rob so eloquently put it years ago when asked the same question on his last crossing, “Anywhere we like!” (No video required!)
Thank you for following us on our journey!