It's the final countdown!
See ya later . . .
The countdown to adventure is almost over! It's been a month or so since I first made a silly online counter and started counting down the days on our whiteboard at work . . . and this weekend we're off to Australia to attempt to get down the Snowy River (mainly) on foot.
I'm ready to go. We've been preparing for a while now (see this and this and this). We've bought all our bits and pieces over here, we've practiced pitching the tent (sorry for being so bossy, Dan!), done a few walks ("We'll get fit on the trail," we keep telling ourselves) and I've pored over the maps to commit emergency exits to memory.
We couldn't have got this far without a bunch of support from people in Australia. Kate has made us a selection of home-made dehydrated meals and Emily has bought a stash of noodles and porridge and boxed it all up into various food drops. I bet you nerds would like to see a satisfying, 26 second time-lapse video of the packing process, wouldn't you?! Here's one Emily made while talking to me on Skype!
We don't really know how we're going to fit all the food in our bags, but I'm sure we'll manage somehow! My parents have bought and registered a PLB and I've uploaded our itinerary to the PLB website. I've printed out all my notes. I had a leg massage earlier this week. I still don't know if it will be possible for the two of us to do this thing - but there's only one way for us to find out: try.
I'm looking forward to hearing magpies and kookaburras calling in the day, seeing the Southern Cross and the Milky Way tilt across the night sky, spending time among trees and hills and rocks, watching the landscape change as we move downstream, learning the smells and rhythms of the river, hanging out with Dan all day every day (hopefully we both feel the same about this after a few weeks on the go!), seeing wildlife, hearing birds, walking hard, getting dirty and exhausted, swimming myself clean, having some time away from the work desk, being super excited about fresh food and company when we meet people for our food drops, exploring the places I've read so much about, learning more about the river I grew up beside, about its ecosystems, about its natural and cultural histories.
I probably won't update this blog while we're away. We don't have a spot tracker, so you can't follow us online. We don't have any sponsors or funders, so there's nobody we're obliged to report to. I might tweet occasionally (here and/or here) - more so in the first and last week - but for the most part I doubt we'll have much mobile signal and we'll be conserving phone battery for necessities and emergencies. But don't worry: I am sure I'll have plenty to write about when we get back! I've got notebooks and my camera and a digital recorder, so you might even get some delightful film or audio pieces at some point.
A few people have asked if we're taking collections for a charity (or for ourselves). We're not - although we are very grateful for the assistance of friends and family with transport, accommodation and other logistics. If you are inspired by our journey to give a donation to an organisation of your choice, please do. I would like you to give to an organisation that not only offers support to but preferably campaigns/advocates for and is run by Indigenous/First Nations people, asylum seekers/refugees, trans/queer people or other marginalised groups. Dan would like you to support libraries, literacy and education. If you can combine elements of the two, brilliant! Feel free to share links to the organisations you support in the comments.
It's the final countdown!
See ya later . . .
Oh, by the way, did you see my interview over on The Urban Wanderer? I talk about long distance walking, adventure plans . . . and tea, of course. Go and check out Sarah's blog - she's got some lovely stuff on there.
Last weekend we headed up to Sissinghurst in Kent. I took a few photos and made an audio blog of our walk.
There's no transcript of the piece, but it includes:
This was a bit of an experiment to see how well the digital recorder worked and if the recordings might be edited into a single piece, so it's not the most polished thing ever. It's probably best to use headphones to listen. But hopefully it gives you an insight into what it's like to go on a walk with us!
Please do let me know if you enjoyed the audio! I'll post a Snowy River adventure update later this week and then the blog will be taking a break until after we return from Australia in late April.
In which I
In which I do things and write about them
In which I tag
In which I archive