Tasmania - She made it, with a broken arm !

I am back in the Swiss Alps after a challenging 3 - month Wild traverse - expedition, South to North through Western Tasmania. The mountains here are still covered with snow cap. I hold a warm cup of tea in my hand and I remember how many times I fell, laughed and looked at thi wall of dense vegetation standing before me. I was staring at it and hoping that a magic password would lift it up, but it never did.

2c29e474-c91c-4d40-8dbf-98fc50c2a4df.jpg

How many times I unzipped the door of my tent in the morning hoping for something different than rain but it was rarely the case. The “pulse” of a expedition is to be ready to feel pain, to be wet, hungry, in doubt, amazed, not OK ... but what was awaiting for me in the deepest part of the Tasmanian primary forest was beyond all this.

I have met the fear of not waking up in the morning, mashed under one of those fallen giant trees. There was no escape from them, I was surrounded by them! Every time one of them would fall, the ground would shake under me and feed my fear. In that precise moment this was when I started to breath a different air full of new knowledge for me to feed on. What would happen if my life was taken away from me ? Is this the ultimate price to pay ?

So today is a celebration day for my family, teammates, friends, partners and for you my readers ...
I have created my own trail with my own light, with my own cold sweat.

" I gave my dream shape, color, taste. "

n a deep despair, urrounded by these crazy horizontal tangled bushes, with a broken arm and a
3-g backpack, unable to move forward or backward, what I remembered as my roar:
I creamed at the top of my lungs " I WILL NEVER GIVE UP " and indeed, I did not… I have walked 3 days with a broken arm before I found safety.

I've crossed the finish line the 13th of April 2018, 3 months and a week later, ith an injury and a tired smile, but deep down I have certainly achieved more than I have ever dreamt of.

Big things
can be done simply
one step at the time
and
remember
" You are the Tiger in your jungle. "

I took a bunch of pictures with the app #EVERYDAY...You can feel what's happen Enjoy!

The two sides of exploration

After weeks of intensive effort, Krystle Wright (National Geographic photographer) joined our explorer for six days. An artistic collaboration was created between the two women at the Australian expedition "Dropped Into the Wild Corner" in 2015. After ten consecutive days of rain, the sun was finally shining.

A crossing that she is not ready to forget

After saying goodbye to Krystle, Sarah sank into the bush for a long wild crossing where few humans have ever been to this day.

She started a sunny ascent with the Tiger snakes that were on her way basking in the sun.

She has suffered several storms, and has discovered intact primary rainforests where centenarian tree trunks that strewed the ground, putrefied and covered with green moss, disintegrated at the slightest touch.

She had the chance to observe a Tasmanian devil in the wild (one of her finest moments).

Day 62

"I finally found the river that will allow me to get out of this valley with my packraft (small inflatable boat)," she told us, full of hope.

2018-03-29-PHOTO-00000206.jpg

Sarah followed this river for days, but unfortunately the water level was too low for navigation. She had already rationed her food and gathered wild plants and berries as soon as she understood the complexity of the situation. Extreme conditions and bad weather, that's what awaited her.

2018-03-29-PHOTO-00000196.jpg

 

Then it was in a narrow gorge that it led to complications ...

A crossing of this kind was however a routine exercise for her. But this time, she slipped and crashed down the gorge. Her 30kg-bag was flattening her to the ground. Her only thought was "I have to move now - my emergency beacon will not work here". She got up painfully, crawled out of that gorge and walked another three days with what will prove to be a broken arm.

 

 

A new start, once again

As you read this news, Sarah is somewhere on the west coast, in the rain, two weeks from the finish. One arm immobilized and the other pushing a cart, because she can not carry her bag anymore. Her doctor imposed a total immobilization for two weeks for the bone to calcify. Meanwhile, Sarah has devised a plan B and it is in the company of her cart that she calls "green bubble" that she put her shoes on her feet. Knowing that it will take her 3 hours to build a camp with one arm ...

Those were her words before she left ... "I finish what I started ... one step at a time, it will take me more time, that's all"

A breathtaking start

I followed the south coast, crossed rivers with fresh water above my knees and easily with my shoes tied around my neck. I saw the sea in its best mood with a beautiful sun. Suddenly the weather turned, the sky became threatening, reminding me of the skies of Mongolia and under that black cap ready to go wild, I asked myself: “Will I be up to it ?” At that moment I was climbing a summit that dominated the whole region. Arrived at the top, the gusts of wind were such that I found myself propelled several times in dense bushes ... falling flat on my back! My backpack was too heavy to get up. I was on my back, under heavy rain. I laughed and told myself that this rain was just water, after all ... I smiled, I looked like an inverted beetle.

Day 20

I discovered in the early morning on my infrared camera a huge wombat rubbing the hindquarters on my tent. My nights are as exciting as my days ; pity I find out only in the early morning. #infraredcamera.

2018-02-18-PHOTO-00000028.jpg

Melaleuca

My supply point and my base camp to observe the wildlife. I arrived a day late and with a shoulder injury after a fall where my 30-kg bag was cushioned by my bending arm. The torrential rains of the last days made the rivers overflow and I had to wait for 24 hours to cross the last one on my way. So I could not meet Leslie who had brought me by small plane my supplies for the next part.

After few days of recovery, I left Melaleuca with a 35-kg bag on the back (packraft - small inflatable boat - included).

"I'm happy to never know what the next day will be made of"

From 40 degrees °C to the snow, from the endless rain to a crossing of a windy sea sound causing me to drift, areas where the cutting grass was as high as me ... there is a little phrase that often comes back #tasmaniaForYou. I begin to understand it better :-)

Day 40

From where I positioned myself on the top of this ridge, I could see my supply point below. It was 6 pm when I passed the door of an old lodge, the fire was crackling. I dropped my bag on the floor and settled myself in front of the flames, hypnotized, exhausted and happy to be here ... A few hours later, I took my first shower since January 5th.

A new start

I write these words in the warm. I'm waiting for National Geographic photographer Krystle Wright to arrive in two hours. We have already worked together on the last expedition in the Kimberley - Instincts. It's time to put my bag on my back, with Krystle who will accompany me for four days.

New expedition of Sarah in Tasmania

 Departure for a new expedition in Tasmania,  The Edge Of The World  

Departure for a new expedition in Tasmania, The Edge Of The World 

TWO DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE

After a month of intensive preparation during which I barely had time to drink enough Café Latte, I finally reach the point where I can finalize my bag for departure.

After 10 days here, where I got the necessary authorizations and permits (including fishing), I got hold of all the topographic maps of the route. I will carry with me a large choice of maps, that will allow me freedom in my moves, always one step after another, this will depend mainly on the ground.

I had several meetings with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) to set up the data collection protocol during the expedition. A project that matters to me very much and for which I am impatient and curious at the same time.

A VERY WELCOME HELP

On December 14th, my stage partner Sandrine Viglino arrived to give me a hand on the logistics side. She has dispatched, collected and vacuum-packed 100 days of food. A job that she handled tirelessly. I also surrounded myself with references in the Tasmanian scientific world. And it's a great chance that I count Leslie Frost (Environmental Manager at the Australian Antarctic Division University of Tasmania) as member of the expedition team.

She even gave me a wonderful Christmas gift late afternoon in a coffee shop in Hobart (photo). "You will really need that!" she added. A real torch handover... merci merci

SUPPLIES

As planned, four supplies points were set up and we left the bags. During this trip, Sandrine finally met kangaroos, a Tiger snake and even found a travel buddy (photo). To reach an isolated spot in the bush, at the end of a track that stopped at the river, we put the car on an old barge that allowed us to cross. During these two days of necessary roadtrip, I don’t know which of the two laughed the most, but I imagine that it was me …

As always before an expedition, two days before departure, I am exhausted and I can even say without getting carried away that "we are exhausted" but with an atmosphere of great appointment, despite the ton of work that we have completed.

It remains for me to wish you a wonderful and surprising year 2018.

As for me, with a lot of excitement and joy I am finally about to get back to the wild nature of Western Tasmania with its isolated and uninhabited lands.

Your Explorer
Sarah Marquis

HOW TO FOLLOW THE EXPEDITION

My team in Switzerland will keep you updated regularly with today's technology. Do not hesitate to follow me via social networks.