She is already known for spending three years walking the estimated 10,000 miles from Siberia to Australia.
Sarah Marquis loves adventure. Now, she is on a 4 month survivalist adventure in Australia’s Kimberly region, located in the northwest corner of the continent. The Kimberley consists of the ancient, steep-sided mountain ranges of northwestern Australia cut through with sandstone and limestone gorges and steep ridges from which the extreme monsoonal climate has removed much of the soil. In summary, it is rugged and mostly untamed. Perfect for what Sarah is calling the “Dropped Into the Wild Corner” expedition
Excerpt from the article
Located Australia’s tropical northwestern corner, the Kimberley is the continent’s last frontier. It offers wild, rugged nature in one of the unfriendliest ecosystems on the planet. Home to saltwater crocodiles, dozens of venomous snakes (including the ominously named desert death adder), deep canyons, loose rocks, and unpredictable wildfires, Marquis says she will rely on all 23 years of her trekking experience in order to survive.
“Here, there’s a zone where there are no humans. And there is no such thing on this planet, anymore,” Marquis explains by phone from a local ranch she’s using as a rest point at the midpoint of her journey. “And I wanted the connection with nature, the animals, and the wild. I wanted to be in a place where the animals hadn’t seen people.”
In a place that was chosen specifically for its lack of people, Marquis says that there is one surprising clue to nearby humans. “There are heaps of wild bulls,” she says with a laugh. The livestock escape from nearby ranches and go rogue in the bush.
Marquis describes her first encounter with one of the hooved deserters:
“I was walking through the tall, dry spear grasses. They’re taller than me, so I can’t see anything. It’s pure navigation, I use my compass and a map to go anywhere. Every once in a while, you have to stop to listen to see if anything is happening around you. And one day, I was walking and I heard something behind me. I stopped. And the sound stopped. When I arrived at a clearing, I waited under a tree and suddenly a big bull came out of the grasses. He was following me, really cautiously.”
She says that it’s easy to keep the peace with her bovine neighbors, which have a habit of emerging just feet away from her through the tall grasses: “Pretend you don’t see them.”
That’s not to say that Marquis isn’t careful of Australia’s more notorious wildlife. The Kimberley’s saltwater crocs are the world’s largest reptiles, and can reach up to 20 feet long and weigh over 3,000 pounds.
“I saw some crocodiles from the chopper. And then after two days, I threw my bucket into the water with my rope. But I couldn’t pull my bucket back to shore. I was fighting with a crocodile to get my bucket back. It’s really the only thing I need. That was a sign, this was going to be tough.”
Luckily, the bucket survived. “Yeah, it had a hole, but I fixed it,” Marquis explains simply.