Starting from Billiluna in the north near Halls Creek on 31 May 2013, Gaynor Schoeman walked solo for 66 days, carrying a backpack of 30kg, finishing 1657km later in the tiny outback goldfields town of Wiluna on 05 August 2013.
Gaynor was raising money for quadrepligics wheelchair rugby players under the banner Walk 4 Wheels, and Walk 4 Wings in memory of hangglider pilot and friend, Bruce McClunan, who broke his neck on 1st April 2011.
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Many class this walk as unsupported, done in the same way as the first succussful unsupported walkers lead by Murray Rankin in 1976. I, however, do not. Whilst I did not travel with vehicle support or walk with another person, without the help of Andy Sutcliffe in establishing my supply route before the walk and my food sponsors, this walk would not have been possible. For this reason I class my 2013 desert walk only as SOLO .... by my own standards.
Thank you for reading the first pages of my Desert Diary. Prompted by readers interest, I am in the process of writing a book about what it takes for a woman to walk across a desert alone, the realities and the 'why' of it, something so many people ask me.
Solo desert walking is not for the faint hearted. The walk forever changed me, the raw feeling of isolation and loneliness shattering my 'I am an island' world, prompting me to seek connection in a way I have not done before. It has not been an easy, but if I was looking for easy I would sit down in front of a television and surrender my mind.
This will be my first attempt at publishing a book. There is only one way I can write and that is from the heart. It is not in my nature to provide a glossed over recreation of how I would like things to have been. There is no learning, no discovery in that. My life is about discovery and about transformation.