On a warm day in May 2004 Liz Byron set off from Cooktown with her two companions, donkeys Grace and Charley, on a self-imposed challenge to walk 2500 kilometres of the Bicentennial National Trail over 9 months. This epic journey was a rite of passage to mark leaving 40 years of marriage and embarking on life as a single woman at the age of 61. She foresaw that self-reliance, physical stamina and route-finding would be challenges but couldn’t have known how the environment in Queensland was to test her to the limit. Years of drought had left much of her route a dusty wasteland, without food or water for her animals. Years of suffering from childhood abuse and a family tragedy had left her unwilling to ask for help. Walking became a meditation, an exercise in being in the moment even when that moment was 43 degrees or she hadn’t eaten for 7 hours. In her moving memoir, Liz reveals how she healed herself step by step on the way to her new home in northern NSW – by learning to trust her intuition, the wisdom of her animals and the kindness of strangers.
"Liz Byron is a singular and brave woman whose nine-month trek with her donkeys was a truly inspirational achievement at the age of 61. Her long walk also took her into the depths of her own heart, a journey every bit as challenging as those 2500 kilometres from one end of Queensland to the other. Hers is a very Australian narrative, the size of the land opening up to the size of her inner exploration. She tells her story with humour, humility and directness, and I can only hope that when I reach that stage of life I have half as much courage" - Malcome Knox, (Author and Journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald and more).
Author: Liz Byron
Publication Date: 1/03/2020