Muir OAM is no stranger to extreme adventures. He has climbed Mt.
Everest, walked to the South Pole, paddled alone in a sea kayak from
Port Douglas to the tip of Cape York; but this solo walk, which
takes him across four of the driest deserts in the world, was to be
his toughest challenge to date.
His only equipment was two trekking poles and a home-made
cart – his ‘arid-zone cruiser’ – containing a few
essentials, which he pulled behind him. The bulk of his food comes
from what he can find or hunt along the way.
of Australia’s top adventurers have described this walk as one of
the greatest achievements of human endeavour in the history of
Australia. This was Jon’s fourth attempt at a crossing. His
previous attempts, like those of other explorers, some dating back
to the mid-nineteenth century, had failed. Pushed to his physical
and mental limits – all of the 128 days were harder than Everest
summit day, Jon says – he shows us how he survives total
‘burnout’ to tell his remarkable tale.
Alone Across Australia
is more than a quest to see if 21st century man,
travelling light, can
survive in the most harsh and arid zones of the planet today,
without any outside assistance. Jon’s greater mission was to
highlight how far contemporary society has shifted from its homo
sapiens roots and in the process lost its fundamental
connections with the earth we inhabit.
We have to a great extent forgotten how to live simply, we
have forgotten what survival in nature is and we have forgotten that
we are, in essence, just another animal sharing this fragile planet.
Using his camera as a confidante and a diary, Jon not only documents the ups and downs of his trek through this harsh but beautiful landscape, but provides an engaging and articulate commentary. Other than his little canine companion, Seraphine, we see that, as each day goes by, the camera and even features on the landscape, such as hills, increasingly become his only friends. He tells a compelling story about his adventure, and the wealth of knowledge he has of the continent is strongly evident.