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Walking Alone in the Wilderness: A Story of Survival (Part 1) | Nat Geo Live

Walking Alone in the Wilderness: A Story of Survival (Part 1) | Nat Geo Live


– One day I was sitting
in Australia, in a desert. The land was red. I was next to an old man. An old Aboriginal man. And after we gaze
at the horizon, after a few minutes, he looks at me and he
said, “Hey little one. “You be careful.” And I look at him a bit, wondering about
what’s going on here. “You be careful who
you tell your story to. “Because this is the
most precious thing “you will never own.” Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to my world, it’s a really important
night tonight. We need to connect,
and feel connected. I invite you to come with
me in my life journey. Let’s go walking. So, let’s start actually
here in the States. I had this amazing idea, like, I saw this little
trail called PCT. Had no idea what
was going on there. I read was amazing
journey going from the northern part of the States,
near the Canadian border, crossing all the west, and
reaching the Mexican border. I thought, this
was for me, right. Let’s do this. Anyway, I start my journey,
in the Canadian border. In May, 2000, I come
from the mountain, right, so I know about
snow, a little bit. Anyway, I thought
makes a good time. I start walking, not knowing
much about the bear story because I thought there was
already a bear story out there about bears, grizzly bear. I thought, I’d better
do that on my own way, so I do not get scared. Right, I start walking
into this deep forest. And I had my plan B going on. I thought, if anything
goes really wrong, I just jump on the tree. This is a good plan. Anyway, I keep
walking over the days, and I look at the tree,
it has this funny mark on the side of the
tree, and I thought, what is this thing
going on there? I saw this huge claw
mark, I thought, oh, holy holy holy God, those things climbing. I can see these
marks on the tree, I thought, this is
going to be tough one. Anyway, few days later I
climb a summit full of snow, and, unfortunately,
the weather changed. This cold front became
a really hot front, really warm front going on. And that was my first
time I nearly… Find death. I was on this slope, going
really really really like that, on the lateral way
of the mountain. Suddenly, I feel my
legs going like that. And the snow falling down. The avalanche was
nearly taking me. I had this surviving
skills of running uphill, find this big rock,
hiding behind a rock. And I’ve been staying
there for six days. Well, I survived right? That’s all that matters, really. So, I did what
everybody would do. Wake up every day at three
o’clock in the morning and testing the snow. One day that snow
would be hard enough for me to go on. I did exactly that. But first mistake, I didn’t
have all the topographic map. You know, you’ve got a
trail, you follow the trail, so you’ve got the trail map. But, this is wrong. You always have
to have a plan B. If anything go wrong,
you need to know what’s going on around it, so I didn’t have this map. So I followed a green
valley down the hill. I arrived there, and
after a few days, finally, I reached a carpark, and
this old woman was there. She looked at me
and she, (screams). I was like, oh, what’s
going on, a bear somewhere?! Or something. And, this woman, look at me
like she saw the Devil in me. Her husband ran, he
said, “What’s going on?” I said, “I don’t know.” And he look at me and
say, “Are you alright?” I said, “I’m just fine.” “Are you sure?” I had second degrees
burn on my face, and my whole face
was a big blister, actually, were falling
down, pieces of skin was falling down my face. But I didn’t care about that,
I was just about surviving. Anyway, the story goes on, so
I get to that little village, I was starving. I get into the first
pub, and I start to eat my fish and chips. First plate, second plate. On my second plate the
police come behind, and say, “Miss Marquis?” I say, “Uh, mm, yeah?” “Come with us please. “Did you walk through
those lands there?” I say, “Well, I just
got off the mountain, “was dangerous.” “Yeah, you walk on FBI land.” “Well, there is, I
didn’t know that, “there was some
snow everywhere.” “Well, okay.” So they give me a ticket,
and was like a $5000 warning, like if I don’t get out
of that Washington state in 48 hours, I
will get arrested. So I was like, “Alright,
Plan B, anywhere.” I make connection, I flew all
the way down to San Diego, and start again, walking from
the Mexican border this time. I thought, that’s going to be s. Well, safe kind of, because, I had, at that time, the
Mojave Desert, in front of me, in full July. It’s a bit more complicated. Anyway, I finish this
incredible journey, I can go on all night about
this journey, because, it’s been really incredible. We save a guy in the
river, nearly dead, John, and he survive after a long
journey of running away from the guy, for
two days to get help in this really remote area. But all went well, I finished. And then, back
home, I had my mind, it was like if I opened a
little door inside my mind. I’d win, I had dreams,
big dreams. I had this dream of Australia. What’s about if I
start in the middle, and I go all around it
and finish in the middle? It’s like a 14 month journey. 30 kilometers a day,
14,000 kilometers. And, I just did that. I start, after one
year preparation. After three months,
I met my dog, Joe. He was in a farm,
not really happy. I stole the dog, run
away with the dog. Arrive in a forest, completely
exhausted, out of breath. I was like, okay,
I’ve got a dog. Let’s do this. Talk to the dog, I say, “Well, we’re going to
walk together, right. “We’re going to do 10,000
kilometers together.” It looked at me and said, “yes,” “I’m in,” and we took off and
we had this amazing journey. I finished my
expedition with him, and I bring him
back to Switzerland. He is a wild dog, it’s
half dingo, half Red Heeler, and he survived and lived
until he was 17 years old, in the snow. So, just two weeks before
the end of this expedition, I walk in a place,
a special place. An Aboriginal community. Anyway, I had a bit of
a health problem, there. I wake up near a fire pit,
and all I can hear was (high pitched warbling). I was like, right. This looks interesting to me. And I was like, what’s going on? They saved me. I just collapsed in a
dune and they saved me. And accept me in the
community like their own. I had a mom, this was my mom. I’ve got sisters… What happened, we
go hunting together. And I was like, oh yes, I
can go hunting with them. Imagine what I’m going to learn, because I was hunting myself, so when I was hunting,
I was hunting like, just trying to make
no noise at all. Just try to be one with nature. Well, didn’t work really well. I was hunting with those
women and they’ve got this big butt
going on, you know. And you can see them moving
through the landscape, and they were talking
to each other, their long line, and they’re
like (high pitched warbling). And moving their butt,
but suddenly, one lizard, one goanna. I was like, what?! I didn’t see anything. They were yelling at each other. Well, I make the point,
and I’m going to follow her from behind all the way. I did that for a long time, I never find her trick. She knew where the
lizard, the goanna was, and where to find food. Those people got this amazing
connection with nature, you will never believe
how connected they are. And, from the day one, it
was a bit of a problem, me, be there. So what happened, it’s,
they decide to marry me. Yeah. They marry me to George. One morning I realized
I was married. How cool is that, right? No wedding, preparation
for months and months, you just married like that. And, I say, can
I see my husband? You know, innocently? Which one is it? And, she pointed this guy
behind the tree out there, he was cross-legged. He was painting, his name is
George, he was 80 years old. So the young women,
they used to marry them with the old one to make
the community quite stable. But, those people,
those Aboriginal people, for me was it, that was
it, that was my family, that was my place. That was the way I belonged to. Everything was so
natural, so pure. In a lot of ways, for
me, that was the answer. And, one day they say, well,
everybody’s got a totem, some, the kangaroo, some,
the emu, some are the snakes, and they give me a totem,
and they said to me, “You are jabiru.” I say, “Jabiru?
What is a jabiru?” Oh, it’s a bird. I thought, wow! I’m a bird. I’m a beautiful bird. I’m so happy, I was so proud. Like, what can be better
than a bird, really. So this is the bird. The most ugliest
bird I’ve ever seen. So, but they were
not that, wrong. Look at the legs, long
legs, big nose, right? Anyway, I finished
my expedition, I finally walk away from
my family, this family, and I promised myself,
if I walk away from here, I have to talk, I have to
communicate with the world, about this possible
connection with nature. And that’s what I start
doing as soon as I get home, I start writing, and
giving conferences. Then, meanwhile
I was doing this, I had this wild dream. I saw, a little story
about those Inca people, during the Inca Empire,
where they were running on top of the Andes. And I thought, what?! What’s going on there?! And I been doing some research, and that this wild
expedition starts. I plan to walk from Santiago
de Chile, the capital, all the way following the Andes. Go through Bolivia,
arriving to Peru, and then, go up
the Machu Picchu. Well I did just that, eight months of really
surprising journey, to arrive in Machu
Picchu in one piece. Really skinny, well, I
lose a lot of weight, and I get arrested by the
Special Forces there too, after three minutes
on Machu Picchu. But, I made it, so, with
the help of my brother, my little brother, we were
really a big help at that time, because he did resupply
points all the way through, because there is not much food
and water on that expedition. And then, I had this
relaxed time in Switzerland. I’ve got time between
two expeditions
where I just breathe, and live, and so I was going
to my little grocery store. And, it’s a little
organic store where I go to buy all my stuff. And, I had all my bags,
and get out of the shop, try to cross the road, was
too many cars going on, and I thought, okay,
I put my bags down, and just look
around a little bit. Turn around, and I see this
little travel agency behind me. And this big picture there,
massive picture, green picture. Was like a Mongolian steppe,
you can actually feel drawn into the
picture, was so green! I was like, wow. Anyway, went home,
didn’t think about it. Then, this picture grow on me, and I start to search
about Mongolia. Then, wow, the Baikal lakes,
not far from Siberia. And then south of it, you’ve
got the Gobi desert, right. And then if you go
south, into China, amazing China. And then Laos, and
Thailand, and then if you’ve got a bit of water,
but then you’ve got Australia. Well, I just did that. I build this
incredible expedition. Two years preparation,
to walk from Siberia, all the way down to Australia. Took me three years. Well, didn’t, things
happen on the way. We’re going to see what happene, when an expedition
really starts, it’s not everything
as you planned. Mongolia’s been surprising,
I needed to start three times to go through Mongolia. Two, it’s not enough. Don’t take no for an
answer, never do that. The first no, it’s
a good safe no. Then, a first no, it means
you’re not in the right door. You got a few other
door to get in. And really, the Gobi desert
and Mongolia was about that. How determined I was. This land, not going to let me
go through it the first time. And I hope, I hone
my passage there. Because every step I was doing, I was not following a trail. I make my own trail,
I make my own reality. One step at a time. Took me three years though. Take a bit of time, but, imagine, you can go
around the world on foot. Imagine. The thing is, you can do this, but you have to know how your
brain works, a little bit. If you tell your brain, I’m
going to go around the world on foot, it’s going to
say, yeah right. You know, sit on the couch,
watch TV, relax, have a drink. You will see, you forget
about this idea later on. So don’t let your brain,
your little computer make funny decisions for you. You need to be in
charge on this one. Your dream, it’s the
most important thing that you can have. How big is the dream, go for it. But it’s one step at a time. So I reached three years later, this little tiny amazing tree. Look at this picture. So that was a tree that I
met on my Australian journey between 2002 and
2003, I met that tree, I make a promise to that tree. I said, darling, don’t
worry, I will be back. And when the idea of
finishing my expedition, where I could finish
my expedition and
my team was saying, well Sarah, you’re
going to finish in town, so we’ve got the media, we’ve
got the TV station coming in. I said, “no way.” We going to finish there,
it’s the middle of nowhere. And I finished
exactly near my tree.

23 thoughts on “Walking Alone in the Wilderness: A Story of Survival (Part 1) | Nat Geo Live”

  1. wait.. waitwaitwait… she went on a wilderness journey… without realizing bears are expert climbers and that going up in a tree won't save you from one that wants to attack you??? 0_o This is common knowledge for christ's sake.. even for a city slicker like myself

  2. http://www.rts.ch/play/tv/mise-au-point/video/revelations-sur-lune-des-expeditions-de-sarah-marquis?id=2615120

  3. I'm sorry but I don't ear a terrible accent. I just hear someone inspirational talking about her fascinating adventure called "life"

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