Gaynor Schoeman - Canning Walker - solo

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 18:08
ThreadID: 102989 Views:4477 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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11 days to set up a supply run along the Canning Stock Route in May starting from Wiluna.

Reached Billiluna 31 May and started walking the same day back to Wiluna.

26 days later I reached Kunawarritji, surviving two Bull Camel in-heat encounters on Lake Tobin. Food and water drops have been secure so far. No problems with dingoes digging them up. Prints walk right over with no interest. Resting up for a day or two here at Kunawarritji. Been raining. The Community have been wonderful and given me tourist accommodation and internet access. Lovely people Bill and Raelene.

Travellers have been kind gifting me treats like a cold drink, chocolate and fresh fruit and donations for a quadriplegic wheelchair.

The website was down for a few days due to it exceeding its bandwidth. That was sorted this morning.

Met up with Pam for lunch between Well 36 and Well 37 as she drives and walks parts of the Canning towards Billiluna - 650kms still to go. Just getting her vehicle through with all this rain will be a challenge. Sorry to hear her walk is over, but hope that one day she gets to complete it. She was doing incredibly well and is as stubborn and determined as ever. I have offered to drive for her in September when my own walk is completed if she is able to reschedule this last third of the Canning. I would like to see her finish what she started.

Tony, her driver leaves tomorrow, Friday from Kunawarritji.

Canning Walk in progress
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Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 19:02

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 19:02
I am intrigued as to why her driver is unable to complete the task.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:46

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:46
I'd like to know how people find the time for this sort of thing! Michael
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:51

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:51
From what I understand he is kind of retired so do hope it is not his health and that Pam too is OK, can only imagine how difficult it must be.

their motto must be
"There's time to rest when you're dead, get out and do something instead!!"


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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:58

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 21:58
He is a she! I'd kill for a few months off LOL!! Michael
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 22:15

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 22:15
"He is a she!"
"Pam Armstrong's reason for walking the CSR ?......bcos she can!!! When ya off load ur kids & become a 'free spirit" u can do anything & after all she will be the hero super woman at the end of it all , with her "man" friend Tony Rhodes (hope he has ear-plugs)....!!!!!"

I guess I read that wrong then :-)

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 18:32

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 18:32

Re Driver

I have spoken with both Pam and Tony in person and aware of the reasons. They had a falling out before arriving in Kunawarritji, tried to patch it up in the week they stayed here, decided they could carry on together but one and a half days into restarting the walk, they had a final blow up and returned to Kunawarritji going their separate ways.

Tony is a stone mason and works when required. He took off time until August to help Pam out.

Keeping a team happy and pulling together takes commitment and effort from all parties and consideration of everyones needs.


Finding the time to live?

I owned two businesses in South Africa in the Film Industry. Sold them 4.5 years ago and been spending the money in Australia ever since. Money this past year has run dry. It is likely to be my last holiday here for some time. However.....

When I am on the Canning amazing things occur - something is now afoot for me that might change all that ... but the walk continues. It looks like I will be in Kunawarritji for a week due to developments offshore and then I head south again
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 18:54

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 18:54
Thanks for the reply, although not the best thing it is good news that it isn't health related.

It would be quite difficult to have a level of acrimony and is probably for the best that it happened so close to Kunawarritji.

So Graham and his wife are no longer running the servo and the shop?

I think you are heading into the best part of the trip now - loved the Southern section

Rest & Stay Safe

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Reply By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 22:28

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 at 22:28
hi gaynor
i'm happy to hear you have reached the community and have got your spot-tracker up and running again
I was following your progress on a regular basis until it failed back between wells 38 and 37 where i last recieved your position via your website
due to a band width problems last Friday pm
is this likely to re-occur again before you reach Wiluna or has it been fixed permanently I hope
your daily regular distances are an achievement in itself and I admire your stamina and determination to succeed and wish you every success
its great to hear the effort you put into your pre-trip planning and laying your supply drops along the route has this far proved successful
good on you gaynor
and good luck for the remainder off your walk which I will be following with great interest
it's bad luck for pam that her journey has failed for the present time but having to take a break before completing it later will not be the same as doing it in one constant walk but will still be a personel achievement none the less 1850k's is a dam long way to walk
cheers and have safe touble free and steady walk
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 20:39

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 20:39
Thank you Barry.

My webman has doubled the bandwidth and I have asked friends in South Africa to keep an eye on it and phone the web host if the problem reoccurs. Should be ok now.

Before the walk I was not sure I would be able to do a half marathon - 21km a day, 6 days a week for 3 months, but very glad that this was achievable for the first 26 days on the track, especially as I was carrying a pack weight that was/is very heavy. Averaged 23.5km according to Andy, who enjoys cruching numbers and that I think includes my rest days - only 2.5 over the entire period.

I have a lengthy delay in Kunawarritji as I attend to legal documentation with South Africa that requires my attention before I continue. The delay in getting back on the track makes me a little nervous. Don't want to get too comfortable here in the Tourist Motel in Kunawarritji. Bill and Raylene are really taking good care of me and making me very comfortable and welcome. All this makes it harder to go back out into the 'cold' again. Yes, it is cold here and has been for awhile now.

I am so very grateful to Andy for his help in laying the supply drops with me and making them safe and easy for me to find. I really do owe him a lot.

When we layed the drops we measured the distance for the walk and it actually works out closer to 1650km, rather than 1850km as I originally thought. The additional distance listed on the ExplorOz Trek notes must be to the dead wells and excursions. Pam and I intend/ed to walk only the track itself and to the places with water like Durba.

Pam has done incredibly well. I take my hat off to her. She was walking around 30km a day which is tough. I am hoping that she accepts me offer to be her support driver in September and completes this walk this year. It is not something you want to leave undone after she was so close - 2/3's of the way there.

Every day I am out here, I know how easily my own walk could come to an end. It just takes a twisted ankle, injury strain to my feet to re-occur, my back going 'out' as I lift the heavy pack onto my back each day, another encounter with bull camels that ends with me kicked and stomped on, a broken leg when I walk off track through the brush and dunes, so many things could happen - and I am well aware that it could all end very badly and suddenly.

But that is what makes each day beautiful and wonderful to be a part of. It could be my last and I know that, so each day I wake up and break camp and start walking .... and I give thanks.

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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 04:58

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 04:58
Hello Gaynor,
Well done you're doing a mighty job and we are all proud of you.

Come on ExplorOzites how about helping Gaynor out in achieving her funding raising target. Go here;

Gaynor fund raising


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AnswerID: 513898

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 20:00

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 20:00
Thank you for your encouragement and positive vibes as always Phil.

The travellers have been wonderful and some have donated directly to me for the quadriplegic wheelchair. Others will be doing so via the website Will update the website in a few days with details and photos.

So many Canning Travellers work with people with disabilities. I have been impressed. Many are nurses and carers and there is incredible empathy.

Will upload a couple of photos to Facebook tomorrow.

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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 22:09

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 22:09

I will be leaving Sydney tomorrow, Saturday, to drive the CSR, and will be leaving Wiluna Monday 8th July.

I reckon that we should cross paths about Durba Springs. I will be doing about 3 wells per day so not travelling too fast.

Hope everything goes well for the rest of your walk and hoping to see you on the track.

AnswerID: 513954

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 19:26

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 19:26
Look forward to meeting you on the track Wayne.

My depatrure from Kunawarritji has been delayed due to me needing to be in contact with South Africa until mid to the end of next week. So I am likely to be leaving Kun when you leave Wiluna.

The Wiluna police station are tracking me on SPOT so you might be able to ask for an update on my loaction from them :-)

Bring snorkel and fins :-)))) Been a little wet out here, but travellers enjoying the adventure and the track dries out fast with the wind.


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