South Molton man goes walk-about - right across Australia

SOUTH Molton adventurer David Leaning has just completed his latest epic journey – a 2,064km walk across Australia! Former Marine David, 29, this time had to endure desert-like conditions and temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius. It was a far cry from

SOUTH Molton adventurer David Leaning has just completed his latest epic journey - a 2,064km walk across Australia!

Former Marine David, 29, this time had to endure desert-like conditions and temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius. It was a far cry from his last big adventure in the winter of 2007/08 when he undertook a 3,000 km solo ski from the southernmost to northernmost points of Norway.

David's latest challenge took him from Port Augusta in South Australia to Karumba in Queensland.

En route he walked through the Simpson Desert, Lake Eyre Basin, Cooper's Creek and the Sturt Stoney Desert.


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He set out at the end of April, allowing five months for the epic journey, but finished quicker than expected, in 85 days.

David followed old explorers routes along the Birdsville Trail, living rough and mostly on tinned food, but also with the occasional snake dinner and 'tucker stew.'

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Because of the temperatures he often did much of his walking at night and carried only the bare minimum of equipment, sleeping on a mat in a substantial sleeping bag and with no tent.

A main problem was water, for although David carried out extensive research of farms and water holes via the Internet before setting out, he was to find that some of the water was undrinkable despite him having purification tablets with him. It meant he had to carry several litres of water with him, boosting the weight of his back pack, and he particularly grateful that is some areas people helped by pre-dumping water ahead of him.

He had huge encouragement from local Australians and tourists alike, David has told his father John 'Spud' Leaning in messages back home to South Molton.

David is currently in Perth and his father is expecting him home next week.

Between trips David carries out periods of work for a company in East Africa, said his father. "But there is always another trip on the horizon," he said.

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