ALONE IN ALASKA (2016)
Alaska was one of the hardest expeditions I’ve undertaken. For the first time in my life, I really thought I was going to give up. However over three months, I covered 1800km by canoe and then walked 800km to reach the Arctic Ocean.
“From the first few days, I realised the extent of how challenging this was going to be. I did not know how to row and the weather forecast was not good. When I started trekking, I found myself in a very dense forest, where I physically couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. The brambles were scratching my whole body and I was in total darkness.
I eventually managed to reach the Yukon River, where I desperately waited for any sort of boat to come and help me. I waited a whole day before someone came.
Now back at my starting point, I restarted my journey. I hadn’t come all this way, to the other side of the earth, not to reach my objective, had I?
Despite the swamps and torrential downpours, I hung in there. I understood that I had to stop thinking. I needed to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, to focus on the finish line. From that moment onward, I started to enjoy the journey again.
When I was running out of food, I ate blueberries and caught fish from the river. I had become self-sufficient. I had the feeling that I had been able to adapt myself to nature.
However, I was scared stiff of the bears. On the 4th day of the expedition I saw one. Although I had a pepper spray can, all I could manage was to stay still and wait it out. He finally went away. Just a few days later I was washing up when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and I saw a brown bear destroying my tent. Then, when he started to come towards me, I shouted and used the pepper spray. This went on the whole night before he decided he had had enough.
At this moment I had the fright of my life.” (extract from an article from L’OBS)