Swiss Woman Treks 10K Miles Over 3 Years

Sarah Marquis endured dengue fever, sandstorms, Mongolian horsemen
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2014 9:05 AM CDT
Swiss Woman Treks 10K Miles Over 3 Years
Sarah Marquis has become a veteran explorer, braving the elements, animals, and more on her difficult journeys.   (Sarah Marquis)

When Sarah Marquis tells people what she's done, they usually tell her she's crazy. But neither those words nor the harsh weather, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, or even intimidating Mongol horsemen can keep the 42-year-old Swiss explorer's wanderlust in check: For three of the past four years, Marquis trekked more than 10,000 miles—by herself—from Siberia to Australia, the New York Times reports. Why (and how) did she put herself through such a grueling regimen filled with physical and mental hardships? "The intellect doesn't drive you anymore. It doesn't exist anymore. You become what nature needs you to be: this wild thing," she tells Elizabeth Weil of the Times.

Some revelations from her adventure, as per the Times:

  • Marquis' two-year preparation included a 20-mile daily walk or snowshoe trek sporting 75 pounds.
  • For the trip itself, she lugged a 120-pound cart that contained survival necessities. along with luxuries (including five pairs of underwear and pink pajamas to make her feel "gorgeous").
  • Her camp was invaded by Mongolian horsemen who tried to steal her tent, then came back each evening to treat her as "the little entertainment." She had to resort to walking miles to find a sewage pipe to hide in for the night.
  • An infection from a gum abscess didn't respond to antibiotics and started creeping down her neck; she had to be evacuated from Mongolia. She also came down with dengue fever at one point and "tied her left leg to a tree so she wouldn't wander off in her delirium and drown herself in a river."
Read the full Times article. (More 10,000 miles stories.)

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