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  • Eliza Bartlett

15 days down...

The last few days has shown beautiful scenery, however, with it has also given me some of the most challenging days physically I have ever had.

Today, I had a 32km walk across about 3 mountain ranges. The closest comparison I could think of, was if Mount Lofty Walk (Adelaide people know what I mean) was 32km and even steeper. 🤷🏼‍♀️ (in heavy rain and hail)

My only option is however to complete it and get to my accomodation before it gets dark. There are no taxis, or buses to help me if I get stranded, I can only rely on my own feet getting me there on time. For this reason, I chose to only have very minimal, short breaks and try to power through as much as I could for 10 hours straight.

Unfortunately the blood sugars were not appreciating the challenge, and I ended up disconnecting my pump for about 5 hours during the walkout to going low. when I tested about 45 minutes after finishing (still no insulin on board) I was still 4.3.. 🤨

Don’t worry, I did then have some pasta..

Yesterday was also physically tough, but not as bad. I had loaded up on the biggest breakfast I had ever eaten (two slices of toast, one yoghurt, two cookies, 3 slices of bread with prosciutto, one jam croissant, one chocolate croissant, two glasses of juice, and one cappuccino). This amount of breakfast is becoming pretty regular for me over here. 😋

The walk itself also had some beautiful scenery, although again hail and heavy rain made it that but more challenging and made the views difficult to admire. The biggest challenge was when my phone went flat. I came over with two phones, however one had already died. 😕

I also have a portable charger, however without knowing, it had chosen not to charge the night before, despite being on charge all night. I was left with trying to remember my final 4 hours of directions (after looking at my map once), hotel accomodation, and hope that I could find and get to my accomodation that night.

Firstly the directions I took lead me into a mud bath, literally. I was walking through thick mud, and got stuck in a farm with no way to get to the path unless I went across a pretty deep creek. Instead of walking a couple of hours back, I decided to walk to the nearest point I could cross the creek. I got across, unfortunately boots, ankle braces, socks, and legs were now drenched.

Despite this first “wrong turn”, I managed to get to Castelluccio Valmaggiore the town I was staying in. If there is one thing I am thankful for at this point, is my strong sense of direction, and ability to remember maps. I however arrived to my accomodation and of course it was locked with no one around.

I tried to ask locals, but with no ability to translate due to my phone being flat, I really struggled. I walked around for two hours, before I approached a group of young men, hoping they spoke some English or had a phone I could borrow. I was in luck. They let me use their place to charge my phone to check details of accomodation. It turned out one of these men owned the B&B I had booked. How lucky was that?

From being terrified I wouldn’t find anywhere to stay, these guys made were incredibly supportive, and I was so grateful I found them.

Somehow, despite every challenge I encounter, the body and mind remain pretty strong.

It has been a tough few days, and I could write more about other challenges, but I’ll keep it shot.

I’m so grateful for everyone’s continued support and motivation to help me achieve this! Every step closer to my final destination, is hopefully also one step closer to a cure of type one diabetes!

To reach my fundraising goal I just need someone to sponsor each KM I have left for $20(or sponsor a couple) 😏 Sharing my story and journey is also critical to raise awareness and money for JDRF, and I thank you to all of you that are doing so!

Until next time... ✌🏼


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