It’s been over 800 days and 50,000 km since their unimaginable journey started again in Might of 2015. That is the outstanding story of a person and his rescue cat who collectively traveled Australia of their camper van. Meet the dynamic duo of Wealthy East and his trusty sidekick Willow.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Wealthy earlier this week and requested if he would ever take into account one other journey like this once more, he replied “It by no means ended, I’m scripting this from my van in South Australia with a sleepy little journey cat asleep on my legs!”
Let’s return to the start…in Might of 2015, Wealthy East, then 32 had a break up and determined to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey by himself. Initially from Hobart, Tasmania, he selected to go away his ‘extraordinary’ life behind to hit the highway. After promoting all his possessions, together with his home, Wealthy merely couldn’t bear to say goodbye to his furry buddy Willow (then 4 years previous), so he determined to deliver her with him.
OK, now we’re feline an actual journey coming!
Willow, who’s now six, has since accomplished a loop of Australia after visiting all eight states and territories, and shared numerous recollections with Wealthy, from breathtaking sunsets to floods to mountain treks. “I made a promise to take care of her once I adopted her and I wasn’t going again on it, simply because I used to be searching for one thing else in life.” Properly stated Wealthy!
Wealthy fondly refers to Willow as his ‘soul mate’ and she or he simply is likely to be the primary cat to have accomplished this iconic loop of Australia.
This was fairly an bold expedition even for a seasoned journey cat however apparently Willow is so chilled out and straightforward going that the pair have been purrfect companions all through. Wealthy shares: “We’ve achieved rather a lot collectively and have shared some superb sights. We’ve sailed the Nice Barrier Reef, loved the summer time on the Dorrigo Plateau Mountain Vary and travelled a 1,000 km gravel highway from Bourketown in Queensland, all the best way as much as Northern Territory. I can’t think about being on this journey with out her by my aspect.”
When the 2 greatest friends aren’t chillin’ within the van, they’re more than likely exploring the Australian wilderness. A typical day consists of sightseeing, napping, consuming and a brief drive on the open highway. Most days they journey no less than 60 km and within the evenings they discover a camp, prepare dinner some dinner then go for his or her day by day discover.
Wealthy says: “She’s a really curious cat and is cautious when in a brand new place till she feels snug. I’ve a leash for walks we do collectively and radio frequency collar fitted to her too. So even when Willow decides she desires some alone time, I can at all times discover her.”
Typically although, he says it’s uncommon for Willow to wander greater than 100 meters from the van. “We’ve got an unstated settlement, she is aware of I’ll by no means go away with out her and I do know she’s going to at all times return.”
Generally Willow joins Wealthy on his day by day stroll and follows him carefully but when she’s not within the temper you’re sure to search out her nestled comfortably asleep atop the van.
Wealthy believes that cats make paw-some journey companions and he didn’t have to make many modifications to his camper van to accommodate Willow. When driving, Willow has to experience within the again in a particular cat service. A lot as Wealthy needs she may experience up the entrance with him it’s merely not protected. General she’s a purrfect journey companion with no cat-titude and is mostly relaxed and straightforward going, however in response to Wealthy she will get slightly cranky when she’s hungry. Don’t all of us! >^..^<
We quizzed Wealthy to share a couple of of his many particular recollections…
Q: What’s one of many tougher treks you encountered?
In March of 2017, Wealthy wrote: This cat could not ever rule the world however she’s going to at all times be queen of this junkyard. We took these pictures a couple of days in the past as we have been half manner alongside the 1,660 km Eyre Freeway between WA and SA. The unhappy actuality is that not everybody makes the grueling journey throughout and the perimeters of the highway are plagued by wrecks that stand testomony to that reality. We stayed the evening close to an previous quarry that had turn into a automobile graveyard. Willow loved exploring and made herself proper at dwelling.
Oh…did we point out that among the roads will be mighty robust on tires! Yikes!
Q: Any fascinating adventures off the highway?
In July of 2015, Wealthy wrote: See this little black cat proper right here? She has simply spent 3 days cruising the Nice Barrier Reef aboard the SV Watermusic like a champion. So pleased with this little kitty.
Q: What’s one of many funniest issues that occurred to you?
In July of 2017, Wealthy wrote: Okay so name me a idiot however I did it once more final evening. We had simply settled into one in every of our favorite camps within the mangroves and completed our dinner when it was time to go for slightly stroll. I open the sliding door however I’m confronted with the highway below a foot of water! I’m parked on a small rise in solely 4″ inches of water, Willow was good sufficient to not bounce out this time. I test the tides and we’re just about on the excessive level however I get the torch out and see the water remains to be flowing in fairly quick. I make a snap determination and determine that for our personal consolation and security that as a substitute of ready for it to recede, it was time to get the flash out of there. I pull the sunglasses down, get behind the wheel and creep onto the highway. It being darkish, it’s solely at this level that I realise that I’ve about 400 metres of highway/river to get via to security. Remorse sinks in and I put it into reverse to return to our humble spot on the rise however the wheels spin and I’m not going wherever. I take my footwear off, roll up my PJ’s, get outdoors to understand that I’m dedicated to going forwards. I kick some mud out from in entrance of the tyres and with moist ft get again behind the wheel. I put it into low gear and push forwards, with a wave of water following us. The mud highway is silty and I’m slipping and fish tailing in every single place. The one saving grace on this state of affairs is that though steering was close to unattainable, the van would hug the wheel tracks/ruts on the highway. After essentially the most intense three minutes I’ve had in an extended whereas I made it out to excessive floor and located a a lot safer spot again close to the jetty to desert our night stroll and proceed our night TV watching and night potato crisp consuming. It is a photograph of Willow surveying our gracious and devoted vessel this morning as I eliminated among the seaweed caught below it from my silly misadventure. Now even when I’ve camped in a spot for weeks prior to now I hope that I’ve realized to by no means once more camp with my again to sea!
Q: What’s one in every of your most memorable days?
In August of 2016, Wealthy wrote: Some days are for working, some for travelling, however not right now. Right this moment is for parking on the seashore and watching the waves. See them break over the reef whereas the afternoon solar fills the van with heat as slightly black journey cat purrs contentedly. The solar will set simply in time for us to briefly see Venus and Mercury earlier than they too hit the horizon. And the sunshine of the complete moon will contact the breakers as we see each crash nicely into the evening whereas we watch from below the blankets.
Q: What’s one of many scariest issues that occurred?
In July of 2016, Wealthy wrote: We are able to see our home from right here! ~ As quickly as we stopped the van we each knew it needed to be climbed. Solely slightly hill however in a land so flat each hill is a mountain and each mountain feels sacred. So we begin climbing, slightly black cat wanting again expectantly as I stumble over the free rocks. No leash, no tether, only a belief that once we get to the highest we could have one another. And we did. Each factor appears tiny on prime. Our dwelling, the highway trains on the freeway, and all of the day’s worries. To take a seat for only a second, with the final of the solar’s rays in your eyes and suppose, “The whole lot is okay”.
That is such a outstanding story of the bond between these two lifelong companions and their unimaginable journey collectively. We simply couldn’t resist sharing some extra eye sweet pictures.
OK…we additionally needed to sneak in a kangaroo shot…in any case, this story takes place in that the magical land down below!
Appears to be like like Willow is admiring one other magnificent Australian sundown.
Willow even picked up a joke or two alongside the best way and wished to share this one with us in honor of the large banana (under):
Q: Why do bananas should put on sunscreen?
A: As a result of they peel.
This journey has made Willow a seasoned highway warrior, however she nonetheless enjoys the consolation of a delicate cushion whereas Wealthy softly strums lullabies for her earlier than mattress.
By no means being one to show down a brand new journey, Willow enjoys a delicate swing whereas pondering their subsequent thrilling trek. This little black journey cat has achieved what some home cats may solely dream of.
Having accomplished their loop of Australia, there’s no signal of those two halting their travels anytime quickly. Wealthy says: “I doc our highway journey on my Instagram web page and we’ve had essentially the most superb messages from folks. I really like listening to that our travels brighten up somebody’s day.”
Wealthy went on to say: “It’s humorous how nicely cats adapt to travelling, they only do their very own factor which has meant we’ve been capable of share so many experiences, but have alone time. We’ve liked it a lot, we’re even considering of doing a second lap as a manner of encouraging others to journey with their furry mates.”
Wealthy stated: “What life boils all the way down to is to do what makes you content” and he has no regrets about his selections and greatest summed it up in a current IG put up from July of 2017 the place he states:
“In summer time the sprint could be too scorching to the touch until I put the sunglasses up, however in winter it’s a beautiful place to catch some rays when it’s chilly outdoors. Willow is aware of that issues are at all times altering and that the place the solar as soon as shone could not be. However that doesn’t appear to section her – heat like happiness is fleeting, ever altering, and transient – one thing that ought to at all times be pursued.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”Man Quits Job to Embark on Remarkable Journey Across Australia With His Cat” quote=”Man Quits Job to Embark on Remarkable Journey Across Australia With His Cat”]
TIMELINE OF WILLOW’S TRAVELS
Might 2015 – Left dwelling city Hobart, Tasmania
July 2015 – Visited the Nice Barrier Reef on board a crusing boat for 3 days
Spent summer time months travelling New South Wales
March 2016 – Began heading North once more because the climate cooled down, chasing the solar
Might 2016 – Celebrated 1 yr on the highway at Longreach, Qld
June 2016 – Travelled from Bourketown, Qld to Mataranka, NT through 1,000 km of gravel highway
July – Visited mates in Darwin, NT
August – Travelled All the way down to Broome, WA
September – Margret River, WA
Oct – Jan – Perth, WA
Feb 2017 – South West WA
March 2017 – Entered South Australia – nearly 50,000 kms travelled collectively
April – July 2017 – Slowed proper down and spending time exploring the gorgeous seashores and mangroves of the Spencer Gulf, South Australia
Take a look at this pleasant video on these two inspirational travelling soul mates:
Photograph credit: All pics kindly supplied by Richard East with high quality management finished by Willow
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