RACE COVERAGE

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View All Posts From : Pip And Babs Goldsmith

Back From The Desert!!

13th March 2013 04:30 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

For all our loyal followers, this will be our last post for Atacama 2013.  I thought I had done this on Saturday after we finished the race, but my effort seems to have disappeared without trace into the ether.  Thank you again to all those who followed and blogged us with such enthusiasm - you have no idea how much Pip and I looked forward to reading your comments at the end of each day.

Day 6 was very much a day of rest, spent recovering from Day 5!  However, by the morning of Day 7 we were all very keen to get going again. Day 7 really was a "walk in the park".  Only 8.5 km on flat terrain, walked in a very leisurely fashion, chatting and laughing all the way.

Pip decided to wait at the finish line for me, rather than walk into San Pedro, and it was absolutely wonderful to have her there for what was a very emotional finish (I didn't cry at all!!).  I felt SO proud of her.  Despite her extreme disappointment at not being able to finish, she was so happy for those of us who did.  Her dignity and grace in such a difficult situation were an inspiration to us all.  

Also there, were Jill and Roger, two Aussies Pip and I had met at the Calama Airport when we first arrived.  They had put their own travel plans on hold to meet us, and were there with their cameras, snapping all the Australian competitors as they came over the line.  They very kindly downloaded all their photos onto a CD for us, and we are looking forward to having an opportunity to go through them.

We have arrived home today, after spending 24 hours in Santiago enjoying the local food, shopping at the markets, and catching up with Yao and Olle Chen, who were two of our very special Tent 5 family.  

I feel as though I have been away far longer than two and half weeks - so much has happened.  Atacama really has been an amazing experience in so many ways - physically, mentally and emotionally.  And then there are all the amazing people we met.  I have come away with my faith in humanity restored.

Babs x





Comments: Total (4) comments

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 13 Mar 2013 09:50 AM

Renewed faith in humanity, a trophy for fastest lady in your age group, meeting all those incredible people. What a trip x

Donna D

Posted On: 14 Mar 2013 01:59 AM

Glad to hear your home safe and sound.........have loved following your blog and I followed a few others too........

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 14 Mar 2013 05:38 AM

What a trip! What an experience! It was fabulous for us to be able to follow it all. Great to have you both home. xxx

Cath Bush

Posted On: 14 Mar 2013 06:38 AM

What an experience. You created an addiction for many of us who couldn't wait for your next blog. A very health addiction following your amazing journey. Welcome home looking so wonderful. Cath xx
Stage 5

8th March 2013 03:38 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

Hi all,

Thanks for all the well wishes, especially for my feet. They actually aren't too bad, and Megan's comment may have given some of you the wrong impression about my toes... I haven't actaually lost any toe nails, just the polish!! Still have a few good blisters, but no pain I wouldn't have been able to push though. What actually stopped me was being quite sick and not being able to eat for a few days, not ideal for an endurance event!! Particularly disapointing considering my body was coping really well other than that. Our training definitely had us prepared, it was unfortunately just illness that stopped me this time.

Over to Babs with her update from Stage 5!! Pip xx

I finished at 5.30 this morning with great difficulty, and very sore feet. I'm looking forward to the finish line tomorrow. I'm enjoying a cool overcast day today, if only it could have been like this in the previous days. The scenery was beautiful, it was hot, my little team kept each other going.

I'm overwhelmed and exhausted, will update more later.

Comments: Total (34) comments

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 03:47 AM

Well done! Congratulations! You are fantastic. Hope you are feeling better Pip so you can enjoy the finish too! A wonderful team effort! I'm wordless Babs! Lots of love to you both xxx

Cath Bush

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 03:55 AM

Oh Babs you are amazing. Well done well done. Rest well for the END stage tomorrow. Pippy I know you will be doing a wonderful job looking after you mother. Enjoy the celebrations together with all your wonderful new friends. Lots of love, Cath, Bush & Nicko xxxxx

Libby Kennedy

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 04:09 AM

Hello Babs and Pip. I must live under a rock out here ( if we had any that is!! )as I was unaware of your adventure until I was speaking to Ali yesterday. What a great achievement for you both.I know you had to pull out Pip but what you have done is amazing. Babs won't that long bath/shower be unforgettable. Well done,what an accomplishment. Libby.

Libby Kennedy

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 04:09 AM

Hello Babs and Pip. I must live under a rock out here ( if we had any that is!! )as I was unaware of your adventure until I was speaking to Ali yesterday. What a great achievement for you both.I know you had to pull out Pip but what you have done is amazing. Babs won't that long bath/shower be unforgettable. Well done,what an accomplishment. Libby.

Donna D

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 04:25 AM

not long to go now Babs.........looking forward to hearing the remaining 132 get over the line...........

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 05:10 AM

Pippa thank you so very much for keeping us all up to date with the tough journey when you must have felt so dreadful. You are such a brave pair. Good luck for last finish line Barbara. All our love to you both. Nan and Buzz.

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 05:24 AM

Oh Babs - what a test of endurance! You really have achieved something incredible. We will be thinking of you and the rest of the competitors on your last stage across the line and in the words of Em - "Gooo Aunt Barbie Doll"!! Love to you and Pip from the Morendah crew xxx

Steve And Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 05:43 AM

Go mummy!!! Sooooo close now. Your effort to complete the long march and in such great time is inspiring. Good on you! Sending you both lots of love. Looking forward to seeing pictures of you both at the grand finish like we looked at all that time ago xxx

Ro Kennedy

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 05:50 AM

Hello Pip and Babs, Sorry about my recent silence.......I now know how to post blogs EVERYTIME!!! But you guys must be so close to finishing. Pip, your encouragement will be vitally important in shouldering Babs over the final stages. Just fantastic Babs. What an achievement for Team Urungie Won't be long till you're enjoying blissful sleep in beds. Looking forward to having you home with the Warrumbungles standing guard!

Robyn Hanigan

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 07:37 AM

I wish I was there to celebrate with you when you cross that finish line!! Enjoy the celebrations, you will have so many unbelievable memories. Looking forward to a gin & tonic with you!! Rob & Terry

Nina Byrne

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 08:07 AM

We are all overwhelmed with your amazing achievement , so sorry you were sick Pippy, your mum is amazing, nit far now, how grand you will feel, celebration drinks , food & a soft bed will never be the same , enjoy the last few steps , sleep well, XXX Nina Lionel Georgia & Harry

Kerry Hanigan

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 08:08 AM

When Heather Turland, 38 mother of 4 from Bowral (the H20 lady) won the ladies marathon at the 1998 Commonwealth games in 1998 Alan Jones commented that "thinking about doing it and actually doing it are two very different things" Babs you have actually done it and I am pretty sure it was not a walk in the park! We are full of admiration for you. xKez

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 08:45 AM

20 hours 39 minutes for Stage 5. How did you do it??!! AMAZING and so glad I can finally say that the energy from the patches might have helped! ha ha. I found photos of you on the Race photos pages. There may be more but there you are at the finish line of Stage 5, laughing and looking like it was a cake walk! If anyone wants to see them go to the gallery, click forward to page 7, and here she is, end of top row and beginning of next row (this is showing 10 photos to page so much be photos 74 and 76?). Who did you walk with that long long day?? Anyway, you look happy. Now you can say SHINDOI DESU! to your tentmates! Are they the ones in the banana costume?? GOOD LUCK canʻt wait to see that you crossed the line today. I hope you will get plenty of sleep (did you sleep after stage 5 at all??) TAKE CARE! GO GO GO for it! What a great way to turn 55....(since 54 is all over the competitor boards Iʻm not releasing any secrets!)

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:02 AM

Did everyone see the essay featuring the two parent-offspring pairs in the competition? One pair, Babs and Pip of course! http://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/rtpactp.php?SID=3&SBID=FAR_451

Louise Ryrie

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:15 AM

Wow you are both amazing!!!! Good luck for tomorrow Babs. Pip I hope you are feeling better. Xo

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 19:36 PM

You have done it YIPPEE.What a sense of achievement and relief. We can't tell you how proud we fell of you both.Enjoy the celebrations and a good rest. All our love Nan and Buzz.7

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 20:55 PM

CONGRATULATIONS Babs you did it! I am in awe! What a result, what an achievement! Enjoy the celebration, the agony and the ecstasy. Well done team, well done Pip an amazing thing for a mother and daughter to do - love it! xxxxx

Maureen Robinson

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 20:55 PM

CONGRATULATIONS we are so proud and happy for you!!! Sending love and great big hugs to both of you The Willow Downs crew.

Ainslie Schieb

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 20:58 PM

Congratulations Babs

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 22:37 PM

What an accomplishment! Congratulations Babs - we are all so proud of you and in such awe of what you (and Pip) have achieved this week. Seeing the photo of you and Pip after you crossed the finish line was just magic. Thank you both for the incredible journey you have taken us all on this week! Enjoy the celebrations and we'll look forward to your homecoming! All our love the Morendah crew xxx

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 23:10 PM

Congratulations. What an amazing week for you both. We knew you would get there no matter how long it would take and to finish where you did is such an achievement. Looking forward to catching up when you get home to greener pastures? Love Ron

John Stevenson

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 23:28 PM

CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Weʻve been following you step by step (without the pain!)

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 23:31 PM

Babs, CONGRATULATIONS!! I never had any doubts, but I should have! I did not realize that this was such a monumental undertaking, in part because you were so characteristically understated! Steve might have you lifting all the lambs after this display of endurance! I just hope your feet recover soon. See you in the fall!!! xo

Bill Mackay

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 00:10 AM

Congratulations Babs!!!! Brilliant effort, hope you get well Pip so you can finish it together!! Billx

Cath Bush

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 01:27 AM

Congratulations Babs. I never doubted you and know if you hadn't been ill Pippy you would have been on the finish line racing with your mother. Being there as her support is very important and well done for the more than half you did walk. Babs you have now won an award too! Straight to the trophy cabinet with this one. Looking forward to seeing you. Travel safely Lots of love Cath, Bush

Ona Cullenward

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 02:33 AM

Wow! What inspirations you both are. xxx

Ona Cullenward

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 02:46 AM

I've just spoken to Steve! My god - you are amazing. xxx

Ona Cullenward

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 02:49 AM

Pipsi, can you send through your flight details for Tuesday.

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 03:18 AM

GOOD NO BOTH OF YOU. You have done it looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday. Love until the oxoxox

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 08:47 AM

Someone mentioned a trophy. Is that because you are the top-ranked woman by age? I just checked, and thatʻs you! Oldest woman in the top finishers. YAHOOO! I hope youʻll post something for stage six just so it is there for posterity (and we can all congratulate you and Pip one more time!)

Claire Brien

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 10:35 AM

Well Done Babs! Great to hear you finished and looks like you did it in good time with the other competitors. What an accomplishment and experience. Can't wait to hear both your stories on your return. xo

Kerry Deans

Posted On: 11 Mar 2013 02:02 AM

Both amazing girls, CONGRATULATIONS, Hope you have a safe trip back..............

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 11 Mar 2013 09:38 AM

There are two photos of Babs finishing, one hugging Pip (I assume!), here: http://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/photos-6 scroll down, she is named. Congratulations to both of you and hope you will update on the blog if not by email until we next meet! Jealous of all of you who get to see Babs and Pip soon and hear their tales in person, over a good bottle of wine!

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An Update...

6th March 2013 03:13 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

A bit of bad news today, I (Pip) haven't been able to go on after about halfway through Stage 4. Pretty gutted. Will fill you in when I get home, but no sympathy please!!!

As I write, Babs is still going strong finishing the last of a hard slog of Stage 4, she's amazing!!! And she's really appreciating all your feedback and encouragement, we really can't thank you enough!! This morning was tough again (no surprise there!). We started the day like the end of yesterday, up and down sand dunes.... They finally evened out to a bit flater country which was just like walking on slate and rock, pretty tough on sore feet!

After that first 10km, we had 10km of flat country, which would have been a lovely relief except for the lack of shade (completely, no trees at all, and a few little plants on the ground that looked like catheads, not much vegetation at all!), and the fact that we were walking almost entirely through sand.... We did plenty of walking at home to train, but I still can't think of where I would find terrain this tough!

It was around there that the medics picked me up (no major dramas, I just pulled the pin!) so I'll have to get the deatils of the rest of the day from Babs to fill you in later. I know she was about to enter a 14km stretch of salt flat with no shade or water, so had a heavier pack than normal with extra water. It was looking even tougher than his morning, so I'm looking forward to her getting back into camp so I can hear about the second part of today's course, bathe her feet and tuck her into bed! (As always, this won't be nearly as luxurious as it sounds...)

We have a great campsite tonight, with a row of tents in a line looking out over a beautiful salt lake, which is starting to reflect the Andes which as ever, are overlooking us. We do have our own camera here so I'll be sure to take photos to add to the story the photos on the website tell.

I'll travel with the group for the last 2 stages so will be Babs' on the ground support, but I know all your comments mean the world and keep her going too.

I'll update again tomorrow!

Pip (and Babs) xxx

Comments: Total (52) comments

Maureen Robinson

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:30 AM

Well done La Skip. We are so proud of you. I am glad you will be there to support your mother. Can't wait ti hear how she went.

Donna D

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:32 AM

glad to hear your ok Pip........Babs you finished ahead of quite a few today so well done........goodluck on the Long March.....

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:46 AM

Pip I feel gutted for you too, and I don't know why, because I am in absolute awe of what you have already acheived. Congratulations on getting to this point, - it is really amazing! To Babs, you are one tough bird! I know your determination to finish what you set out to do will not faulter, so I hope your feet can carry you there. Good luck for the Long Walk tomorrow we will be thinking of you over every km. All our love is with you. xxx

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:04 AM

Pip , you make sure you sit up and enjoy what you have achieved because very few people have taken on what you have done. Enjoy the next few days. You deserve to do that. Babs you must be so pleased with your progress. How good will it be to have tomorrow come and go. I know you will be right no matter what is thrown up at you. Dad and I are on our way home from Sydney. The wool sales went well which is always a relief. The machine is very handy when your a passenger travelling!! Good luck for tomorrow. Love Ron & Buzz

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:08 AM

I will wonder forever how you got as far as you did through that appalling looking terrain, Pippa.We are so proud of you. We are so pleased to hear that you are able to stay with the support team and can keep us posted on the rest of this torture. A huge hug and our love Nan and Buzz.

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:08 AM

Hi Pip & Babs.. congratulations Pip on your achievement... please don't give yourself a hard time it is amazing what you have achieved - there's always next year :) Babs you inspire me - full Larapinta here I come (but in 3 weeks not 1!) You are so strong... love it! I'm sure your body and mind must be screaming. Can't wait to here the next installment. xxxx

Marianne Lampe

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:13 AM

So glad I just got your address! Wow,you two are simply amazing!! I feel so sorry for your "feet"!! You've done well Pip to go this far - you should be feeling very proud of yourself. Barbara ...remember the song: those shoes are made for walking.....keep it up, say strong and just one step at a time and you'll get there! Stay happy and stay safe -- can't wait to hear your news when you're home. Off to have a swim now (in the crystal clear, cool, blue pool....ha ha sorry just had to put that in)!! Much love to you both Marianne, Malcolm

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:17 AM

Pip, I have just read in yesterday's comments that you have one toe nail left!! Geeezzzzzz - how in the name of god did you walk as far as you did? I hope you've got a good pair of thongs to put on now!!! Take care of your mother (and your feet)- has she got any toe nails left??? Love to you both. xxx

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:18 AM

You are going great guns Barbara we are getting worn out trying to follow you reading what you are marching through. Only the long haul tomorrow and you are almost across the finish line. All love Mum and Dad.

Jocelyn Williams

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:30 AM

Babs and Pip, I am a friend of Anne McKenzie's in the Blue Mountains and have been following your amazing journey! Any endurance walks I have done pale into insignificance compared to what you are doing. You are both inspiring and amazing women!

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:38 AM

So full of emotions for you mipsi. So glad you're ok. Maybe not unscathed but alive!!! And very happy to hear that you'll be going along with the pack for the next days and nights. Mummy will need every bit of support you can give her. GO MUMMY! Maybe we tell next years prospective competitors that long days of burr spraying is good training! Los of love o you both. Drink lots of water mipsi and nurse your hard working feet. Enjoy the incredible sounding scenery and huge psychological stress not to mention physical. Lots of love xxxx

Eve Bowman

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 04:45 AM

Well done Pip! What a bloody brilliant achievement! Keep going Babs, you are amazing (both of you). Man it sounds tough! A limerick for today! There were 2 girls called Babs and Pip. Who did a tough walk without a trip. They made us all proud. We all cheered loud. After each long day they had a kip. (this last line is abit of a shocker......) xxx

Scott, Alex & Hattie Quigley

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:13 AM

Girls you are truly, truly amazing!! I sit here each day reading your posts completely blown away with your achievements. I can't even visualise in my mind the conditions you are competing in - let alone walk in them!! Pippy...do not be gutted - be so so so proud of your dedication, your commitment & your incredible accomplishments...we certainly are!! Thinking of you both at all times - best of luck to you Babs for the rest of the treck...and cannot wait to have you both home to hear all about this phenomenal experience! Sending all our love and best wishes xxx

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:28 AM

I agree with what every body is saying you two are doing yourself proud and so you should be . i am able find the comments that people are sending now .bubbawill be home tonight so I will be right up on everything.just keep on going and you will get there Love Steve xoxo

Molly Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:24 AM

Great work pip and Babs you have done so well, Pip I hope your feet get better! but put it this way at least you didn’t inherit the Mackay toes. Looking forward to hearing about the whole trip when you are home. Good luck for the rest!! Molly xxx

Molly M

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:28 AM

Great work pip and Babs you have done so well, Pip I hope your feet get better! but put it this way at least you didn’t inherit the Mackay toes. Looking forward to hearing about the whole trip when you are home. Good luck for the rest!! Molly xxx

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:30 AM

Babs you are in photo 122/156 with someone else today... you look about 20! How do you do that? not possible! Wishing you a very sound and reinvigorating sleep. xxx

Claire Brien

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:33 AM

Pip, you're an absolute CHAMPION you've done unbelievably well. Keep your sprits high and enjoy what you've achieved!! Babs, you're a goer and keep at it!! - good luck for the Long March tomorrow. I can't wait to read more and hear in the flesh from you both soon. Take care. xo

Bill Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 07:18 AM

Well done Pip!!!! You've done so well going to the other side of the world to do some incredibly hard stuff, not many people would even bother starting that race. So great effort!!!!Go Babs, the end is in sight and the best of luck for the rest of the trip, the big march will be no challenge for you if you've already come this far. Bill xo

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 07:40 AM

Pippi, you're still just as much of a legend as you would have been if you had finished the stage - in fact, I take my hat off to you for being bold enough to pull the pin. Your health is far more important and it sounds like your poor old feet are in a dire state so I feel very relieved that they are currently enjoying a very well deserved break from the heat, sand and constant pounding. It sounds just so tough - I can't even comprehend the conditions - you two are just incredible! Wish Babs all the best as she soldiers on and I shall look forward to the next update xxxx

Ona Cullenward

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 08:15 AM

Relieved you're okay Pip - be so proud of yourself for all you have accomplished- we will be so excited to hear what you have made of your trip in total - so many facets. Babs, wishing you a good tail wind - any breeze - tomorrow for the haul. How either of you has survived is quite beyond me! xxx

Don Mckenzie

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 08:33 AM

What an amazing and wonderful thing for a mother and daughter to do together.When my feet get sore standing around tomorrow at the wedding I will have another beer and think of you two and feel no pain at all. Don

Anne Mackay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:19 AM

Hi Pip and Babs, what an amazing effort, nurse those feet well. Hopefully tomorrow will be ok. Don't stress pip now would be a good time to watch out for the camel with the esky on the back! Take good care. love annex

Cath Bush

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:38 AM

Hi Babs & Pippy, Pippy be very proud of yourself. Yes I was gutted for you too but you must look at your wonderful achievement and what an achievement this is. Most people cannot even contemplate even starting this adventure let alone getting as far as you have. How you ever stood up on your feet let alone walked on them I will never know. Babs you did so well in today's stage and look good in the photo. Wise were all brought up to be determined but you are amazing. Keep strong, I know you will make it We love you and are so proud of you Looking forward to heading your next stage news. Cath, Bush & Nicko xxxxx

Jacqui Murray

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:43 AM

Pip one of your most amazing qualities is support. The best part of Barbs end of day will be you then the blogs now. Terrible to say on a public forum but... shit happens, not fair but it's actually not over. You still only have wipes!!! Maybe the walking but you are still apart of the team. Team Goldsmith & your group. It's now a shift in energy & with your personal spirit everyone will only benefit from you around. A phenomenal effort regardless & all I selfishly want is my mate in one piece. Im so grateful you are ok & will return to Mudgee just the same. Your a strong woman in all domaines so pulling the pin is smart when it could create other consequences even if you really didn't have a choice. You know when enough is enough... Thats why my hangovers are always worse... Much love. Xxx

Cath Bush

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:53 AM

You have made it to Annabel Hempworths writing in the Australian today. She looks forward to seeing you two at the end of each day. It was so impressed to see the comradery reading Megan Lays comment to you Pippy. We saw you photo with James

Gus Murray

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 11:06 AM

In the words of Sir Edmond: "Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I'll beat you the next time because you've grown all you are going to grow...but I'm still growing!" - Sir Edmund Hillary Great work Pip and good luck to Babs!

Ben Keen

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 13:19 PM

So very proud of you billy what an achievement hope you are all right. I am thinking of you both Babs all the best for tomorrow Babs xoxo

Cherry Chen

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 15:08 PM

Dear Barabara ,phillipa I an Yao chen wife Cherry ,I would like to thank you so much to help Yao through the tough time no matter it will delay your running.your kindness

Cherry Chen

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 15:30 PM

Your kindness & Mercy heart we will never forget. please keep in touch . yao@hoplion.com.tw mobil 00886917266888 wish you both all the best.go go...!take care! thank you so.....much. Yao

Steve Stewart

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 16:04 PM

Great effort and great job looking out for each other. I was there last year. I know what you two are going through. From Edmund Hillary: "In fact, I believe that if someone starts out on a challenging activity, completely confident that they're going to succeed, why bother starting? It's not much of a challenge. I think it's much better to start out on something that you're not at all sure that you can do."

Johanna, Willy & Hammer Leader

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 20:25 PM

Xxoxoxooxoxoxoxoox You're nothing short of amazing ladies.....we promise to have the biggest, frostiest, most delicious coldest beer you have ever consumed waiting for you when you get home! We are so proud of you.....Pippi, I would have thrown a hissy fit and collapsed by first stage Day 1.....so I take my hat off to you to you girl on walking like a million miles through terrain that certainly does not look like a walk in the park...OMG! Love ya guts XooX

Emma Remond

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 20:59 PM

Well done Pippy!!! I was crying at work when I read your update! Take good care of your feet....you are amazing! Go Aunt Barbie Doll!!!!!! You are so close now.....good luck!!!!! Much love xxxxx

Mwrc Girls

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 22:02 PM

Pip, this is our first comment on your blog but don't think we haven't been following! We're all thinking of you and your Mum here and we're so proud of you for giving it a go! And don't worry, at least one of us has been visiting 'Planning' almost daily for you! There will still be plenty left over for you when you return though.... you deserve it! So proud of your efforts and can't wait to hear all about it xx

Trine Gay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 22:35 PM

Pippi and Babs, I am pretty much speechless as this wole journey is just amazing, you both have the strongest will power to be able to even start this exercise! I am so glad you chose health over the finishing line pippi as you should have the biggest sense of achievement for just stepping over the starting line. Love you both and can't wait for you to step back into Mudgee for a massive welcome home. Keep being that rock of support for your mum. Love Andy trine and lil. Xx

Robyn Hanigan

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 23:02 PM

Love Babs comment "a walk in the park!!!!" All our love to you both. We are barracking very loudly! You are two very special people. Terry & Rob xoxoxo

Georgie And Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 23:16 PM

Just having an iced coffee after moving sheep from the feedlot to Urungie back paddock. By the looks of the breaking news all competitors that set out on The Long March are still going. Heading into the desert as the night falls. Gooooooooo mummy!!!! i will say hollow while bubba is on the phone love you two just keep on going you are doing so well!!! Nan and I are in the phone looking at photos

Ellen Mowatt

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 23:45 PM

Unbelievable both of you - I just ran into Nina who told me what you two girls were up to. You are amazing. Nina and I got chest pain just thinking about your journey. Congratulations from all of us. Love elxxx

Kerry Hanigan

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 02:40 AM

Pip it is great that you are able to be there over the final stages for Babs, it will be a tremendous support for her. Our feet are sore just thinking of how yours must be. It is amazing what you both have achieved. love Brian & Kez

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 03:16 AM

We are very soon off to the wedding.for doing so.well you are now the proud owner of 68 pitch angus heifers .hope you two are still going well and the finish post is in sight!, Love Me. Oxox

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 08:22 AM

I love Anneʻs comment about looking for the camel with the Esky on its back! Yes, take a well-deserved rest, contemplate life and the sky, and be there for Babs when she comes in today! We are thinking of you here in Japan. Who knew how tough it would be? Being there and walking much of it is MORE than half the pleasure, better than the heat stroke and vomiting I read about in other blogs!! Glad you pulled the pin before you were flat on the sand. You are amazing, that was evident after just one meeting! :-) CONGRATS Pip! Hope Babs completes the day for an early bed! Cynthea

Marianne Lampe

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 09:44 AM

Hi Barbara You are amazing -- keep it up --we just know you'll make it to the finishing line.....I get goosebumps just thinking about how well you and Pip have done - so proud of you my friend! You'll finish soon - just think only a day to go -- you're in our thoughts every minute now....you'll do it -- you can look forward to a wonderful massage and facial when you're back in Coon-town! Stay safe. Much love MM&T xxx

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 09:49 AM

Reading the other blogs is so sobering! (see VIKKI BESTERʻs) Itʻs really hard and hot... understatements! It sounds as though day 3 did a lot of competitors in so Pip, you are amazing to have made it into day 4! Good luck on the support side, Pip, thatʻs not a piece of cake either! Babs, I hope you get in soon! We wonʻt work you this hard in Japan! Have you had to drill any toenails??

Cath Bush

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 11:19 AM

Babs I know you have finished this stage. Yeah. What an incredible effort. Pippy I know you are being the ultimate support team which is so important for your very special mother. Wrap her in love and send her on her way for the little walk tomorrow. With all our love Cath, Bush

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 19:56 PM

Congratulations Barbara we all knew you would do it,but that finish line must have looked good. The last 8ks will be a stroll in the park. We are so proud of you and what you have achieved and dying to hear all about the incredible journey. All our love Mum and Dad.

Robyn Hanigan

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 20:28 PM

Well done Babs! What an achievment.....I am exhausted thinking about it!!! It will be such a wonderful feeling when you cross the finish line. Look forward to seeing you both soon. Rob

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 20:40 PM

107th! OMG Babs you are amazing! What a fantastic achievement! 20 hr 39min of walking non stop. Now only a walk to Cresline and it's all over. What a team you and Pip have made! I am the first to admit I didn't think you could - oh how wrong I was. Have a big rest and enjoy the moment. Xxxxxx

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 22:12 PM

Babs, congratulations on that phenomenal result for Stage 5! I'm with Anne - what a team you and Pip have been over the past week and what an amazing group of people you are amongst over there. It has been a ride and a half for all your arm chair followers back here in Oz!! Bring on the finish line tomorrow and enjoy the rest of your time in Chile! Lots of love to you both xxx

Louise Ryrie

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 23:05 PM

Keep the posts coming. Thinking of you girls xoxo

Marianne Lampe

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 23:34 PM

Wow Barbara you are really incredible--malcolm and i really believed you would complete this amazing journey and with Pips support and love even better! enjoy the stroll in the park today!! I so wish we could be there to welcome you both at the finishing line...hugs, cheers and tears. At least I'll get some sleep now when it's over...hooked on following the blogs and stories of the other competitors as well..an amazing group of people! Stay safe love to you both xxxxx

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 03:06 AM

Well done Babs on finishing that stage!! Maybe you should find a park that isn't so long next time!! Hopefully and Pip are well all things considered. Love to you both Ron and Anne.

David Lampe

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 08:41 AM

Well done Babs, you are amazing, we are very proud of you, by the look of the sand dunes it would have been pretty tough going, can't wait to see the photos. Bad luck Pip you can't keep going if you aren't well, you poor baby....still you would be a great support for your mother and I am sure you would have made it if you had been well. So glad that you bought our cull heifers, have been talking to Steve a lot,sounds as though he has been pretty busy Lots of love D
What A Day

5th March 2013 02:50 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

unfortunately our hopes for a shorter day didn't eventuate.. we;ve arrived late again tonight after another TOUGH day... Only 40km today (only?!), but it was hard. Especially the last 5km, very tough to have camp in and out of site as we climbed sand dunes, just to go down them to fin d we had to climb another, and another, and another!!

this morning greeted us with 20km of salt flats, which are not flat, but rough and you sink into them. Then 20km of sand. The salt flats are hard so they make sore feet scream, and the sand is hard, hot work on tired legs, tough choice!!

by the time we do 5km tomorrow, we will have officially wallked half the kms. by the time we wake up in the morning, we will have less sleeps in the desert to go than we've already had. We are having a great experience here, but we're also looking very forward to getting home and telling you about it instead!!

thank you SOOOOOOO much to those of you who have been leaving posts on the blog. It really is the highlight of our day and is the only reason i have enough energy to write an update each night. We would love to respond to each of you individually, but to be honest we're just too tired and have to prioritise a 'bath' (stripping off behind the tent for a quick qipe down with a wet one. it does nothing to get rid of all the dust, sand and sunscreen, but better than nothing!!)

Can't wait to get home and tell you in person about our trip, and how much your thought, wishes and comments mean to us. Thank you so, so much!!

promise to update again tomorrow when we're on the downhill run.

P&B xxxxx

Comments: Total (33) comments

Claire Brien

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 03:42 AM

My lunchtime breaks for this week Pip & Babs has been looking over the photos of each stage you've completed, its really the highlight of my working day - I'm just dying to see a photo of you Goldsmith girls, no doubt I'll jump out of my chair and scream with excitement (and get a number of funny looks from people on the floor). Wow!! what a tremendous effort and experience in completeing stage 3 - the scenery looks amazing and so diverse, changing all the time. Keep at it girls you're doing a great job. Looking foward to your next update. xoxo

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:22 AM

One steep after another and you will do it I know you will it is great to hear that you are boing so well looking at the results .you are doing extremely well.the finish line is not very far away now as a matter of fact in two more sleeps and you will almost be able to see it just on going think of what joe joe told me a long time ago and I quote (when you think you can't go any further you can). Still thinking of you and looking forward to your return.love Steve oxoxox.

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:25 AM

Man you two are going to have a tale to tell! Like Claire I can't get to the computer fast enough to see if there is another blog - would look at the photos but we've already exhausted our internet usage for the month, damn!! However, I have been reading Annabel Hepworth's daily account in the Australian and get the picture - unbelievably BLOODY tough! Again, you are both amazing, keep at it you're going great guns!!! lots of love to you both.xxx

Brian Hanigan

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:44 AM

Thinking of you both. So impressed with what you are achieving. You will come home to some green grass, no more sand dunes. xBrian

Kerry Hanigan

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:47 AM

Last post was actually from me for us both but left my name off. Can you amagine Brian using the computer! love Kez

Maurn Robinson

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:49 AM

You sound much better this time.... we can't wait till you get home as well and hear all about it first hand. Tim and Shona arrive here at Willow Downs tomorrow so it will be count down for the Weetaliba wedding. We will miss you. Hope tomorrow is speedier for you!! sending love the Willow Downs crew xxoo

Cath Bush

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:56 AM

You are past hump day now which is soooo good. You are more than holding your own and I know you will keep it up. Babs there is a great photo of you in stage three looking fit and fantastic. I'm with Mardi & Claire waiting impatiently for results and blogs. I forgot my ipad today so have used my computor and will get Nifty around to have a look too. I have been showing some of the other residents your progress on my ipad - they are so interested. I bet you two have a serious cry reading messages. I do reading yours. We are all so proud of you both and the photos show how seriously rough and tough the terrain is. Love to you both & looking foward to tomorrows news. cath Bush & Nick

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:57 AM

Barbara and Pip you are doing the crowd looking on proud. To be half way must be such a huge milestone. We are all behind you every sore step. Heaps of love Nan and Buzz6

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 05:38 AM

Half way - that is FANTASTIC! You have a secret lot of followers in the Blue Mountains too as I am obsessed! You really are showing that true bush grit and determination. I too am enjoying everyone's comments - can I come home to Coonamble to hear all your stories too? Love to you both - you are amazing xx

Ona Cullenward

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 06:14 AM

You are nearly there now. Such a wonderful accomplishment for you both. Hope the feet have passed through the pain barrier and you are moving forward in leaps and bounds (literally). Can't wait to see you both next week and hear your tales (tall and true!) first hand. Lots of Love from us all. xxx

Donna D

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 07:08 AM

yes there is a pic of you in stage 3 today Babs.......just going to look up the leader board now......keep going girls.......

Alison Kennedy

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 07:19 AM

Hi Babs and Pip I didnt know you had a blog until Kate sent me the link. What an amazing two you are!!! Here i am having just spent 7 hours in front of the computer - how boring. The weather here at the moment is lovely, the river came down yesterday - aftermath of all the rain Coona and Gil had last week. I visited Weetalibah on Saturday and the garden is looking a realy picture for the big day. Thinking of you both - keep safe love Alison

Belinda Barrett

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 07:25 AM

You two are amazing! Not long to go, love reading your blogs. Belinda Barrett

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 07:47 AM

Buzz and I are at Bea and Micheal's. Brenton has just arrived. We have all been reading the blog for today. Benton is amazed that your not in a car!! We are so pleased that you are half way. How good is that!!! Everyone sends there best wishes and good luck for the next stage. Love from all.

Ed Robinson

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 09:21 AM

You are both doing an awesome job!! On the home stretch now. Keep up the fantastic work. Love Ed and Jill

Leigh Mace

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 09:57 AM

I have only just seen on Facebook what you two girls are doing-totally impressive and inspirational. We send our good wishes and love to you both and will want to get your autographs when you return-you are definitely heroes in our eyes. Will look forward to having a drink with you soon and hearing all about this fascinating adventure-fond love-Rod and Leigh xx

Bill Mackay

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 11:26 AM

Hey guys, all downhill from here, congratulations on getting this far in the piece. We're all cheering you on from the bar in Newcastle, good luck for the rest of the trip. Bill xoxo

Anne Larke

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 11:29 AM

Go girls go! What an amazing adventure you are sharing together..really wonderful. Love and encouraging wishes xoxo Rob sends congratulations too

Bas Sheridan

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 12:43 PM

Go Pip

Bas Sheridan

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 12:56 PM

And Babs! (Net keeps dropping out). I was with keeno at the pub the other night and he said he wanted to do this next year. He probably doesn't remember though. Anyway I'm very impressed with your efforts especially since I go to the sick bay pretty much every time it hits 38*. Keep cracking on! Bas.

Babs Goldsmith

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 13:31 PM

Hi baba and pip, You are bith going so well. The whole experience has faded into a distant memory ...until I read your blogs. The heat, the views, the blisters and the thrill of it come flooding back. Well done. You really have broken the back of your big adventure now. Keep loving those feet. It's time consuming and painful but soooo worth it.

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 19:56 PM

Halfway!! Well done. You're going so well mummy and mipsi! I hope your sore feet are strapped and padded and you're a little refreshed after a 5 k day with the finish line in the distance! I can't wait for some footage if that!!!! Off to Wolfies then straight home this afternoon. Special request 2 x Harris farm yoghurts. Will help him look after the visitors. Go go go!!!! Xxx

Julia Keen

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 20:13 PM

Awesome girls!!!! On the home stretch now. Xxxxx julia, mike and Eddie

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 21:07 PM

Can't believe you're half way Pippi & Babs - AMAZING!!! Such troopers. It cetainly doesn't sound like it is getting any easier but hopefully the pyschological element of knowing you're on the home stretch will make every step just that little bit easier! Can't wait for the next update where you'll be even closer to the finishing line xxxxx

Diana Brennan

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 21:07 PM

Awesome, Babs & Pip...I can't even start to envisage the pain of the blisters etc...wearing in a new pair of shoes nearly kills me! Go, girlies!

Kim Daly

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 22:43 PM

Hi Babs

Kim Daly

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 22:47 PM

Don't know why my 1st comment didn't post properly. Sending love & energy.

Gus Murray

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 23:39 PM

Congrats on another stage completion! Nearly there now. Good luck on the long stage.

Robyn Hanigan

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 00:46 AM

Just saw where Pip has had to pull out. You have done so well to get as far as you have. We are so proud of you both & we love seeing all the updates. Take care & we hope you are OK Pip. Rob & Terry

Donna D

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 01:04 AM

hope your ok Pip.......you have done so well.......reading some of the other blogs.....OMG so difficult.........keep going Babs......you can do it...........

Megan Lay

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 01:31 AM

Hi Pip Hope you are OK - it was to long and hot a day when you are behind the eight ball - we (James , myself and even Gavin) are waiting for you in San Pedro, the hotel has a spa so you can get the polish put back on that one nail! Thinking of you and Babs. xMegan

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 02:59 AM

Pippi are you ok? You\'ve done so so well. Only one toe nail left. That\'s a fair indication of how incredibly tough you have been! Enjoy San pedro. I will call you tonight from home xxx

Lucinda Stump

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 10:15 AM

Keep your chin up pip. A fabulous effort. Can't wait to hear about it all from Babs. Mardi is so proud of you both! Lots of love, luc and sandy
Almost 12 Hours Of Walking To Get 44km, Definitely

4th March 2013 03:09 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

Almost 12 hours of walking to get 44km, definitely not what we were hoping for!! Of four stages, we crossd rivers, walked in rivers, climbde a 2,700 foot mountain, ran/slid/rolled down a sand dune, and then walked a very long way across a very big, very flat paddock, with no trees. There was one tunnel, so we sat down in it until we got worried we'd run out of water so kept going to the next checkpoint!

We've now definitely go blisters, I (Pip) need my ankles strapped because they're on the verge of rolling after all the rocks I've been treading on, on the flat and in the kilometres of river we've waded through! We've got another 40km+ to go tomorrow, it's 8pm already, we're still covered in dirt, dust and sunscreen, and are yet to organise our tents or dinner!!

Thanks to you all for your comments, they make the WORLD of differnece to us!! SO nice to know we have so many of you behind us, definitely the favourite part of the day is reading blog posts. Today I've done it with a cold foot bath under the table (not pleasent as sun has set and there's a huge wind..) still in my filthy clothes and just before I hobble over to the med tent.... Let's hope they can make our feet speedier for tomorrow!!

Thanks so much for reading xxxx

(PS - Benji and Daddy, where's the love??? We're missing you xx)

Comments: Total (35) comments

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 03:23 AM

Ooww I feel your pain! But what an achievement! The photos from today are amazing ... they make it look as hard as you say it was. I wrote to the organisers requesting more pics of the women at the back! Can't believe you can even write Pip! Thank you - it is great to hear how you are going... I'm loving this desk chair walking!

Maureen Robinson

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 05:19 AM

OH La Skip and Barb I am thinking of a saying like "When the going gets tough the tough get going" and i am sure that will be you tomorrow.:) I hope you both sleep like little logs tonight. All our thoughts will blow you along. sending love and hugs Maurn (AM)

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 06:29 AM

79km down!! Well done!! Had a quick look at the photos. There doesn't look as though there would be much agistment available!! Heading for Sydney for the wool sales on Thursday, so I'm not sure if I will get the update tomorrow, so good luck with the next couple of days.

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 07:12 AM

OMG - what a day. Your experience over there is very humbling, if anything here is a bit tough this week I just think of you two! What courage you both have to undertake this, you are definitely a couple of gutsy gals! We're with you all the way - even if it is from our arm chairs!! Good luck for tomorrow, may the day be kinder to you. All our love. xxx

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:03 AM

Oh those poor feet!! It really was ouch rather wow this leg. We are thinking of you every step. Hang in there girls. Our love Nan and Buzz.

Donna D

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:06 AM

Just checking in again..........go girls you can do it.........hope you have snapped some pics along the way........it sounds amazing.......

Paul Colwell

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:16 AM

Great work Pip

Georgina Goldsmith

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 08:45 AM

gooooooooooo mummy and mipsi!! the photos are incredible. make me cry! you're doing it!! i'm home on the wk end for snoops and cath's wedding so will be helping daddy to post a comment then. it's not for lack of trying! 'bloody machine' another 40 ks tomorrow no sweat! love you x

Cath Bush

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:04 AM

What an achievement! I thought plyometrixs was difficult but I am never going to whinge about it again. What you are doing puts so many things into perspective. Very few people have the courage to do what you are doing or the determination. You are inspirational. We love you and are looking forward to reading about your next stage achievement. xxx

Don Mckenzie

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:12 AM

Go girls -- what an incredible time you two are sharing. Will ring the other grumpy old man and see how he is going Don

Jacqui Murray

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:38 AM

What an incredible experience, have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts - apart from the blisters:-(. Really looking forward to your next update. I actually read one to Stella yesterday

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:39 AM

NO PAIN NO GAIN. Like every body knows you two wont give up until the finished line has been crossed.and good on you It is good to know how you are going I haven't been able to see the photos yet but that will happen soon. For dinner tonight grilled lamb chops and veg Orr also beer .I will be trucking sheep tomorrow . Just keep on going you two will do it love Steve xoxoxo

Jacqui Murray

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:44 AM

What an incredible experience, have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts - apart from the blisters:-(. Really looking forward to your next update. I actually read one to Stella yesterday & she sulked. Even though she is clever, when I'm around you're around... Where's Pip? Left her a bone today. Love to Barb & miss you but there will be plenty of time to catch up when you're back. Wish you both well over the next few days & keep up the amazing leg work. Xxx

Ben Keen

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:48 AM

79 down down good stuff Billy and Babs i deffently got the easy job walking Stella.cant believe you have the energy to even write at the end of the day 40km tomorrow to easy hang in there're .Miss you Billy xoxo

Emma Remond

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 10:14 AM

Gooooo Pippy and Babs!!!! You're both amazing. Keep going, you'll get there!! Much love xxxxxxx

Claire Brien

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 10:54 AM

Keep it up Pip and Babs you're doing so well. Make sure those medics keep looking after both your feet so you can keep at it and keep treading along - You'll make it for sure, keep thinking of the good things and what you've achieved so far. Very 2 determind Aussie girls, keep it up! I'm loving the blogs and hearing of your progress. Go, Go, Go Girls!!! xo

Samantha Stratton

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 11:48 AM

Hey Pip and Babs all our thoughts are with you on the trek! Coonamble is the same although thankfully a little wetter due to some welcome rain. You may even come home to green Babs! Good luck and you're both in my thoughts. I'll see you both back in town and you can regale me with all your tales of llama kebabs! X

Catherine Carvalho

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 11:57 AM

Hi Pip

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 12:00 PM

Wowee! What an amazing start you have had Pippi

Trine Gay

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 12:05 PM

Wow wow wow, you two are amazing! I can't wait to read about your next day. Reading this should give everyone some inspiration to do something challenging! So proud. Xxx

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 12:06 PM

Wowee, what an amazing start you have had Pippi

James Chauncy

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 12:09 PM

Pippy and Babs- great stuff! Douse the blisters in metho and keep looking toward the finish line cause its in sight, Your killing it, keep it up! Chaunce.

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 12:28 PM

Sorry...I'm not having much luck with my post! It looks so incredible and so so tough but nothing the Goldy girls can't handle. You two are just amazing. I will keep my fingers crossed your ankles and blisters behave during the next stage. You go girls! xxxx

Gus Murray

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 17:59 PM

Great work guys! Feels nice to get through stage 2 doesn't it! I think that's one of the hardest stages after falling asleep on the first night and hoping never to wake up. :) Good luck out there tomorrow. I'm jealous!!

Ali Hunter

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 19:58 PM

Go gals!

Kim Goldsmith

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:19 PM

Such adventurous spirits! Pip, I'm sure the CANFA field day was just a warm up. Haha! You both have my complete admiration. Stay safe. XX

Prue Kelly

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:31 PM

Go Team Goldy! Sounds like an amazing adventure (minus the blisters)! What an experience. Cannot wait to hear all about it when you get back. Push through the pain! So proud x

Eve Bowman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:47 PM

Goooooo Pip and Babs!Such an amazing effort! Hopefully they have a miracle cure for blizters over there! You guys are absolute legends! Cant wait to hear more. xxxx

'katie-pie' Kennedy

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 21:12 PM

Go Babs & Phillipa Jane! We are all thinking of you. Keep safe and we look forward to hearing from you in your next update. Lots of Love Mark, Kate & Lucy xxx

Lucinda Stump

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 22:02 PM

Wow! How amazing. I can't imagine a greater challenge. Just hope your poor feet are staying strong. Makes Kokoda look relatively easy. Will be so great to hear about it when you get home Babs. I have sent you an invitation to my birthday party on April 4th. Hope you can come. Good on you both. Lots of love and strength, Sandy and Luc

Eve Bowman

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 22:11 PM

So I have written you a little acrostic poem! Not very happy with this one but will try to make tomorrows a little better! Babs And Billy Strongly Attack a Never ending Desert Persevering In Partnership...... Remember I only teach yr 1!!!!!! Good luck tomorrow/today!

Phe Magennis

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 00:36 AM

I am so impressed by your efforts. Stay positive. Thinking of you both!! Lots of love, Phe x

Bronie Colless

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 01:33 AM

Read a couple of your entries. Wow what an adventure! Go girls!(Hope your feet recover)

Bronie Colless

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 01:33 AM

Read a couple of your entries. Wow what an adventure! Go girls!(Hope your feet recover)

Jane Friend

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 01:52 AM

Wow Babs and Pip, what a wonderful thing to be doing together,it does sound a little hard! But will be well worth when it is over! I may have to run a bit further then my 5 k's today. Love and luck to you both, Jane and Wal x
35 Down, 215 To Go!!

3rd March 2013 04:21 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

We’ve done Stage 1!! 35km today in 7 hours, which we were both pretty happy with considering the altitude, hills and heat; it was 40 degrees +... It was very nice to arrive at camp and put our feet up and have a foot bath (more basic than it sounds, but still pretty indulgent!) Also good to check in with the medics (already!) to work out how to manage some blisters that haven’t quite arrived yet, but look like they might… It’s a bit rockier than we’re used to and our feet are letting us know….


Babs is raving about the ‘wow factor’ of the views. We were greeted by magnificent views of the snow-capped Andes when we came over the last crest and into camp, which was just as spectacular as having them frame our walk for much of the day.


As we’re towards the tail of the field, we were also treated to some pretty great sights of the mob in front of us snaking across desert flats and valleys.


Good to have a day and a night under our belts, and looking forward to Stage 2! Apparently we have a few creek crossings to content with, again, we’ll let you know how we go.


Thanks for reading,

Pip and Babs. xxx

Comments: Total (18) comments

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 06:36 AM

Fantastic!! Good on you two - Lou and I are feeling like whimps in comparison. We've just spent the day mustering and moving goats (we've been on bikes!) and I think it's only been 30 degrees here and you should hear us whingeing. I hope the blisters don't develop too badly. Have a good day's walking tomorrow, sleep well tonight and we'll look forward to hearing the next update! Love from all the Morendah crew xxx

Cath Bush

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 07:02 AM

Well done, well done!! It must be wonderful having this stage behind you and now have some idea of what may be infront of you. Having a look at photos I cannot get over how rocky the surface is. There are photos of you both on the official site which is wonderful to see. Enjoy the foot spa and a good nights sleep ready to conquer tomorrow's challenge. Looking forward to hearing tomorrows news. Much love the Bushs

Ann Mackay

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 07:07 AM

Congratulations you brave pair .We are so proud of you and so relieved the first day is done. Take care of those blisters. Enjoy tomorrow. Love Nan and. Buzz.

Maureen Robinson

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 08:14 AM

Fantastic you two... hope tomorrow is a bit cooler for you? the Willow Downs crew xxoo

Bill Mackay

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 08:44 AM

Congratulations guys!!! Good luck with those blisters and the rough terrain and for the rest of the trip.

Vicrtoria Lampe

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 09:16 AM

Am at the computer with Steve, he is here for dinner, glad that you have completed day1 thought you might be amazed at the scenery, Love David,Vicky

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 09:20 AM

Weʻve been waiting for this news--first day! How fabulous! I hope the blisters donʻt rise up and protest!!! I thought you Aussies had the toughest feet!! Take good care. Bet you are having lots of time to talk -- contemplate life, love and the landscape!

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 09:21 AM

we depart tomorrow, will continue to follow your blog once back in Japan! SHINDOI DES KA?

Susie Burnheim

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 11:29 AM

Happy Birthday Babs - was thinking of you slogging it up those mountains - I think you are amazing - go girls! love Susie and Bill

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 11:40 AM

We're all behind you! Eagerly anticipated this post after your first day on the road. Sounds like your preparation is holding you in good stead. Spoke to daddy, David and Vicki tonight as daddy was getting spoilt to dinner at Nebea. His getting very good at his 'machine'. Amazing amazing amazing! Hope you are warm in your tent at night. Lots of love x

Robyn Hanigan

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 11:43 AM

Amazing!!Well done & good luck for the next stage. Loving the photos & the Blogs. Love from Terry & Rob

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 11:52 AM

Congratulations Pip and Babs... wow 7hr is fantastic in that heat (or the cold). Hope you can fix/master those blisters. It looks like such hard walking - how wonderful to have magnificent scenery to distract you... got to love those endorphins.

Ron Mackay

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 12:00 PM

How good to have day 1 out of the way. It's all sounding good. Go you good things go!! Love Anne and Ron

Cynthea Bogel

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 12:29 PM

Hello friends of Babs and Pip! This is a very detailed description of the stages and a woman Australian runner in The Australian paper. It will be updated daily. http://www.4deserts.com/admin/images/recent/doc13623845241.pdf

Georgia Byrne

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 00:19 AM

Go girls!!! Sounds amazing and so beautiful!! Wishing you the bestest of views everyday, the least blistered feet as possible and can't wait to hear more! Love George, Harry, Neens & Byrnsie

Steve Goldsmith

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 01:23 AM

You two are doing very well hope you aren\'t too sore it is humid here hope we get more rain. I am here too with Steve ( vicky) . By now it will be almost day 3 so you are as good as finished love Steve xxxxoooo

Kerry Deans

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 10:46 AM

Love following your adventure Barb and Pip, WOW just awesome, stay safe and well our love Mark, Kerry, Amanda and Ashlea.

Anne Larke

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 06:09 AM

Congratulations. A monumental effort and that you were there Pip for that finish line hug was wonderful. I look forward to an interesting article in our local paper. I followed your arduous journey in amazement. Well done is an understatement!
Pre-race

2nd March 2013 02:34 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

We’ve made it to Camp 1!! Haven’t walked anywhere yet, but we’re here and ready to go tomorrow morning… Today we have packed and repacked our backpacks a hundred times, and I’m sure we will again before we start walking in the morning… We firstly had to try to fit in everything we wanted to take, then take it all out again to have our mandatory items checked twice, once by logistic staff, and again by medical staff. I (Pip) then repacked to try to get the weight down. Somehow I ended up with 12kgs!!! Babs cleverly ended up with 9.5kg, not sure how…. Anyway, at camp and under the expert guidance of some more seasoned trekkers, I’ve culled a few non essentials which will hopefully make tomorrow easier.


To write this, I’m sitting in a ‘tent’ (really a big piece of calico on some sticks) with music blaring from someone’s portable speaker and the most amazing view. Camp is behind us with tents and tables and chairs, but in front is a spectacular Chilean landscape – mountains, cliffs and rocks… Exciting to think about starting to walk through it tomorrow but also a bit daunting!! We’ll let you know how we go….


We are sharing a tent with 8 men, who are all great. Ironically, there is a father-son team from Taiwan who seem to have a lot in common with us… It’ll be great getting to know all of them and hear their stories over the next few days. Although I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of them during the day, they look pretty quick….


We’ll let you know tomorrow how our first day of walking went, thanks for reading!! xxxxx

Comments: Total (9) comments

Mardi Remond

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 02:58 AM

The photographer in my is dying to ask if you take a (little) camera with you? Good Luck with your Day One!!! xxx

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 05:14 AM

I'm with Mardi... but then I think of the weight... oh but how great it would be to see that view. Good luck tomorrow, sleep well tonight.

Maurn Robinson

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 05:43 AM

It is so exciting thinking of you... it is like taking and arm chair ride through a great adventure sending love and God's speed from all the Willow Downs crew.

Cath Bush

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 07:10 AM

I have such nervous excitement for you both. We are all thinking about you - Bea dreamt about you last night. Enjoy the wonderful experience. You are both amazing to be doing this. Lots of love the Bushs

Trine Gay

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 09:55 AM

Andy and I are thinking of you both everyday. We can't wait to hear how the first day went. So proud of you. Sending our love.

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 10:43 AM

Hope none of the men were snoring and kept you awake. Good luck for your first day of walking! It will be such an exciting time setting off with all your comrades. Trying to imagine the spectacular scenery. Good night from Australia xxx

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 11:57 AM

I know you are really there as I saw you (Babs) in one of the briefing pics. Pip was hidden. You looked so young, fit and healthy in your black walking gear! Look forward to reading your stage one report and finding you in other pics! Good luck.

Meg Reeves

Posted On: 04 Mar 2013 03:21 AM

Oh la la - a tent with 8 men! Good on you for reaching Camp 1 and all the best as you start the trek. I can't wait to read the updates of your amazing journey. Go get em Team Goldy! xxx

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 06:24 AM

Hi Babs
Thank You

1st March 2013 05:44 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

When I was writing my last post, I had not accessed the blog for a couple of weeks (much to Pip's disgust!!) However, I am now sitting here in tears having read all the birthday messages - thank you everyone. We have had a great day starting at 3.30 am with chats to Steve and Georgie, while waiting for a bus to take us the geysers up near the Bolivian border. In true Aussie style, Pip and I were rather underprepared for the -1 degree temperature!! However, we soon warmed up in the thermal pool. It was the funniest sight - the people in the pool in their swimmers and those on the edge dressed in down jackets and beanies!! Next stop was a small village where we ate llama on a skewer, and watched the llama farmer mustering his llamas on his push bike, closely followed by two dogs!! We are planning to eat tonight at a restaurant with great reviews that Pip has found. Thank heavens Pip is here - it wouldn't be half as much fun without her. We're hoping to update our blog at the end of Day 1 (Sunday).

Comments: Total (5) comments

Claire Brien

Posted On: 01 Mar 2013 22:41 PM

Happy Birthday Babs for yesterday! Glad to hear you've arrived ok girls. Thoughts and wishes are with you for the start of the Big Journey. Enjoy! xo

Anne Mckenzie

Posted On: 02 Mar 2013 04:45 AM

Strong legs, brave hearts and lots of enjoyment to you both! Looking forward to any news you post - will be with you all the way. Enjoy.

Don Mckenzie

Posted On: 02 Mar 2013 07:41 AM

Go the Gilgooma Girls do us proud and have fun. Have invited Steve down for a pork roast tonight will be thinking of you both Don

Georgie Goldsmith

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 02:09 AM

Love the image of the llama farmer on his push bike with dogs! I hope you're well rested after your first night camped out in the desert. I bet you can't wait to get into now. Raring to go!! Enjoy your first day walking and talking. Looking forward to your next post xxx ps I hear it has been raining at home today!

Nina Byrne

Posted On: 03 Mar 2013 02:29 AM

So excited to see your photo on the website then find your blog, have a wondrous experience, stay strong enjoy every second !! love you both Nina
Bring It On!!!!

1st March 2013 05:23 AM[(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

I am wondering where to start - there is so much to say. We arrived on Monday night, very pleased to be in San Pedro de Atacama after a 24 hour trip and one of my suitcases going missing for a while. However, we have since had a lovely time exploring the town and surrounding area. I have found the altitude a bit of a challenge, though seem to have come good now. Pip has adapted much more easily, though we are both struggling with the time difference - nothing a few sleeping pills won't fix!! We have spent part of each day fine tuning our backpacks, and have finally pared down, repacked and culled for the last time. Just in time for the briefing tomorrow morning, followed by an equipment check, and travelling out to the starting point in readiness for the official start on Sunday morning! We are starting to meet some of the people we will be racing with and it is very refreshing to find there are people just like us, who are here to walk and enjoy. Thank you to everyone who has helped us and supported us to this point. Pip and I are overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family, and feel very proud to be part of the small contingent flying the Aussie flag.

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