The Only Way Home
$20.00 – $22.00
One woman, two donkeys and an extraordinary outback journey of healing and renewal
On a warm day in May 2004 Liz Byron set off from Cooktown with her two companions, donkeys Grace and Charley, on a self-imposed challenge to walk 2500 kilometres of the Bicentennial National Trail over 9 months. This epic journey was a rite of passage to mark leaving 40 years of marriage and embarking on life as a single woman at the age of 61. She foresaw that self-reliance, physical stamina and route-finding would be challenges but couldn’t have known how the environment in Queensland was to test her to the limit. Years of drought had left much of her route a dusty wasteland, without food or water for her animals. Years of suffering from childhood abuse and a family tragedy had left her unwilling to ask for help. Walking became a meditation, an exercise in being in the moment even when that moment was 43 degrees or she hadn’t eaten for 7 hours.
In her moving memoir, Liz reveals how she healed herself step by step on the way to her new home in northern NSW – by learning to trust her intuition, the wisdom of her animals and the kindness of strangers.
In 2004, Liz finally quit a toxic marriage at age 61 and trekked 2,500 kilometres through Queensland with two donkeys.
The tale of her trek, and why she did it, is The Only Way Home. This is a story with many layers, some of which are inherently Australian, such as travelling through dry, flat, treeless country and the kindness of people who live in remote areas. Then there is the hilarious will of her two long-eared companions. But, like most significant journeys, the universal element of self-redemption is strong.
For Liz, surviving physical challenges was the easy part, when grief and trauma seemed determined to haunt her.
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