Active and Extraordinary

For a few years now, Caroline Thomas has been organising some of the most exhilarating and exciting expeditions you could possibly imagine. Her work as Charity Challenge Coordinator with Diabetes Tasmania has led her to gather together amateur adventurers from all over - some type 1, some not - to raise money for DTas and Life for a Child and have active journeys in some of the world's most off the beaten track and beautiful places. They're all organised by World Expeditions and they're adventure in a bag.

Caroline has just returned from a women-only kayaking trip in remote southwestern Tasmania. She has written us a thrilling report, full of energy and a sense of having pushed herself physically and enjoyed herself down to the bone.

I've copied it out below, as well as some information on the next two trips she's organising: Franklin River rafting, towards the end of next year; and Cycle Southern India in March 2017. I wanna go!

If you want to know more about either of these trips, please contact Caroline at DTas on 03 6215 9000 or email Caroline here.

Take it away Caroline...

Hi there

I was extremely fortunate last week to spend 7 days with a group of nine inspirational women who paddled with me in the remote southwest of Tasmania, in what was one of my best adventures, to raise funds and awareness for diabetes!

We haven’t sorted all the pictures yet, and they are too big to attach more than one to this email, but attached is a group pic from my favourite camp site. 

From the moment we took off in the small Par Avion plane and flew alongside the organ pipes of Mount Wellington to the flight back home when we flew along the amazing coastline, I was mesmerised by the scenery and sheer beauty that is on our own backyard. We were blessed by all seasons of weather from glorious sunny days to hail and windy weather. The trip was harder than I had anticipated with some long days of paddling, but it exceeded all my expectations. Our Roaring 40s guides Tori and Tom, were hands down the best guides I have had on all the trips I have done. They taught us paddling techniques, kept us extremely well fed with delicious food, kept us safe and warm and entertained us with their incredible knowledge of the local history and flora and fauna. 

And the group of nine ladies - Pip, Lisa, Natalie, Liz, Bronwyn, Annette, Penny, Catherine and Gerwyn - what can I say, it is very hard to put into words…. from all different walks of life, ages ranging from 44 to 75, different paddling and wilderness experience backgrounds, it was a pleasure to share this amazing adventure with you.  We laughed, we cried, we did things I think a lot of us thought we couldn’t do. I’m so pleased I shared the trip with you.

I was the only person in the group who lives with diabetes, but others were touched by the condition in different ways. I only had five hypos, none too bad, and managed pretty well with the help of Lisa, Tom and Tori. I did 68 blood glucose tests while I was away and it was so nice when Lisa said one morning in our little tent, I’ll do that for you and I just layed there while she did it. It was a constant juggling act of weighing up what my blood glucose level was, how long and hard we would be paddling, what I was eating. Overnight I dropped quite a lot from the long days of paddling, and I ate a bit extra to compensate the anticipated fall. I think I am now an expert at testing BGLs in a kayak and not losing any gear in the ocean!

Thanks to Par Avion and Roaring 40s for their generous discount that made the trip possible. To Jenny, Reg, Tori and Tom for all their efforts in organising the logistics and running the trip. To the lovely ladies who made the trip a reality and a thoroughly enjoyable journey and for their efforts in raising and donating funds to help Diabetes Tasmania and Life for a Child. And to all the people who have helped raise or donate money and awareness of diabetes through this magic adventure, there are too many to mention individually,  but  a huge thank you.

Finally to Craig, my Mum and my paddle buddy Lisa – couldn’t do without you! 

I can’t finish without a little plug, you can still donate here to help us raise money for local people affected by diabetes and kids living in developing countries through Life for a Child. We are etching towards raising $20,000 from the combined trips, which is an awesome effort!