Horseback adventure takes full flight
HE KNOWS them better than the back of his hand.
Three horses, Laddie, Ranger and Marda are the only company Sam Alexander has on his epic journey up the East Coast of Australia.
As he trails by horseback through the rugged terrain of the Australian Bicentennial National Trail, the 24-year-old medical student can't believe his adventure will soon be coming to an end.
Sam left from Healesville in Victoria in February, with the aim of promoting the importance of medical care in rural Australia and raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
His goal was to complete the 5330km track and arrive in Cooktown in Queensland within a year.
"In a perfect world I'd love to go all the way," he said.
"But really, I'm a medical student and I can only take a year off my studies.
"It's really how far north I can get in 2012."
His horseback adventure led him to Mount Larcom over the weekend where he set up camp.
"It's all like second nature now," he said.
Yesterday morning he set out again with the aim of completing his journey in Koumala just past Mackay on December 15.
Right now Sam would love a cold can of soft-drink - but all he has is some hot dam water.
"It's a very different mindset from the real world," he said.
Spending up to eight hours on horseback meant he adapted to his new lifestyle fairly quickly.
"There is no use complaining, you just get on with the job," he said.
The biggest challenge, according to Sam is keeping his brain active.
"You have a lot of time to think," he said.
With less than a month till his grand journey comes to an end, Sam is counting down the days.
"I think I appreciate all those little things people take for granted now," he said.
"A nice warm bed will mean the world to me."
He hopes some of that life-experience and maturity will benefit his medical career.
Find out more about Sam's journey on his website.