The WaterPeople Podcast is back with a new episode! In “Paddling In the Dark” hosts Lauren Hill and Dave Rastovich rap out with former competitive surfer turned freshwater warrior, Hayley Talbot. In 2017, Hayley Talbot found herself mired in the monotony of raising two young children. She’d yearned to know more about the source of the Clarence River, where she’d grown up and surfed around the river mouth, but wanted to know where it came from. She planned a kayaking trip, having never kayaked before, and learned wilderness skills to prepare for almost anything. Her goal was to not have to rely on anyone but the river for survival and to be able to model real self-sufficiency for her young boys — and real belonging. That year, Hayley became the first person to solo kayak one of the greatest river systems in Australia; the Clarence, from its source in the Great Dividing Range to its mouth, where it empties into the Coral Sea. The 400 kilometer journey took 14 days and threw a slew of serious situations at Hayley. She took no food. Paddled into un-policed remote territory known to house criminals and runaways escaping the law, Broke her arm on day 2, crawled and dragged her boat over impassable gorges and waterfalls for the first 100 kilometers. She’s a self-proclaimed river daughter.
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