The team


The winning team!

Rachel 

Adventure ultra runner, ultra-light walker and horse endurance rider ;-),nature and animals lover, passionate about the great outdoors, wide open spaces and nature spirit.


It's hard to describe my life in a few words as it feels like I already had so many of them! The time I poorly attempted at studying Chinese, Religions and Literature before graduating in Law and getting a postgraduate diploma in Criminology seems very far away now..! From a career as a Police criminal investigator to a retraining as a mental and physical coach, then a life coach, energy healer, public speaker, and part-time marketing manager for my husband company ... my life seems to have funny ways to lead me on a fun yet ever evolving path! At the moment I am extremely lucky to spend my time doing various activities I love: nature, outdoor activities, animals connection, energy work, and more artistic work with media marketing and furniture restoration.

Since 2010, I am regularly doing expeditions, first on my own and more often now with my bunch of four-legged friends, in the Alps, in Scandinavia or anywhere my intuition or life events take me to.
I like the challenges, the whole logistics it implies, exploring the unknown, going beyond my comfort zone, discovering new places and cultures, and I tell you, when doing it with 2 dogs, a cat and a horse, dramatically spices it up! Of course the purpose and way I do each expedition depends on the configuration of the team; preparing an organised ultra trail on my own completely differs from a 4-week trekking with the dogs in a remote area or 2-weeks travelling with the four of them. It is pushing further my own limits - physical sometimes, psychological often -  that makes it all so interesting, as long as it is done with the greater respect for my beloved animals and our beautiful Planet Earth! If I can bring any added value to the world, then I am truly happy 😉

I don't know yet where all this is leading me, but it is fun! My few rules: don't take yourself too seriously, be grateful, see the beauty in all things and be responsible for the Life you are creating!




 

My training partners - Sparta, Nyx & Ola


Sparta and Nyx are our two female dogs, born in April 2011. We adopted them as the owner of their mum didn't want to know anything about them...! Quite surprisingly, our now 14-years old dog Mufasa, a Jack Russell who still believes he's the lions' king (!), accepted them pretty easily. I guess he finds it quite fun to have two charming ladies under his roof ;-) - Well, since then, he looks much younger and fitter!

Sparta & Nyx quickly became entirely part of our life, following us everywhere, on holiday, at work, and since they're grown-up, they never miss any of my training sessions! Nyx loves running, Sparta prefers long walks. Both are really lively, solid and full of stamina dogs and great inspiring trainers. They just don't care about bad weather! Only really hot days keep them inside...


Ola

Another lady joins the team!

A horse?? No never again! no, not now anyway...I don't have enough time, we're always on the roads...No no, definitely, it doesn't fit with our current lifestyle...I know what it means to take care of a horse: I started riding at the age of 9 and had my first horse at 12. After his death 6 years later, I rode many horses for private owners, did jumping and dressage competitions...and then stopped at 24, as I wanted to own my own horse again but had not enough time and money then.

Uh! How come then that I found myself saying: "Ok fine, I take her" no less than a week after having been so assertive??  It's funny how quickly one can change one's mind..!! :-)
In spring 2012, my sister called: "Do you remember the beautiful mare of my friend E..? She's selling her!" No, Jess, am not interested, sorry. Don't tempt me, right? I was riding again at that time as my sister was pregnant and she'd asked me to ride her young and beautiful Arabian once or twice a week. End of the story.
Or at least I believed it. In October, she called again "Ola is back at E's. It didn't work out with the person who bought her and so she's back...". All right then. Let's go and try her. But it is just for a ride. Just for fun.

Blimme!  I should have known: one cannot ride Ola and then turn one's back on her. No way! As soon as I saw her, I knew I had to convince Marc that "yes, indeed, promise! we have time and money to take care of another pet...even though she's a little bigger than a dog...doesn't travel as easily...and has quite a strong temper.."!
Well, after owning her for some two years and a half now, I never never regretted my decision. It is even one of the best I have taken for a long time! This little 11-year-old Portuguese mare is not only really beautiful but she has a really good heart and a willing temper, is very well-put, extremely sure-footed and perfectly at ease in any kind of terrain. We get on really well, also it took us a little time to settle in this nice relationship; she enjoys long and active rides with me and the dogs, and it's a pure pleasure riding her! Maybe once she will join me on a long-distance expedition? For now we simply take part in some endurance races and that's fun!
My training sessions with Ola, Nyx and Sparta - are regularly posted on my FB page and some will be also posted on this blog.

My 1st supporter and most dedicated supporter, Marc

4x4 specialist, auto-mechanic-inventor(!), outdoors and animals lover Marc landed in the automotive area as a kid, his parents being 4x4, race and classic cars passionate and he never left the 4x4 world. Through his passion for offroad, he travelled a lot - mainly in Africa - and took part twice in the famous Dakar Rally as well as many times in the 24-heures de Paris endurance race.
In 2011 he created his own department in the family business Banditoy, entirely dedicated to 4x4 parts, specific gear and travel equipment.For the last ten years or so, we've been travelling together all around Europe mainly with our Land Cruiser HJ61 and its tailor-made elevated roof. 
If he cannot come along with me on such long trips, Marc plays an important part as my logistics base. On some expeditions, he is in charge of an important mission: taking care of Ola while I am away ( with the help of Muffy of course!); sometimes he joins us for a few days or weeks.


Milwyn, the new comer

One morning of August 2016, as I was finishing with Ola at the stables, I heard a kitten meowing. There were some new-born kitten on the farm so I thought it could be one of them that got stuck behind the balls of straw. I discovered a tiny kitty, no more than 3 weeks old! I scaled the fence and managed to get her and took her home. She was so tiny, so cute! I immediately fell in love with this little creature, even if very aware that she had little chance to survive. But after a couple of weeks on the bottle, Tiny Milwyn was already strong and very healthy! She even managed to make friends with the dogs, which was far from obvious at the beginning.. Now they are best friends, she even sleeps in Muffy's bed!! As we are a travelling family, she was trained from the very beginning to come along, to walk (hum!) with the harness and leash, to follow us on short hikes. And the travel to Slovenia (Summer 2017) will be her first 4-weeks trip with all of us

Mufasa... the old chap

Born in 2001 and still in great shape! Muffy the Jack Russell is the mascot of the team ! Born in the family, he's been with Marc and I everywhere since then, on climbing tours and alpine mountain trekking...him walking or carried in the backpack when he started being too old. Now he'd rather stay comfy in his bed at home...
So Muffy baby, no need to hide in the shopping bag...For your own good, you will stay at home while the girls are striding around!

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