It is with great sadness that I must report to you the imminent passing of Billy. In truth I have been expecting this sad day for some time, yet I continue to encourage one last adventure from him.
Our journeys began in the Indian Himalayas where we scoffed at the donkey option and made the 30 kilometre round trip to the temple at 3000 metres on foot!
Next were the jungles of Madagascar in search of rare lemurs, the head-spinning mountains of Reunion, the precipitous trails of North Korea, tramping the thousands of (bloody!) stairs at Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat, the still smouldering lava flows of Hawaii’s Kilauea (notorious for destroying mere sneakers), Cape York, the steamy Amazon, the rocky Galapagos and finally, thinking that Billy’s best days were behind him, we forged into the Siberian Arctic just last month. At one stage, Billy was rescued from beneath several feet of quicksand when we strayed off the path!
Never have I had a more reliable travelling companion, such an uncomplaining escort despite my own tirade of woes. Here’s to you Billy because without you I’d never have made the journeys alone. You tread where others fear to go, keep me out of trouble and strife and comfort me during those arduous treks.
Aaron, I challenge Betts and Dakota to produce another product to match Billy. All the comfort of a favourite pair of slippers, the durability of a de Castella with strength and toughness of T-34 tank. Go on, I dare you!
Travel Writer and Photographer