When Ron Healey agreed, ten years ago, to participate in the Oxfarm 100km trail walk with his son-in-law, little did he know it would spark a deep wanderlust that would see him complete some of the world’s most challenging hikes.
With a completed bucket list that would make even the most avid traveller envious, 79-year-old Ron has explored over 60 countries.
Some of Ron’s greatest achievements include completing the Kokoda Trail, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and visiting a Russian research station in Antarctica in a small ice-breaker boat.
In December 2019, Ron spent time at Mount Everest base camp. After flying into Lukla, the most dangerous airport in the world, Ron hiked to the base camp in sub-zero conditions. Ron says when he finally reached the base camp, it was an icy -22C.
“We were staying in tea houses that had paper thin walls on them. And every morning when we woke up, our water bottles were frozen. That’s how cold it was,” he says.
For Ron, the allure of these explorations lies not just in the challenge of completing the hike, but in the people you meet.
“You meet so many different people on the hikes. There is a real friendly, helpful atmosphere,” he says.
“A lot of these places are very poor areas, and they are grateful for the money you spend.”
Now that Ron’s global adventures have been temporarily halted, he is focusing a little closer to home, with Cape York next on his travel list.
“I’ve been to a lot of countries, but Australia is definitely the pick of them,” he says.
Here are some of the photos Ron has taken on his travels in the Antartic, Mount Everest base camp. at the top of Australia and in Rio.