7 Tremendously Audacious Women

By JP Chartier

I recently wrote an article called “7 Terribly Interesting People” (which you can read here http://wp.me/p3MMo6-a7) that told the adventurous tales of 7 men. In the article I’ve written here, I focus solely on the ladies.

Without further ado, I now bring you “7 Tremendously Audacious Women.”


Nellie Bly (1864-1922)

Nellie Bly was the pen-name of American journalist and adventurer, Elizabeth June Cochrane. As a journalist, Bly would go to almost any length to get the story, once she faked mental illness so she would be admitted to Bellevue Hospital, a mental institute in NY, so she could write an expose about the abuses there. After the release of the expose, many positive changes took place at the hospital, making Bly famous. Two years later, chasing yet another story, Bly set a then world record by circumnavigating the globe in 72 days, beating the fictional account in Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.”


Renata Chlumska (1973- )

Chlumska was the first Swedish woman to climb Mount Everest. During 2005-2006, she took the “Around America Adventure.”  Starting out in Seattle, she paddled a kayak down to San Diego, CA, where she hopped on a bike and with the kayak in tow, rode to Brownsville, TX. From Brownsville she was back in the kayak, this time paddling across the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, then onward up the east coast of America, all the way up to Maine. Back on her bicycle once again, Chlumska pedaled from Maine, cross-country back to Seattle! I bow down to you Mrs. Chlumska.


Kira Salak (1971- )

Unlike Nellie Bly, who took on adventure to sell articles, Salak does it not only because she’s adventurous, but because she likes to prove the people wrong who told her she couldn’t do it. Salak has ventured to some of the worlds most hospitable places, like when she hiked around Africa mostly alone, ultimately ending up in the middle of a civil war! She holds the record for being the first documented person to Kayak alone down the Niger River and was the first woman to backpack across Papua New Guinea. Salak’s life of adventure includes surviving wars, coup attempts and life threatening bouts of malaria and cholera. She has explored several countries like Iran, Rwanda, Libya, Burma, Borneo, Uganda and Peru. And finally, Salak is an excellent writer who has penned several books about her adventures. What an amazing woman!


Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky (1870-1947)

Kopchovsky was a consummate self-promoter, and a skillful creator of her own myth, who became a global celebrity after bicycling around the world alone, the first woman to do so. During her bicycle journey, she hunted tigers, was caught in the Sino-Japanese War of 1895 (where she was imprisoned), was robbed and even shot by a Chinaman during the trek. Here’s an excellent article about Annie http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0828/p20s01-algn.html


Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz (1936- )

After several failed attempts at pronouncing Krystyna’s last names, I gave up! I just refer to her as “KCL” now. During 1976-78, KCL became the “First Lady of the Oceans” by sailing alone around the world, a feat which comprised 31,166 miles and 401 days. Check out this article about her here http://en.poland.gov.pl/?document=1982


Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) –

In the photo above of Mary Kingsley, she looks like your average everyday 19th century loving housewife, whose only adventure is gardening on the weekend. Oh how photos can lie!  Kingsley had an adventurists soul, exploration and adventure were not seen as fitting roles for women in the Victorian era, but this didn’t stop her. She arrived alone in a very dangerous Africa in 1894 to study the natives and to study “cannibal” people. Kingsley had all sorts of adventures while in Africa. Here is a more detailed look at this courageous lady http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Kingsley


Rosie Swale-Pole (1946- )

I have saved the best for last, for Rosie Swale-Pole has got to be the “World’s Most Amazing Woman!” She is an author, adventurer, marathon runner and motivational speaker. In 2007, she completed a 5-year around-the-world run covering an incredible 20,000 miles, and she did it while in her late 50’s! Earlier in her life, Rosie did the following: She sailed around the world with her husband and child in the 70’s in a 30′ catamaran covering 30,000 miles in two years. Later in 1983, she sailed solo across the Atlantic Ocean in a small 17′ cutter, where she was nearly killed during a violent storm that swept her overboard. As if all this weren’t enough, “The Amazing Rosie” rode alone on horseback through the entire 3,000 miles of Chile in 14 months. She almost starved to death after becoming lost in the southern rainforest. In 1987, Rosie walked through Wales, sleeping in a tent and carrying a backpack for 1,375 miles. She has also ran through the following countries: Romania, Iceland, S. Africa, the Balkans (nearly killed by robbers), Cuba and Nepal. The list of amazing feats Rosie has accomplished are by no means all covered here, her life reads like a female version of Indiana Jones. I not only bow down to you Rosie Swale-Pole, I admire and look up to you, you are a LEGEND! Click here for more about Rosie here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosie_Swale-Pole


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