Belgian man becomes first to traverse Tasmania unassisted during winter

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SYDNEY, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Belgian adventurer has become the first person to traverse the island of Tasmania during winter without resupplying, after the 41-year-old completed the 550 km trek on Monday evening.

Nicknamed the "Mad Belgian", Louis-Philippe Loncke braved snow, wilderness and wild lakes on his 52-day exploration from Penguin in the Australian State's north, to the south cape at the end of the mainland.

Now an official world record, Loncke had to avoid travelling on roads and also go without any outside help including food and shelter.

Carrying only a 60 kg backpack of supplies, Loncke eventually ran dangerously low on food toward the end of the journey and was forced to ration his food.

This caused Loncke to lose over 15 kg weight, adding to the already arduous task.

"I have cried three times today," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"On this kind of expedition you lose a lot, you lose some personality that's still out there."

"It was so long and you have to do it every day."

Working with universities back in Europe, Loncke's expedition was monitored by researchers to learn more about decision-making in extreme stress environments.

"I obviously made a lot of good decisions, or I would not be alive," he said; however, there were times when things didn't always go according to plan.

On one occasion when rafting, Loncke tried to paddle over a log instead of going around it which caused the boat to get stuck.

"I managed to get out of the boat, because of the force of the water, the boat stayed in place on the log," he said.

"It took me half an hour to drag the boat without being trapped."

Now considering to write a book about his experience, the Mad Belgian said at the moment he is just looking forward to hot showers and brushing his teeth. Enditem

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