21 December, 2011

Trekking through the Sahara Desert

A couple of years ago, I came up with a fundraising idea at work, and several months later, ended up on a trek across the Sahara desert. It was such an amazing experience, that I would highly recommend it to those who want a bit of adventure during their holidays.

I can't even begin to explain how beautiful the scenery is in the desert - it almost looks fake, it's so stunning! I travelled with Charity Challenge, who were fantastic at both organisation, and looking after everyone on the trek itself. We trekked 110km over 5 days; had sore muscles; blisters, and sleep deprivation, but despite all that I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life!

One thing that did shock me was how much of the terrain was rocky, and not sandy. I think everyone has the image of sand dunes when they think of the desert, and the rocks were totally unexpected, and it proved tricky to trek for 8 hours whilst looking at your feet the whole time.

When our group of 23 trekked, we did so in almost total isolation. All we came across was the odd house in the middle of nowhere, with kids who would just pop out to see us and say hello. I guess we were the highlight of their day.....possibly their week...as they really do live in the wilderness.

I've been to countries where the sunsets have been amazing but somehownothing beats sitting feeling the temperature cool down after a long day of trekking, while watching the sun dip down under the sand dunes. My top tip if you do this trek? Spend one night sleeping out under the stars...with no light pollution, it is absolutely incredible - you can see the milky way, and satellites floating past all with the naked eye. It makes all the pain and blisters worthwhile, and the sense of achievement at the end has to be experienced to be believed. For anyone who wants a bit of adventure in a place you wouldn't normally experience, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

Have you ever done a trek for charity, or have you done a challenge like this simply for fun?

For more information on this particular challenge, go to: http://www.charitychallenge.com/

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