When asked how the idea came about, Yvonne told us that her husband and daughter had previously walked the Great Wall of China in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice and were keen to complete another challenge to raise more funds. Yvonne went along with them to the Sahara presentation evening where they would find out more about the trek.
Initially she felt that such a challenge was not for her, but she had been looking for something significant to do after a tough few years during which time St Catherine’s had cared for both her first husband and a very close friend. During the evening Yvonne says she felt ‘quite emotional’ watching the presentation and took that as a sign that she should do the trek.
The trek is organised by specialist company Different Travel UK who were giving out information packs on the evening and later that night Yvonne signed up for the challenge.
The trek will not be an easy one as the daytime temperatures can reach 40 degrees while plummeting to zero at night. Yvonne will have to carry a day pack while trekking, with all luggage and equipment carried by camels as the group will be camping under the stars in the desert.
The trek lasts four days, trekking for 5-8 hours each day, covering 15-20km per day. There are of course a number of sand dunes to climb and it is said that for every step forward you will slide half a step back. Trekkers are advised to start their training before departure by walking over hilly terrain wearing the boots and backpack they will use on the trek, complemented by gym workouts, boot camps and other group exercise classes.
The trekkers will enjoy the varied Saharan landscape and learn how important it is to respect and comply with the forces of nature in the desert. They will also learn how the nomadic people of the Sahara live and experience the stunning stars in the night sky and the traditional Berber cuisine.
EMD UK is organising a ‘Sandy Cakes’ bake sale to help raise funds, inviting all our neighbours on the Graylands Estate near Horsham. If anyone would like to make a donation to enable St Catherine’s to extend the care and support they offer to the local community, you can do so via Yvonne’s JustGiving page.
14 Graylands Estate, Langhurstwood Road
Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QD