Sahara Trek: The Route

“What on Earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless.” – Bill Bryson

The 31st March 2015 will see myself join a 50 strong group of intrepid adventurers on a 10 day – 200 mile – trek across the Moroccan Sahara in an attempt to raise £100,000 for The EY Foundation and The Princes’ Trust. The camping is going to be primitive; with no washing facilities; no privacy; and very minimal protection from the elements, but this ‘roughing it’ style is sure to also be one of the most character building elements of the adventure ahead.

A typical trek day will consist of rising with the sun at approximately 5am to a breakfast of porridge, toast with honey/jam, and some coffee. We will then be required to dismantle our camp site which includes the glorified task of burning all the toilet waste produced the prior evening by 50 dodgy bowels. *Shotgun not me*

Setting off, our morning stint will be a 4 hour hike to a spot where we will put up a tent for shade and have a long 2 hour lunch; giving us some time to recover whilst avoiding the sweltering mid-day sun. Lunch will be slow release hydrating foods such as cold salads and fruit. It will then be a further 4 hour walk to our camp site for that evening where, having erecting the tents, we will tuck into vegetable-based pasta/rice dishes. The sleeping arrangements are 8 same-sex people to a tent and we’ll be able to mix and match who we share with throughout the trek depending on who snores/farts the least.

The distances covered in these above trekking times will vary substantially depending on the terrain encountered. With soft dunes, one might only be able to cover 10 miles in a day, whereas when crossing the more firm salt pans we can expect to cover 30+ miles a day. Below is our timetable for the week, and the the resting places for each night.

Day 1 – Fly from London to Marrakech (via Casablanca) and 4 hour bus journey over the Alas Mountains to Ouarzazate, a city known locally as ‘The Door of The Desert’

Day 2 – Ouarzazate to M’Hamid

Day 3 – M’Hamid to Wad Naam Camp

Day 4 – Wad Naam Camp to Bougrn Camp

Day 5 – Bougrn Camp to Chgaga Camp

Day 6 – Chgaga Camp to Erg Lghoul Camp

Day 7 – Erg Lghoul Camp to Iriki Saltpan Camp

Day 8 – Predawn trek to Saltpans and bus to Marrakech

Day 9 – Free day at Marrakech and a boozy dinner wearing Moroccan traditional dress

Day 10 – Depart to London

If you would like to make a donation towards our efforts then please visit my fundraising page here, and if you’d like to take a peek inside my backpack for the week then please follow the link here.

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