SA adventurers walk across Rub’al Khali desert

2013-04-02 00:00

THREE South African adventurers have walked across the Rub’al Khali desert in the Arabian peninsula without assistance. As far as is known, they are the first people to have walked across this desert.

Alex Harris, who has taken on Antarctica and Everest, with team-mates Marco Broccardo and David Joyce, walked some 1 210 km from Salalah in Oman to Dubai in 40 days.

The South Africans took turns to pull a little trailer loaded with about 200 litres of water and 150 kg food. The daily challenges they overcame included temperatures of up to 46°C, sandstorms, dunes as high as 250 metres and losing their emergency kit at the start of the journey.

They shared a small tent in the cold nights and took turns to cook, make camp and top up water bottles.

They walked 35 km a day in total isolation, with no contact with family or friends. Each lost about 10 kg in the feat of endurance.

Broccardo said he had never before been as thirsty as he was on this challenge, adding it felt as if his eyeballs had dried out. “That was the worst for me,” he said.

Joyce said they discussed each day what they would eat and drink when they camped, which motivated them to keep on walking and pulling the wagon. It never crossed their minds to give up.

“It was very bad, but we were motivated to continue and complete the expedition,” Harris said.

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