Nov 2, 2023 • General
On 2nd November 2023, Abigail Graham (Northern District of Cumbria YFC Chair) and Ella Batey (Northern District of Cumbria YFC Vice Chair) headed to Morocco for a trek in the Sahara Desert to raise money for The Dragonfly Cancer Trust and The Northern District of Cumbria YFC.
Alongside other fundraisers they set off from Marrakech on a nine-hour drive through the Atlas Mountain range, before arriving at the start point. They spent 4 days trekking and camping in the desert, enjoying traditional Moroccan food cooked in the desert by the Berber guides.
Abigail said, ‘Trekking in the Sahara Desert has been an extremely memorable experience. The highlights for me were the incredible scenery, both in the desert and while driving through the Atlas Mountains, the dark skies, as well as experiencing the culture of Morocco.’
The trek was challenging with high afternoon temperatures and soft sand dunes to navigate. The route was approximately 50km and included sand dunes, rocky outcrops and visiting some of the desert villages. The sun shone for the full trek, with temperatures reaching mid 30 degrees in the late afternoon and dropping as low as 5 degrees at night, making walking in the afternoon incredibly difficult.
Visiting the desert villages was extremely eye-opening; giving us an insight into daily life in the desert. Employment for some of the residents we met included the role of camel shepherd and hand weaving baskets. Many homes have no access to safe and clean water, with residents of these villages making monthly trips to a well to collect and carry water to their homes.
Ella said, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed trekking across a section of the Sahara Desert to raise money for both the Dragonfly Cancer Trust and Cumbria YFC Northern District. Scaling massive sand dunes in 35-degree heat and sleeping out under the stars in just a sleeping bag – it was such a unique experience.’
Fundraising efforts have included a quiz night, raffle, cake sale and competitions, as well as donations. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported our challenge, we truly appreciate it.