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With a complete lack of communications in the midst of a highly cyber regulated region we could not post any updates whilst in China. However now that I have returned I can safely broadcast to the world that the Silk Road Pirates championed the mighty Taklamakan Desert!
Over a period of two weeks we managed to cross the desert from South to North, with absolutely no support crews and most importantly no camels! At times we were each carrying in excess of 30kg's on our backs through soft sand for over 30km's a day. Times were tough, we got tight on water, food and endurance but we made it. We're still collating and producing all the footage to preview a teaser to the world, but for now here a cheeky sneakpeak of what we went through!
After an incredibly drawn out 5 days in the desert border town of Hotan, all the supplies have been bought, caches have been dropped in the desert and everything is ready to go.
We were due to hit the desert today but an unfortunate and terrible bout of gastro hit me during the night and by morning i was so dehydrated that i had literally lost kilos! So today is the recovery day where i boost my levels back up, rest and then hit it hard tomorrow.
We have had the most unbelievable luck to meet a couple local boys; yung and tanh. Together they helped us navigate good portions of the desert to drop our supplies out. Though i must mention that after the 6th time i completely lost countat how many times we got bogged. One time we did such a good job that all 4 wheels were completely free of the ground and the toyota was just teetering on its under chassis. 3 hours later and we managed to dig it free!
One other thing we quickly noticed was how fine the sand is. So much so that i would struggle to call it sand and more like a very finely ground flour. Within steps the sand had infiltrated through the fine mesh of our shoes and our toe boxes were full and cramped. Our gaiters were of no match at all for thsse conditions. So far we have managed to recycle some old ration pack packaging and together with a whole bunch of duct tape, come up with a viable solution for the sand intrusion problem.
Anyway here is a sneak preview of what we have coming up tomorrow in the desert.
It was not til about 12 hours before my flight left that all my food supplies and rations for the expedition finally artived. Nevertheless i am stoked to have them and have everything sorted now.
I am currently chilling in brisbane international airport waiting to board my 24 hrs of flights to eventually get to the border town of Hotan where i will meet the rest of the crew and ready for our expedition.
If all goes to plan (ha! Like that ever happens), we will be kicking off on the walking part of the expedition this coming Tuesday. Then it's 400km of walking to the other side. The inner nerd in me is actually a little interested to see how high my pedometer can count =D
Anyway, they say one step at a time. So here goes nothing!
Why we do what we do... The what is always the easy part, the how is short term horrific pain but the why is really the important part and often the least recognised.
My team and I adventure and shenaganise our way around the world to promote and give aid to those who deserve it and otherwise would get lost in a world full of white noise. We're here to give India's street children a chance for a better tomorrow. The four of us are looking to change the life of at least one child in the streets of Kolkata by bringing them an education, health care and most importantly, an opportunity. Just think to yourself, how do you feel about changing the entire life of a child?
www.futurehope.net is the charity that we support. Here you can help us to help them.
You can show your support and your energy to help a child have a life here,
Just a small update this time with a tidbit of 'fun' information.
Check the lovely little speed bump that the team and I will be overcoming at exactly the mid point of our desert crossing in a couple months. It's a monsterous permanent sand dune over 1000ft high and with slopes in excess of 20 degrees!