On the 1st March 19, 10 injured veterans set off across the Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) from Oman to Dubai on what promised to be one amazing adventure. Following in the footsteps of Sir Wilfred Thesiger a SAS Major who completed the crossing on a camel in the 1950’s.
We exchanged the camel idea for Jeep Wranglers which proved to be extremely capable across the rocky and deep sand sections. The veterans, all who had either psychological or physical injuries as a result of service embraced the challenge and set off to prove that nothing is impossible. With our kind sponsors SKA Arabia and guides in tow the veterans navigated the route taking us through some of the most breathtaking desert landscapes the world has to offer.
The days were long and often had us digging, winching or pushing but always laughing as we took on higher and higher dunes which stood among the desert flats like giants at a disco. Each evening saw us fire up the BBQ and sit around our camp fire as we recalled stories of the days before. The sound of laughter was a stark contrast to the silence of the desert.
In true veteran fashion, the lads plotted the most direct routes possible which saw us complete the crossing a day ahead of schedule. The men becoming members of a very small club who had attempted and completed the journey.
As if that was not enough, the veterans also came to the rescue of a German Family who had been stranded for 3 days. Some 8 miles from any main track and with little water or food the family had got their hire car stuck in a deep sand bowl with no means to self rescue. It was pure luck that we decided to make camp in the location we did. The veterans dug the vehicle free and winched it clear, guiding the family back to a main track.
We finished in Dubai where we let our hair down and enjoyed the countries food and culture for two days. This was a once in a lifetime expedition and we are incredibly grateful to our main sponsors SKA Arabia who made it possible.
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