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Bournemouth man completes 100km Sahara trek for brain cancer charity

A man from Bournemouth has completed a 100km trek through the Sahara Desert in aid of The Brain Tumour charity.

Peter Lappin, who is 56, had to turn his life around from self-admittedly avoiding walking as much as possible, to training at home for weeks ahead of the challenge in the Sahara desert.

He took part in the challenge with a team of people also raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity at the end of February.

The team planned to fly from the UK to Casablanca, before getting on a second flight to a place called Ouazazate, which is known as the 'gateway to the Sahara'.

However the flight from Casablanca was cancelled, so they were forced to spend a night in the city, and fly to the Sahara the next day.

The delay meant they lost a whole day of walking - cutting the time to complete the challenge from five days to just four.

Peter said:

"We arrived late into Ouazazate on the Sunday, and bearing in mind it's a six-hour four-by-four ride to get to the start of the walk, we totally lost the first day, which meant if we were to do the 100 kilometres we had to do it in four days not five."

Peter's view of the sand dunes during the trip.

During the trip, Peter and the team encountered a lot of tough terrain including volcanic rock and high ledges.

Speaking of the views Peter said:

"The scenery is just amazing.

"Obviously everybody has this traditional idea of what the Sahara looks like, me included you know, it's just miles and miles and miles of sand dunes.

"In fact, yeah, there are a lot of sand dunes, but there's also a lot of other features, plains, there's a huge amount of volcanic rock there which is quite difficult to walk over, some very very high ridges.

"You get up to some heights and you're looking out over the plains and it's like being on top of the world, it's absolutely amazing."

Peter and the team taking in the desert views.

Despite the initial setback, the team managed to complete the 100km walk in just four days, and Peter raised around £6,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.

On attempting to tackle the full length of the trek, Peter said:

"It was interesting because everyone was quite tired of course, we were all going into the big unknown, so at that point we hadn't discussed it.

"It wasn't until the second day that we had done a fair mileage, but the question came up with the guys on whether we were going to do the 100k or not.

"Pretty unanimously we all said well, that's what we said we're going to do, that's what we've been sponsored for, so that's what we're going to do, so the last two days we had to extend the miles out, so yeah the last two days were pretty tough I'd say."

Peter and the team at the end of the challenge.

Peter said:

"Brain tumours don't get the press that they should, and for us awareness is really, really important.

"Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of adults and children under 40, but only 2 per cent of research funds go towards trying to find a cure, so it's really important that people are out there raising money for this."

You can hear more from Peter here:

You can support Peter's fundraiser by donating online here.



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