x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Adventurers close to end of the road

Explorer Adrian Hayes and his team will arrive in Al Ain today as part of their 1,500-kilometre trek.

The British adventurer Adrian Hayes is days away from completing a 1,500-kilometre desert trek.

Today, the 45-day expedition is expected to arrive at Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain about 3pm, before arriving in the capital to complete the trip on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Hayes, who began his journey from Salalah in Oman on October 30, is recreating the desert crossings of the explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger in the 1940s.

He is accompanied by two Emirati army officers and their team of seven camels. They have travelled more than 1,200km so far, averaging between 40km and 45km each 11-hour day.

Mr Hayes said the team had relied on the hospitality of villagers who invited them into their homes and provided food.

"We have been welcomed with open arms by everyone we have encountered on this trip," he said. "One of the highlights was seeing the Empty Quarter, a beautiful but brutal place. I have even more respect and admiration for Thesiger now."

The team arrived in the UAE at the end of last month. On National Day the adventurers took part in celebrations in Al Gharbia.

The men are equipped with only necessities including a compass, knife, rifle and medical kit.

The trek is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. Members of the public are invited to welcome the explorers today between 3pm and 5pm.

jthomas@thenational.ae