x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Women's 8,000km bike trip reaches Dubai

Trip intended to raise awareness about impact of climate change.

Tilly Gillford, who is cycling her way to India from the UK, rests in Dubai on Friday. Charles Crowell for The National
Tilly Gillford, who is cycling her way to India from the UK, rests in Dubai on Friday. Charles Crowell for The National

DUBAI // Two women who have been on an 8,000km bicycle trip from the UK to India are about to start the final leg of their trek from Dubai.

Tilly Gifford, 27, and Luciee Ranjahan, 25, who both work on different farms in Scotland began their adventure on March 21.

They set off on their route as a way of raising awareness about the impact of climate change on farmers around the world.

Their trip has taken them from London via the English Channel to France and then to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Iran and now, by sea, to the UAE.

"It's been a fantastic experience so far and seeing the countries we have been to has been a real eye opener," said Ms Gifford, who works on an organic farm near Glasgow.

On average the two women aim to cycle about 100km a day or about seven hours daily.

However, since their arrival in the UAE they have managed a two-hour morning ride from Sharjah Airport into Dubai on Friday.

"It is very hot in the UAE and we are also fasting because it is Ramadan so it is a real challenge to cycle here," said Ms Gifford.

They are trying to find a boat to ferry them to India, where they hope to work on a farm.

"It could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks because going by sea is a lot less common now due to flights. Dubai is a pretty amazing place. It's not like anywhere else we have been on our journey."

They decided to take the sea route from Iran to the UAE instead of going through Afghanistan and Pakistan because of safety concerns .

Ms Ranjahan, a Jamaican national, decided to take part in the journey after learning of Ms Gifford's plans.

"It's been an amazing experience so far and now that we are so close to India it's very exciting," she said.

 

nhanif@thenational.ae