The Gobi is Asia’s largest desert. From May to July 2011, former Milngavie Primary School pupil Faraz Shibli intends to trek its entire length – 1,000 miles (1,600 km) – with an international expedition team.
During the journey, Faraz will potentially face severe dust storms and sandstorms, heat stroke, extreme temperature fluctuations, blizzards, equipment failure and injury. He’ll cover an average of almost 20 miles per day for around two months over rough terrain and in sweltering heat, living and sleeping in the desert.
Whilst the UK doesn’t look likely to experience a heat wave any time soon, Faraz is making the most of the recent extreme winter weather by training outdoors in the snow and ice. Most weekends, he can be found up a hill with a heavy rucksack, often dragging car tyres behind him for good measure.
Faraz, who used to live on Dougalston Avenue, was a member of the 20th Glasgow (1st Milngavie) Cub Scouts, played hockey for Western and sailed at Auchenhowie. Having since moved to London, he still visits occasionally, most recently to walk part of the West Highland Way with friends.
Whilst in the Gobi Desert, Faraz and the team, led by renowned desert explorer Ripley Davenport, will be filming a documentary about the lives of the indigenous people, the environment and the expedition journey.
They’ll also be followed by schools worldwide that they’ve linked up with and that will incorporate Mongolia, its people, history, culture, geography and environment and the expedition journey into their curriculums. For more information on their schools project, to see what schools have signed up so far and to register a school, click here.
The trek is in aid of Edurelief, a charity that helps poorer Mongolian families to purchase textbooks for their children that they would be otherwise unable to afford themselves.