Scotland to Sahara: Hello Africa

12 January 2011

Aberdeen GP Dr Andrew Murray hopes to to raise £100,000 for the Yamaa Trust, a charity that tackles poverty in Mongolia, and for which he volunteers as medical director by running from Scotland to the Sahara.

Aberdeen GP Dr Andrew Murray

Aberdeen GP Dr Andrew Murray

I reached Africa today, after 64 days and 2,168 miles. I’m in Tetouan in the north of Morocco. It’s an incredible feeling reaching another country and continent especially given how different Morocco is to Europe.

I racked up 261 miles averaging 37 miles a day last week trying to make the ferry times work at Algeciras so am fairly knackered today. That said those miles were done in the south of Spain, which is just incredible. Hills, valleys, pigs, and waterfalls everywhere, there cant be many more scenic places to run in the world.

The run down from Ronda to the coast was especially amazing, and would be class on a bike also if anyone is in the area. All this means that if mountains don’t completely take me down, then I’ll finish a few days earlier than my planned upper limit of 85 days.

Met some great folk this week, including hooking up with Volker and Encarna, who showed us some Spanish (mostly pork based) delicacies.

Mum and dad have taken command of the campervan, and one of the first tasks was the ferry to Spain. Have just been to an awesome fish restaurant in Tetouan, and am spending tomorrow climbing into the Rif Mountains… amazing.

One of the big attractions of the trip was Morocco, and it won’t disappoint. Looking at the route is sending a few tingles down my Achilles tendons, with several passes over 2,000 metres, and just mind boggling scenery.

Another couple of reasons I think I managed a big week just gone, was the real momentum of people doing special things for the Yamaa trust. Some of these include Karen Smith and Anne Mcsherry raising huge support and awareness (and funds), Ian Reilly coaching tennis for the Yamaa trust and starting a Melrose running crew.

Wendy Reeves having a cake sale and Vivergo fuels AGAIN showing their massive support by auctioning a Cristiano Ronaldo shirt, raising £800. If anyone out there has any ideas, please let us know, and we’ll try to help out as much as we can. It’s an awesome cause. It’s also brilliant to know that Dave Scott and a fellow Yamaa trust trustee will be getting themselves out to the Sahara to cheer me on. Dave also heads up Sandbaggers, one of my principal sponsors, and what he doesn’t know about kit/ deserts is minimal.

To donate via text, text S2S to 70700. This will donate £5 to the Yamaa Trust. Text costs £5 plus network charge. Yamaa Trust receives at least £4.45.

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