Explorers Connect

Morocco For Musclar Dystrophy

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

On the 18th June 2011 four of us (myself Matt Fox and 3 friends: Geoff Sherring, Paul Kelly and Pirate) will leave the United Kingdom on Dual Sport Motorbikes heading to the Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. The journey there and back will take 3 weeks and we will have to endure long days in the saddle (covering 1800 miles in the first 3 days), searing heat (up to 50 degrees in the Moroccan summer) and most dangerous of all border customs.

Our journey of almost 6000 miles begins in Bristol, from there we will ride to Dover before catching a ferry to Calais and from Calais we have 3 very long days (600 miles each day) to get to Algericas in the south of Spain. When we arrive in Spain we have a little time to carry out emergency repairs. Then we board the ferry in Morocco (we have allow a full day to get through the border) and from there we continue south to the town of Midelt from where we will cross the Atlas Mountains for the first time. Over the next 7 days we will ride 1000 miles dirt road and piste and then ride back to Bristol. Experiencing the culture and hospitality of rural Morocco will be a once in lifetime experience. For regular updates I have set up a blog which i aim to update with our progress and preparations: http://mudandknobblies.blogspot.com

Why the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign? More than 70,000 people in the UK have muscle disease; it can affect anyone and conditions can be inherited or occur out of the blue where there is no family history. There are currently no cures for any of these conditions. I am very lucky to be married to a very special lady, who is a genetic carrier of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and has recently been diagnosed as a Manifesting Carrier of DMD. This means that she has some of the symptoms of DMD in a much milder form than people suffering from the disease. The quality of life for a child with DMD is far from normal and they will have a short life expectancy.