Two city girls are preparing to conquer Gobi desertNews — By The Desk on April 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM
Sakaal Times: Buoyed by a spirit of adventure, two city girls are preparing to conquer Asia’s largest 1600-km Gobi desert that is known for its hostile climatic conditions.
While the days in Gobi desert are extremely hot and nights chilling, and the sandstorms and absence of human habitation for miles together would be a deterrent for even the most strong-hearted to undertake such a journey, Sucheta Kadethankar and Nalanda Joglekar are raring to go.
The duo, probably the first from the country to undertake the arduous expedition, will join an international team of 13 trekkers, who plan to cover this mammoth distance on foot over a period of 60 days.
The expedition is scheduled to begin on May 25. The girls hope to walk 35 to 40 km every day and will be guided by Ripley Davenport, an ace desert explorer and mountaineer.
Speaking to Sakal Times Sucheta said, “Adventure sports has enthralled me since childhood and I like extreme climatic conditions. I have witnessed heavy snowfall during my expeditions to the Mount Everest base camps, but have not experienced desert climate so far and I am very excited for the expedition to start.”
She said her companions for the expedition are stalwarts in the field and she was looking forward to learning a lot from them. “I believe practice makes one perfect, so I have been running marathons including Delhi, Mumbai and the Pune half marathon,” Sucheta said, adding that she had taken to walking and cycling when the sun is at its peak since the past six months in order to prepare herself for the harsh climate of the desert. She has also been doing strength training exercises.
“All the physical and mental preparation from my side for the trek is complete,” she says. Nalanda is equally eager to embark on the expedition. “The aim of this expedition for me is to illustrate, inspire and interact. I always like to challenge my beliefs and I see this as a perfect example where I can challenge myself. Also, I am a photography enthusiast and I will get a lot of opportunities to add to my collection,” she says, adding that she was also excited about “experiencing something new and different in life”.
Nalanda informed that as part of the expedition, the team had raised funds for the development of children in Mongolia and have already contributed over 700 dollars for the cause. “We will also be providing our first-hand experience and photographs to schools. So, in a way, I am happy that I am contributing to the society through my campaign,” she says.