A LYMINGTON woman will celebrate her 60th birthday by battling temperatures of more than 40C as she treks 100km through the Sahara desert.
Alice Smee is in training for her adventure in February when she will walk for five days through Morocco in aid of Dorset disability charity Diverse Abilities.
Alice said: “I signed up because this year I will celebrate turning 60, and I needed a challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone.
“It’s an organised trek, and I chose the Sahara because although it will be challenging, it’s good for people that don’t have a lot of experience.
“When we land in Casablanca, we will travel through the mountain range in southern Morocco to our starting point in the desert. The heat is going to play a big part, and we will basically be in the middle of the desert with no facilities around us at all.
“It will be long old days and hard work on the body walking through deep sand, but fortunately we will have a support team who will make sure we don’t get lost in the dizzying heat.”
Diverse Abilities is the nominated charity for the Highcliffe-based Hoburne group, where Alice works as network coordinator. On top of her regular swimming and cycling, she has been out hiking the undulating Dorset coastline in preparation.
Hoburne chair Rosie Kennar said: “I have known Alice for a long time, and this challenge is very much out of her comfort zone.
“We are all incredibly proud of her and the training she is undertaking. We wish her all the best, and we are very grateful to everyone that is donating to such a wonderful cause.”
Hoburne has raised £5,000 through fundraising activities including bake sales, car washes and quiz nights.
Diverse Abilities events co-ordinator Jon Wheatley said: “This is definitely a unique trekking experience and a great opportunity for those that enjoy walking or just love spectacular views.
“We are so impressed with Alice’s commitment to her training schedule so far and thank her for choosing us as her charity to sponsor.”
To donate go to Alice’s JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Alice-Smee.