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Spalding police officer smashes Sahara Desert challenge




A Spalding police officer had the experience of a lifetime by trekking through the Sahara Desert while also raising thousands of pounds for a good cause.

Sarah Draper scaled sand dunes in heats reaching 46C during the day and spent the nights watching shooting stars during her five-day adventure in one of the most unforgiving landscapes on earth.

She was part of a 26-strong group to trek 100km in a circular route around the Sahara to raise a total of £66,458 for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356536)
Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356536)

Sarah, who raised a fantastic £3,764.19 towards that total, said: "It was a trip of a lifetime and far better than I had expected.

"By far and away it was the best trip I have everhad and I would definitely do something like this again.

"Everyone on the trip has become really close and are friends for life.

Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356531)
Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356531)

"I am so grateful for the donations and it shows the importance of the air ambulance to local people."

After flying out to Marrakech, Sarah and the group travelled through the Atlas Mountains before arriving at the starting point.

The group had been told to expect heats of up to 30C during the day but temperatures reached 46C - which was the hottest September for 40 years.

Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356539)
Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356539)

Sarah,who walked through a sand strom, said: "I stayed well covered up and just carried on walking."

One of the highlights of the trip was when the team scaled the 1,900ft sand dune,Erg Zaher to watch the sun set over the desert.

She said: "I had never seen anything like it.

Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356542)
Sarah Draper in the Sahara desert (23356542)

"The skies were amazing as there is no light pollution. Here you rarely see a shooting star but there they were shooting all over."

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