The Grenadier Walk of Oman. Day 7:The UK, Oman and Wilfred Thesiger.
As the Grenadier Walk of Oman continue their incredible journey across the green hills in the UK, the landscape around them is a far cry from vast desert plains in Oman. That said, the team have shown true grit and determination and they are taking the new expedition in their stride. But why did we choose Oman as the original destination for our 6th expedition?
As mentioned in previous blog posts, the UK has a long-shared history with Oman which stretches back as far as 1798. Fast forward to the modern day and the British Armed Forces regularly conduct training for Armed Forces personnel in the country because the desert conditions provide the perfect training ground. In fact, the conditions were used to help the military train for active service in Afghanistan and to this day, the UK government maintains a military presence in Oman and the Middle East.
Aside from our military connections, the vast deserts of Oman have also drawn many adventurers from around the world, including Sir Wilfred Thesiger, a British Army Officer, who ventured across The Empty Quarter (the goal of many Arabian explorers) between 1945 and 1950, documenting his travels and mapping the area and the lives of the Bedu. During his adventures across Oman, he was accompanied by two Bedu companions and experienced the true hardships and tribulations of desert living. From long marches to hunger and thirst, the burning sun during the day and the bitter cold at night.
Whilst The Grenadier Walk of Oman team have swapped the desert for the rolling hills in the UK, they too will experience challenges along the way. From battling against the British weather, fighting physical ailments like blisters and tired feet to picking each other up when the going gets tough. They are also taking on the same planned distance of 400kms but will complete this phenomenal distance in just half the time. The landscape might be different, but the challenge remains the same. This is no easy feat. The team are walking to raise awareness of issues facing those who served, from mental health to physical health and to show that what can be achieved when you put mind over matter.
“No, it is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worthwhile the journey.”
― Wilfred Thesiger
Find out how WWTW supports those who served.