Adventurer makes first on foot trek across Arabian desert
An Emirati resident has completed the first on foot journey across the Tropic of Cancer in the UAE after days of unexpected distress.
Max Calderan trekked for 168 hours towards the Omani border in a journey he described as "the absolutely hardest extreme exploration that I have ever accomplished".
Calderan - an experienced adventurer with years of exploration under his belt - said the harsh conditions on the 340km journey forced him to "desperately try to find the last piece of energy within myself to survive".
The explorer scaled soft dunes with heights of 200 metres while encountering unexpected rain, thunder, lightning and sandstorms along his journey.
"It was like I entered something like hell," he said. "After one hour I covered no more than 1km," said Calderan, who was used to covering 80 to 100km a day.
"It was totally dark, going down from these big dunes," he told The National UAE, as he described the rapid decrease in his body temperature.
It wasn't until he came across his own fading footprints after hours of walking that he began to show signs of breaking down.
"I started to cry. I was thinking, no, no, no. I'm too tired, maybe I'm hallucinating," he said. "I started to pray."
But the traveller was also just a few miles from medical and emergency support with four cars monitoring from a distance.
Albert Mahesh, a member of the support team described Calderan's mental fitness as "beyond explanation".
"We have four cars, all the safety equipment we require, water, food, warm clothing, and we meet him in the morning after stormy weather and he's like 'how are you guys, are you alright?' Incredible is not the word."