Before we highlight the achievements of our teams this week, we couldn’t open our diary without acknowledging the amazing feat of endurance that Emma carried out yesterday, Saturday 11th.
She took part in the ‘3 Lochs Ultra‘ a long-distance endurance walk through some of the most beautiful but toughest scenery in the Scottish highlands. In only 20 hours Emma walked 49 miles, starting at Luss, on Loch Lomond, then over to Gare Loch, then on to Loch Long. She climbed a total of 7,000 feet through the Arrochar Alps (to give a sense of scale, the most iconic peak in the Arrochar Alps, though not the tallest, is Ben Arthur (known as ‘The Cobbler’, and it alone is 2,900 feet high) and descended to the end of the trail back onto Loch Lomond at Tarbet – only 10 miles from where she began! What a great achievement. Emma, we’re very proud of you!! And not only that, her 3 Lochs Ultra has so far raised over £500 for World Medicine – and by adding the miles to her Chaparda Challenge it’s catapulted the peacocks well into Iran!
As we’ve mentioned team peacock, let’s begin the diary this week with them. Since crossing the border they’ve made amazing progress, and are now well past the town of Tabriz, an ancient city on the wonderful Silk Road. Tabriz has a population of more than 1.7 million so it’s not only ancient but bustling and modern as well. How ancient, you may ask? Well, for some scholars, biblical clues and archaeological evidence puts the city’s Ajichay river as being the river that flows out from the Garden of Eden. That puts Tabriz at the gates of paradise!
Tabriz has the most wonderful and amazing Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest in the Middle East, and the largest roofed bazaar anywhere in the world. A sight to behold, for sure, and a worthy UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a city famous for Azeri culture, stunning carpets, teahouse bath-houses, the beautiful Blue Mosque and Armenian Christian churches visited and chronicled by Marco Polo.
I’m not sure the peacocks hung around too long to see all that’s on offer in Tabriz, which is a pity. They end the week far to the south, in the shadow of the stunning Mt Belqeys, heading for Tehran.
In Turkey the wee monkeys and the snow leopards continue through the Pontic mountains, 40 miles apart. The wee monkeys are in the valley that runs alongside the Kılıçkaya Dam and reservoir, an enormous hydro electric scheme providing electricity for most of the region. The snow leopards, meanwhile, are in the mountain pass that leads them up and over towards Erzincan. We’ll visit there next week all being well, but for now, there’s not much to distract the wee monkeys and snow leopards, so we’ll let them plod on, perhaps dreaming of the many varieties of kebab found in that country that gives its name to the delicacy!
In Hungary, the tigers have reached the small town of Csém, a good base for museum visiting. To the south there is the Kocsimúzeum, or carriage museum, dedicated to the variety of horse-drawn carriages that the region is famous for. To the north, on the banks of the River Danube, is the Komáromi erődrendszer, the largest fortification system in Central Europe, while on the other shore of the Danube is the Kelemantia, an ancient Roman Fort that is well preserved. Those culture-vulture tigers are spoiled for choice this week…!
At the end of the week we’ve added 449 miles to our tally, and thanks to the massive effort of Emma we’ve also added £476 to our fundraising, bringing the total raised so far to £2,138.
Well done everyone, but especially Emma, for going above and beyond the call.
Have a great week everyone…!