Anisa al Raisi, who is currently completing the YallaGo expedition from Musandam to Mirbat all on her own, since her UK companion (Dr Natalie Taylor) had to leave the expedition last week due to a leg injury, is confident of continuing steadfastly till the end.
Speaking to Muscat Daily while on her trek out of the desert, Anisa said, “Unfortunately, Natalie tripped down a dune and pulled a harmstring which would need medical treatment and 2-4weeks rest. But she was lucky to get back to the UK at the nick of time before our borders were shut following news about a new strain of the coronavirus in the UK,” she said, adding, “I’m happy that she can spend Christmas with her family but for me, it continues, And as I am walking, I can see the mountains of Dhofar looming ahead of me on the horizon and I will enter there soon.” The support team would now say goodbye to her and proceed to Salalah to make preparations for the closing ceremony ahead of her reaching there.
Walking was the easy part
While in Salalah, Anisa will be inviting people to join her for the last stretch of 10km to the finish line. She has all volunteers to bring along the Omani and UK flag which she has promised Natalie to take to the finish line to celebrate a successful collaboration of two cultures with this expedition.
Acknowledging that Natalie and she, both shared a good understanding and rapport throughout the expedition, she said they both are taking very strong learning points with them to share with the youth of their respective countries and have them relate to these. “Walking was the easy part of the expedition while the post expedition follow up of sharing information would be the more difficult part,” she quipped.
Two crows followed us…
About being alone on the last leg, Anisa said, “Honestly, I’m quite enjoying being alone, though I miss Natalie and her company. But I do enjoy the serenity of the moment when I’m alone with nothing around me. I’m enjoying taking my time through my beautiful country, appreciating almost every rock on the way, looking at how the terrain changes every hour, the sand, the plants, the animals,” she said, adding, “We’ve had two crows following us all the way from Buraimi and we’ve even named them as Ibn Batuta and Bertram Thomas (the Moroccan and English explorers, respectively). They’ve, too, done most of the expedition with us and need to be given credit.”
The entire journey through varied terrain has been quite challenging for the duo as well as for the support team travelling in landrovers, she said hoping that the rest of the journey would be free of any eventualities.
In view of Natalie’s injury, she said they did have contingency plans in place in case any of them were to get injured. If the injury was minor they would take it in their stride but if it necessitated them to take test, they had planned to do by making up for it on other days. Hence, though the plan was to cover 25km per day, they were doing almost 30km per day so that they could get a day’s rest in between every leg. So, if any them needed even 5 days rest, they could take it without disturbing the duration of the 50-day expedition, she disclosed.
“We spoke about the contingencies of what would be the scenario if we had to stop the expedition. We also discussed that if anyone of us would lose our life midway then the expedition would have to be stopped. Or if anything would happen to our close relatives, then we would have to return halfway. We are happy that our support team and the Ministry of Defence have taken very good care of us,” she said.