Highlights of the Lut Desert crossing
- World’s first commercial team to trek across the Lut Desert
- Original exploration in a newly UNESCO-nominated region
- Meteorites were spotted and vast starry skies had zero light pollution
- Salt plains, kalut rock formations and star dunes were explored
- A contemporary visit to a place visited by Marco Polo in 1271
- 2016 Facts: 30 Oct – 12 Nov, 14 days, £2,999 all incl. except flights
Secret Compass expedition leader Luca Alfatti, a former ‘Wanderlust Guide of the Year’, led the 11-strong team on this physically demanding world-first desert traverse.
Alfatti said, “In my long guiding career, our team’s success in Iran’s Lut Desert is one of my most memorable experiences. The team bonded incredibly well, progress was good if demanding and our only niggles were with the inevitable blisters.”
Co-leader Greg Coe added, “As a tip for next year, team mates wearing Alt-Berg desert boots fared the best, avoiding the serious blisters suffered by others. I’d personally recommend that anyone undertaking an arduous, multi-day desert expedition buy appropriate, desert-specific boots.”
Diplomatic relations easing
Tom McShane, operations director at Secret Compass, said, “With diplomatic relations easing between Iran and the West, travel to the region is likely to increase with Iran on many ‘emerging travel destinations’ lists for 2016.
“Secret Compass aims to carry out pioneering and often world-first expedition aims in the world’s wildest places. The isolated and remote Lut Desert was therefore an ideal expedition staging zone.
“Other Secret Compass world-firsts include being the first commercial expedition company to pioneer tourism into South Sudan and to cross Madagascar coast to coast, and the first to organise mountain biking in both Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and to Ethiopia’s highest peak.”
Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “With our ex-military background, we offer adventurous expeditions to countries eschewed by most due to their remoteness, post-conflict reputations or inaccessibility. They’re not tours, they’re a real challenge and they’re what adventurous travellers increasingly want.
“On Thursday 26 Nov 2016, we’re thrilled to host an ‘Iran: Audience with Adventure’ event in Bristol. There’ll be a director’s screening of Iran adventure film ‘Karun’, followed by a Q&A with an expert panel including director Tom Allen, motorbike adventure author Lois Pryce and National Geographic journalist Mark Stratton, who was on our world-first Iran expedition.”
For 2016, Secret Compass expedition and adventure travel destinations include Afghanistan, Armenia, Burma, Ethiopia, Gabon, Iran, Kurdistan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Panama, Siberia and the Sinai desert. Activities range from mixed-terrain trekking and minimalist desert traverses, to mountain-biking and horseback expeditions.
The link to Secret Compass’s ‘Iran: Desert Stars and Solitude’ expedition film is here. For further press information on Secret Compass expeditions in 2016, contact Kerry O’Neill.
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