Mark Gillett

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Posts Tagged ‘Desert

Morocco Magic, Mohamad, and Chez Max

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I have visited Morocco many times in the last 10 years and each time it brings beautiful surprises, more great people, peace and shere awesomeness.

My latest trip was no different except the madness of my previous trip was exchanged for some more leisurely and exploring activities. I booked a car through Carrental Ltd who were so pleasant to deal with unlike those detestable mass booking sites. Ghizlane was actually a human being who dealt with me on the phone and greeted me at the airport with the car.

Arriving felt so warm. Obviously the weather was but the feel of Morocco and the hospitality is so comforting. After the usual queues at the customs and the officers deciding its time to chat with a colleague in the next booth, I got through to the arrivals lounge in about 45 minutes. The smell of North African and Middle Eastern countries is unique and it always takes me back to my first visits in the early 80’s to Abu Dhabi. Morocco is not different. The only infuriating bit is the way these countries are portrayed in the media or by ignorant beings who rarely step out of their little worlds even when travelling to them. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Marathon Des Sables Time

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MDS Dunes

The Desert – Somewhere to Enjoy

I am sure there are many of you out there starting to get a little nervous about your last 12 weeks before the start of your MDS. I know exactly where you are at so just keep believing and training up to departure. Remember that tapering is no use, gathering calories does not work, go light, pack light and take the food you need. You have everything else to succeed and no reason to fail. You have water, shelter and food. The rest is in your head! Here is a little piece just published.. Good luck!!

http://www.sidetracked.com/marathon-des-sables/

Mark

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January 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Big Ask!

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Some of you will have read about YES 2014. Its a part of what I do and I give my time for six months to hopefully make a difference to 12 young peoples lives. I can’t do it regularly because its all consuming and I do not want tomake business out of it. The cost for 12 children to go is around £40,000 and I am reaching out to anyone who might be able help. Very soon we will have a giving page but in the mean time I am looking for one or two people who might like to underwrite this in its entirety. I meet many people who could afford this but the key to wanting to help is, if you feel a connection to helping? Basically the youth today are the future and will be here long after we are gone.. They will be making decisions that will correct a lot of what we have done wrong in our time. This is why its close to me. Please read the info on our FB page, share it or send to someone who might help. If you want more information please private message me.

Or call me on +447973 690087

https://www.facebook.com/pages/YES-2014/697106353641124

Written by markgillett

December 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

Youth Expedition 2014

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OX1A9491-1We have now set up the third YES expedition which will take place in 2014. Its been on the boil for a couple of years now and because of the success of the first two, I have been keen to run another.

There is a difference this time in that we are not solely working with bereaved youths or charities. We are now reaching out to any young person who might have a history or that has experienced a disruptive development or teenage years, no matter what. There are so many young people today affected by environment, parents, divorce, food, drugs, gangs, you name it, its out there. We live in a world that throws so much crap at us from an early age and then tries to make us feel better with a few gadgets and toys.. YES is a whole lot more that. It offers its participants the chance to get away from the environment they are currently in. It throws some huge challenges along the way and most importantly the desert does its “stuff” and gives us all a chance to reset. A little like re formatting your hard drive, re installing the operating software and then getting on with work.. Only YES is in a life sense.OX1A9242

Go to our Facebook page to find out more and if you really are interested, contact me through any of these platforms for an initial chat.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/YES-2014/697106353641124

Twitter @YESDESERT2014

 

Marathon des Sables 2013

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This is now my 7th Marathon des Sables and as usual it was very unique. The format was slightly changed which disturbed a few people but I think this will settle down soon and people will accept it in its new form. But this was just a tiny part of the MDS. What really makes this race is the people and the colour they bring each year. The emotions were running fully from start to end.

Stage 2 was one of the toughest I have seen for a while and the heat really kicked in from stage 3 reach the high forties in the sun. Sometimes fifties. The race provided many faces as usual. Some of sheer pain and some of sheer joy but all full of a human’s most powerful emotions.

As a photographer this year I was extremely busy but no more or less than normal. We could not get out much during the race but over the next few days I will be able to catch up with some specific stories, write my press articles and get back in touch with some of those beautiful times of the last 7 days.

If this is a race that is in your mind to do, dont hold back. Go to http://www.marathondessables.co.uk and sign up. I believe anyone can do this race but there has to be a want.

Here are a few images from the week..

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Oman, Truly Raw.

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We are all now back from Oman and the filming project. New Year has passed and the tree will come down this weekend. We also have a puppy to collect! ha…

This last week in Muscat and nearby places has been more beautiful than I could have imagined. The work element was just a privilege and over the next two weeks you will see some of the work released. Other bits you unfortunately will not see but I can assure you it was very special and very beautiful.

But as usual it was not the work or place, alone that made it so special but the people who I was with, met and reunited with that gave me so many memories that photography and filming can never do justice to to. I have always advocated that a photographer does not need a camera or video. Its more about what you “notice” and not what you see or capture.. The camera is just a tool to share that beauty.

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Emily and Becky

My daughter was blown away. A little scared at first when we wandered the souk for the staring eyes unsettled her. But not for long as we talked to shopkeepers and photographed our way with ease. She began to relax until we had a chai in a shop that maybe alone she would not have dreamt of entering…. I chatted to two Bangladeshi men who were delightful and we ordered some bites to eat. More and more Emily and her friend Becky could see the peace and respect that the people had for each other as well as themselves. How friendly everyone is. But also how the staring is merely an inquisitive nature that we all possess when presented with something so different before our eyes…

We met with some old friends who hosted us one evening…… This was one of my most memorable times this last week.

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Royal Race Day – Backstage

Our filming also allowed us many privileges. We filmed horses running in the sea at sunrise, rehearsals of the Royal Cavalry for the Royal Race Day and were permitted access to a different part of Oman. A part equally beautiful, and equally friendly and trusting. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

Cairo Ramblings Continued

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My time in Cairo has come to an end. I spent my last day wandering the city again. I have to say I had no desire to visit some of the sights that I perhaps should have but the real city life is what I wanted to see.

I caught my bus to the centre, got a short taxi ride, then walked most of the day. I found myself never going more than a kilometre or so before stopping for a tea, or shwarma.

Streets of Hussein Azhar

Streets of Hussein Azhar

I then found myself talking to some great people…

One shopkeeper told me how slow the business is right now. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 14, 2012 at 12:46 am