HE braved sandstorms and even rain as he walked 160 miles across salt plains, sand dunes and dry river beds.

A Southampton dock worker traded ships for camels as he walked across the Sahara Desert for charity.

Nick Antony Thomas has raised more than £3,100 for testicular and prostate cancer research at the Institute of Cancer Research.

The 43-year-old, of Westfield Road, Regents Park, Southampton, joined 20 other walkers, three guides and ten camels when he took part in the nine-day trek following the Algerian and Moroccan border.

The group endured temperatures of up to 30C in the day and down to freezing at night.

They walked for eight hours a day, slept in tents, cooked food on an open fire and went without a phone signal for the duration of the trip.

Nick said: “It was quite extreme. I missed the technology. It was just little things like not being able to flip the kettle on for a cup of tea and having to boil water on the fire instead. It was so back to basics that it was a bit scary.

“I don’t think anyone imagined that you wouldn’t have a phone signal out there.

“It’s just a personal achievement. My daughters and my wife are proud and happy with the sponsorship.”

His wife, Sarah, 38, a beauty therapist said: “I’m very proud of him. He was helping people carry their bags and pitching tents too. He’s like that.

“I was really depressed while he was away. I just couldn’t get hold of him and it was awful.”

It is not the first time Nick has challenged himself to do something for charity.

In 2009, the dad-of-two climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

And he’s already planning his next adventure for a few years time – a trek across the Peruvian Andes.

For more information or to donate, visit justgiving.com/nick-antony-thomas.