Day 6 – Dakar Rally
Saturday 6th April
An easy start as wheels rolling was not until 9am, an hour later than usual. Breakfast in the auberge, pack and ready to go. It was really good to have two nights in a proper bed, real food and total relaxation. Now we are already to get back on the road.
Well, there was a road for the first few miles which took us to Rissani for supplies and a coffee. From there is was more road, leading to tracks, leading to desert tracks and sand.
The highlight of the drive today was a 30 mile full on dash across the sand. We were given a point to aim for, a gap in the mountains, and we were off; as fast or as slow as you liked. For me this started sensibly at a steady 20 to 30 miles and hour and then because the ground was flat and solid I put my foot down hitting a 65 mile an hour top speed; which on sand is probably a little too fast. Five or six of us set off, clouds of dust rising in our wake. Several dropped out leaving Bill in the lead, followed by Scooby and then me. Unfortunately about two thirds of the way across the ground changed to rough stone with steep sided ruts. I don’t know about my car, but both Bill and Scooby managed to get daylight under their tyres on more than one occasion, which is some going in a 110!! After a while the rough levelled and we were off again finally to be confronted by deep soft sand. Speed and momentum took us straight through, although there was a lot of sliding about to contend with.
It wasn’t really a race, but Bill was 1st, I was second and Scooby third.
Having calmed down after the exileration of the drive, probably the fastest since leaving Spain, we checked over the vehicles to ensure there was no damage. My car seems fine, however every storage box is broken!
Tonight we are camping at Auberge Oasis Mharech which is somewhere between a dried up lake called Daya-el-Maider and a village called Oum-Jrane, very close to the Algerian boarder. For further information they have a website: www.elmharech.com. In times past this was a stop over for the Dakar Rally and is still used for similar events today.