Dakar, formerly known as Paris-Dakar, is a off-road rally for cars, trucks, ATV’s and motorcycles. Originally it went from Paris to Dakar, but in 2009, after security problems in Africa they moved the race to Latin America. The location changed, the name remained the same. It was good news for me to see that Dakar, literally, came to my doorstep 4 years ago. I have always been intrigued by either fast cars or adventurous races, such as the Camel Trophy and the Paris-Dakar race. But actually seeing these cars driving past my house, made me want more.
It comes as a big surprise to see that there is hardly any publicity in Capital, and that many people have never heard of the race, although this is the 4th edition that starts in Argentina. It was only when I checked the internet to check when the technical controls took place that I saw that this years edition does not leave from Capital but from Mar del Plata. So that is where we went, this time with a specific goal : to meet the Belgian team. Not that I am so Belgium-minded, as you probably might have guessed (hehe). But our guests had brought the press kit and knew all about the team, had already been in contact with them and even had their contact details, so there was no way around it. Off we went. All 8 of us in the car, heading 400 km south, together with the thousands of other Porteños who were starting their holidays at the seaside. We were not alone…
We met the Belgian Feryn team by coincidence when driving into the city of Mar del Plata -they have an easy recognisable truck- and we were able to have a nice and interesting talk with them. Nine really nice guys, going for their passion, full of energy to start off this tiring and exhausting race, that is so much fun that they will put up with about anything. Driving for hours and hours without stopping and without changing drivers. Having to shovel, shovel, and shovel even more. Lack of sleep. Heat (they have no air conditioning and drive through the desert in the midst of summer). Are they crazy? They probably must be, at least a little bit.
Anyway, my admiration grew, the race now has a face to me. I will follow them through Facebook, twitter and their website, but besides that, I think I will stick to the dunes of Cariló. With an ATV. For a few hours. Maybe once a year. That will do for me.
this is the official site , as all the Feryn-sites are in Flemish 🙂