It sounds difficult, and you don’t even know. After today I realize that every other race I've ever done has been easy: This is by far the most difficult thing I've ever done, although I'm not talking about the driving. Today it was fine: Yes, we got stuck twice; but not for very long. We have MaxTrax pretty much the best recovery sand ladders in the world.
Instead this rally is emotionally difficult. There is nobody but you and the other Gazelles while you are out there: No chase; no recovery, nada: You have to rely on yourself and the kindness of other Gazelles: There were many many times today when I thought; "We are never going to find this checkpoint: I have only a vague idea where I am on this outdated map. The camels will probably eat my eyeballs when I am dead."
But we found 5 out of 7 checkpoints: You have to go in order and by the time we found 5 we had to leave for the bivouac, our home in the desert:
We are very happy with our results. We were over the as the crow flies distance for the checkpoints by 20 kms I believe. I told my navigator; Sabrina, to not tell me, as I don't want it to, mess with my head. Still many teams only made three points or took themselves out of the ranking by calling for mechanical assistance. (plz edit earlier sentence about no chase to: No chase or recovery unless you want to lose your ranking
A few things I learned today:
A place for everything and everything in its place. Nothing worse than trying to plot your coordinates and being in a constant state of "Where the fuck is my pencil??"
Never ever ever wash your hair in a bivouac shower with Dr Bronner's soap. I pretty much have a giant blond dreadlock now.
When you see the lights of the bivouac shining over the next dune; you know you're home
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