By Helene Clemenson
By Helene Clemenson
Morocco World News
Erfoud, Morocco, March 28, 2013
The girls were lucky to drive through such a beautiful scenery on Wednesday. Longer than usual, this 209 km long race took them to lunar landscapes that Moroccan gazelles had never seen before. The road went through a huge plateau before reaching the pass known as the “circus” at the end of the afternoon.
After winding paths they accessed to the top of a mount which overlooks a crater whose origins no one knows. In its center there a huge circular plate behind which the sun sets. Once crossed, the path led to the oasis of T’agonit paved with rice paddies and ponds.
This endurance test had no real difficulties for Moroccan crews even though fatigue begins to settle, which is more than normal after 6 days of racing and the prologue. 12 daily hours of driving, the physical involvement of competition, lack of sleep, extreme conditions … all those elements are combined to slow the progression of teams.
But the rugged terrain on some segments of today’s race has damaged the vehicles. Dounia and Abla, after a flawless start, suffered a flat tire.
Normally it is the easiest part to change on a car but not this time. Their jack wasn’t long enough to do the trick. Thankfully, Bénédicte and Jamila were close and came to their rescue.
Crew number 193 spent nearly 3 and a half hours looking for the fifth beacon. Between illusions and hallucinations, they drove in circles like disoriented gazelles. But it did not prevent them from validating them all and making their way to the camp before nightfall.
Despite tire problems, they have also been able to validate everything. A change from the nightmares of the last few days.
All crews agree that, despite the fatigue, they took time to enjoy the scenery of the day. today they will all leave for the second marathon of this rally. It will be a full moon and they will probably enjoy a beautiful a starry sky in the dunes of Shegaga tomorrow. The adventure almost reaches its end but the marathon will be the ultimate test of strength, concentration and perseverance. They are overwrought and apprehend the return to their daily lives. Between competition, the joy of being in such an event and the pride, they will have to be the best in the worst conditions so far.
Either you are a gazelle … or you’re not!
Edited by Louise Riondel
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