Words: Bob Bergman Photos: As specified (editing by Richard Seck) Editing: Rob Harris Copy editing: Courtney Hay
Welcome to Bob Bergman’s 2005 Dakar Diaries – a daily account of this Canadian’s adventures in last year’s Dakar Rally. In order to maximize the diary effect, we’re going to post a day of it at a time, with each day coinciding with this year’s Dakar (that is happening right now in Africa).
Below is the current list of updates, which will be added to daily.
Note – If you missed the CMG profile of Bob, click here.
Introductions and getting sorted
Posted: Friday, 30th December 2005
|SCRUTINEERING IN SPAIN
Bob’s got the bike, now he just has to get it through tech!
Day 1, Barcelona to Barcelona
Posted: Saturday, 31 December 2005
|RETHINKING THE DAKAR
Who’d have thought that a 10 km stretch of beach could be so tough?
Day 2, Barcelona to Granada
Posted: Sunday, 1 January 2006
|OUT OF EUROPE
Bob leaves the comfort of Barcelona and heads to the southern tip of Spain … where he discovers the logic of snowmobile suits when he hits the mountains just outside of Granada.
Day 3, Granada to Rabat
Posted: Monday, 2 January 2006
It’s time to leave Europe and hit northern Africa. Lack of sleep makes it all the more interesting.
Day 4, Rabat to Agadir
Posted: Tuesday, 3 January 2006
I was so stressed out that I couldn’t sleep; the less I slept the more I worried about not sleeping. The more I worried about not sleeping, the less I slept.
Day 5, Agadir to Smara
Posted: Wednesday, 4 January 2006
|IT’S NEVER AS BAD AS IT SEEMS“… I soon came across a huge ditch that had been marked with “!!!” (triple exclamation marks mean extreme danger). On the other side of the ditch was one of the Repsol factory bikes – completely destroyed …” Learning to slow it down in Morocco.Read more…|
Day 6, Smara to Zouerat
Posted: Thursday, 5 January 2006
|SAND DUNES AND MISSING FRIENDS“As I rolled across the plain following the little GPS arrow, I turned around to see a train of bikes behind me! I don’t why they were following me, I was completely lost.” Read more…|
Day 7, Zouerat to Tichit
Posted: Friday, 6 January 2006
|SORTING THE MEN FROM THE BOYS“After yet another tumble, I left my bike lying on its side, sat down on a little tuft of camel grass, and as the tears rolled down my cheeks, called my wife on the satellite phone.”
Day 8, Cancelled day (getting to Tidjikja)
Posted: Saturday, 7 January 2006
I had learnt that this rally was like Survivor – you helped others so that they would be obliged to help you. Well, at least this was the way the French did it. ” When the going gets tough, the tough get … sneaky.
Day 9, Tidjikja to Atar
Posted: Sunday, 8 January 2006
|OVER THE HUMP
I thought about following someone else, but bikes started coming back toward me. Rather than just turn around and follow them back, I had now learned to stop and figure things out for myself – after all, in all likelihood they were lost too.”
Day 10, Atar (Restday)
Posted: Monday, 9 January 2006
Seeing the medical tent across the runway, I slowly made my way toward it thinking maybe I was having a heart attack.”
Day 11, Atar to Atar
Posted: Tuesday, 10 January 2006
|FINDING STRIDEThen suddenly, we were on the top of an enormous dune looking down at the CP far below. We rode down the huge slope like the Grinch returning to Whoville, sliding to a stop to give back our time cards.|
Day 12, Atar to Kiffa
Posted: Wednesday, 11 January 2006
|A TOUGH DAY FOR ALLHitting a patch of fech-fech would immediately bring the bike to a grinding halt and sink it up to the axles. It just became the luck of the draw whether you would hit it or not.|
Day 13, Kiffa to Bamako
Posted: Thursday, 12 January 2006
|AIR LIFT TO BAMAKOI was woken up at 6:00 am by someone shaking my tent. It was one of the organizers and he said that the airplanes were leaving soon and that I needed to pack my tent before it was torn to pieces by the propwash.|
Day 14, Bamako to Kayes
Posted: Friday, 13 January 2006
|LOST IN LATERITEI was pissed off! I was riding along, minding my own business, and the next thing I knew my bike was all smashed up – through no fault of my own. I would now have to stay up tonight just to fix it, and that wasn’t in the plan!”|
Day 15, Kayes to Tambacounda
Posted: Saturday, 14 January 2006
|WATER CROSSINGS!As I neared the far shore a guy in an official Dakar shirt began waving, indicating that I was far off course. I took a sharp right as indicated and the water instantly got deeper.|
Day 16, Tambacounda to Dakar
Posted: Sunday, 15 January 2006
|THE LONGEST RIDEPartway through the final liaison I pulled over for some water to drink and noticed some fluid sitting in the skid plate. Radiator coolant! I couldn’t believe it – only 150 kms of pavement to Dakar and I had a coolant leak …|
Day 17, Dakar to Dakar
Posted: Monday, 16 January 2006
|THE END IS NIGHThat was it, it was over. The bike could explode into a million pieces and it wouldn’t matter. The pressure was finally off, I had done the Dakar.|