Bob Bergman’s Dakar Diaries: Index

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


Bob’s got the bike, now he just has to get it through tech!

Read more…

Day 1, Barcelona to Barcelona

Posted: Saturday, 31 December 2005


Who’d have thought that a 10 km stretch of beach could be so tough?

Read more…

Day 2, Barcelona to Granada

Posted: Sunday, 1 January 2006


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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.”
Read more…

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.

Read more…

Day 9, Tidjikja to Atar

Posted: Sunday, 8 January 2006


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.”

Read more…

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.”

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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!”

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Join the conversation!