London to Dakar 2005
12th - 31st January 2005
THIS IS 20 days of driving into the great unknown. We drive away cheered on by Lord Nelson who still bears the reminder of having received a poke in the eye from the French, to drive down to Parliament Square and onto the Dover Road. We drive France and Spain as a touring route – Africa is plenty tough enough without us manufacturing anything artificial before we cross to Tangiers.
In Morocco, we drive some of the routes of the early Dakars. Into Mauritania, we are now in the most empty and least populated country in the whole of Africa. It’s vast – bigger than France and Spain put together, the total population is less than Bristol. Enthusiastic children will cheer you on your way but don’t expect big crowds – this country has never seen a crowd. We camp for two nights out in the Sahara, the stars are so vividly clear you could pluck them, and meteorites and even satellites can be seen clearly through tired eyes.
It’s man and machine up against the elements – we are not seeking out in-land routes with giant sand-dunes as “stoppers” – it’s just practical for a well-prepared two-wheel drive Historic car driven with care and determination, but will be an enormous and memorable challenge.
This will appeal to those who can swap the rut of normal living for the ruts of the greatest wilderness on earth, and join in the camaraderie of taking on a marathon drive with other like-minded enthusiasts.
The route will include a number of difficult roads, and good ground clearance (you can never have enough of that commodity), and careful preparation will be essential ingredients for success.
Entrants should accept that this is not intended as a gentle tour and cannot be without risks, careful research of the countries and the route is strongly advised (some of the backpackers paperback books, such as the Lonely Planet book of Mauritania, make for interesting background reading).
|Day 1||Jan 9||Sun||London to France|
|Day 2||Jan 10||Mon||France to Spain|
|Day 3||Jan 11||Tues||Spain to Tangiers|
|Day 4||Jan 12||Weds||Tangiers to Fes|
|Day 5||Jan 13||Thurs||Fes to Midelt|
|Day 6||Jan 14||Fr||Midelt to Erfoud|
|Day 7||Jan 15||Sat||Erfoud to Zagora|
|Day 8||Jan 16||Sun||Zagora to Ouarzazate|
|Day 9||Jan 17||Mon||Ouarzazate to Marrakech|
|Day 10||Jan 18||Tues||Marrakech Rest Day|
|Day 11||Jan 19||Weds||Marrakech to Agadir|
|Day 12||Jan 20||Thurs||Agadir to Laayoune|
|Day 13||Jan 21||Fri||Laayoune to Dakhla|
|Day 14||Jan 22||Sat||Dakhla to Nouadhibou|
|Day 15||Jan 23||Sun||Nouadhibou to Cap Tafarit (Camp)|
|Day 16||Jan 24||Mon||Cap Tafarit (Camp) to Nouakchott|
|Day 17||Jan 25||Tues||Nouakchott Rest Day|
|Day 18||Jan 26||Weds||Nouakchott to St Louis|
|Day 19||Jan 27||Thurs||St Louis to Dakar|