The crazy idea to participate in the Dakar, with the goal of getting to the finish line, assumes a long and arduous journey. Thousands of kilometres, days and days approaching roadmap. The bivouac, the field, or the stage finish, becomes vital if you want to reach your destination. Is a kind of “medicine” by taking daily, the place where you can eat, sleep, repair your own car, call, send an email, read the charts.
Here are many things, all in a rush and automated to save energy and continue the March. The Dakar bivouac, especially in the early stages, It is populated by thousands of people frantic activity. It rises at an airport (If you could call it), almost always devoid of a structure, with the control tower was reduced to a small table, a radio and a wind vane, some hangars and small buildings (useful shelter from the desert wind), usually police and firefighters dwelling. But these airfields are crucial to the logistics of Dakar.
We distribute thousands of meals and bottles of water, tons of bread, even if just for a day: all you have to repeat, the next day, hundreds of kilometers later. In short, the Dakar Bivouac is complex, plus the environmental difficulties imposed by the desert. But we come to life that takes place. Appointments are mandatory dinner at twenty and briefing at twenty-one. The food is excellent, because hunger is much. During the day, In fact, you have just enough time to swallow the ration is necessary because race doesn't give truce. There are those who manage to take a shower, those who remain with their faces and hands covered with dust. At a certain time you can see everything… long beards, shocked but happy faces, even with the strongest hair gel would remain so straight.
The most beautiful and amazing tales are born at the bivouac: everyone has something to tell.
In a nutshell, This is a great meeting place open all night until dawn, for latecomers. Here the champions sit alongside private pilots and eat with them. This is not the Formula One, is a real adventure that gets into the skin… is the Dakar. Only those who participate can understand: It is a true test, in all directions. After dinner, who does not have the will or the strength to mount a tent and sleeping bag takes place in Group shelters. Then a thought runs through the minds of competitors: How will the bivouac of tomorrow?
We'll get? Thus was born the strength to break down at the dawn of the next day, because the race is not over yet and Dakar is always far away.
Text Edi Orioli
Photo Gigi Soldano