Don Hatton on first day at Dakar 2013
The 13 km “Special” today was like a motocross on sand – not Don’s favourite style of ride. He needs to get a few days in on the bike to feel comfortable. He likes to ride for a few hours, then gradually increase the speed. That was just wasn’t a course for that today.
Nothing crazy, just slow and steady because as we know, the goal is to finish this rally (not win it).
He did say the Bivouac is such an amazing thing!!! Anyone who has ever been to a Dakar will understand and for those who haven’t, it is such an experience. It is like a huge, crazy traveling carnival. Many different languages are spoken. Machinery is running all through the night. There is no peace, no quiet, just a constant hum of activity. You need earplugs to get any rest. While I was talking to him they were testing the sentinels and it was ear piercing.
Tomorrow – Stage 2 – Pisco to Pisco. Bikes start at 5:30 am. Don said his start is 6:30. The riders’ start times depend on where they finished the day before, so for Don that means he will be near the end of the pack of motorcycles BUT just ahead of the cars. He will be very conscious that the cars are behind him and could catch up to him in the sand. Not a reassuring thought that those cars may be right on his tail through the dunes!
The connection stage (usually a road section (paved or not) )used to get to the special stage (the tricky part) is 85 kms. The special stage which I think is mainly more sand is 242 kms.
FYI: Have you ever had a Pisco Sour? Powerful drink! Pisco is a Peruvian grape brandy, invented in Peru in the early 1900′s. It has a fair bit of a bite to it, mix it with some lemon juice and sugar and you have a Pisco sour. I like them, but they sure do a number on your tummy.