The first edition of the Rally Marrakech Sahara on behalf of the British Moroccan Society which took place the 1st week of May 2016 is now over. Six teams were taking part, found through a combination of Twitter, LinkedIn, friends, family and word of mouth.
Created by someone who had competed 3 times in the all women Rally Aicha des Gazelles du Maroc, and who each time, had come back raving about the magnificent sceneries of the Moroccan desert, this rally was meant from the start to be a voyage of discovery, to enable participants to go where few people go, to remote and difficult of access parts of South East Morocco. The competition side came a close second, very much enjoyed by all.
On Saturday 30th April, most of the competitors met up in a hotel in Marrakech to take possession of their pre booked 4x4s (Mitsubishi Pajeros sport from Baroud Terre du Sud).
For some of them, it was also a time to discover or enjoy Marrakech briefly
Departure was the following day (Sunday) from Villa Dinari and all the cars followed in convoy from Marrakech to Merzouga.
Crossing the Tichka pass can be an adventure in itself (although the road is much wider than it used to be) with breath taking sceneries. The road between Ouarzazate and the huge Palmeraie of Agdez is also gorgeous.
Sunday night, Lawrence the organiser was waiting for us to give everyone a briefing over dinner. All the participants were given a road book and explained how this works.
They found out that the winners of the competition are not the team doing the least amount of kms but the one following the road book closest. There is no speed involved.
Over the next 4 days, that’s what they tried to do with more or less success. The first day was difficult as participants were getting used to the book (it might look simple but with tracks going all over the place, it is anything but!)
but by the second day they were all enjoying what is effectively a treasure hunt over some rough tracks and not always easy access to checkpoints.
The atmosphere in the evenings was boisterous with competitors exchanging stories of their daily experiences. They were all quite keen to hear about their daily performances and as days went by, things started to hot up. And then one day, team 06 decided to cut corners instead of following the piste and ended up breaking their car.
The teams first stayed 2 nights in a hotel at the foot of Erg Chebi, then spent 2 nights camping in remote areas
The official rally ended in Tagounite on Thursday.
All the participants agreed that they would never have known about the magnificence of South East Morocco hadn’t they taken part in the rally.
The organisers :
This post is also available in: French