03.01.2023 3rd Stage Alula > Ha’il (EN)

This morning of January 3rd, the weather is gloomy when we wake up. It is very dark in the distance. The Buggy is put in rain mode, the nets are protected by their plastic film.

Today, the Dakar is sailing through territories steeped in history, starting from one of the centers of Nabatean civilization to reach Ha’il, which was a crossroads of trade routes linking Europe to Asia.

Let’s go for a 619 kms stage with 308 kms of special!

The liaison is already complicated. Rain, thunderstorms and even hail are falling on the riders who are on the liaison. The Buggy is leaking, Fred and Mag are in the water… Some stickers will be torn off by the hail.

Arrived at the start of the special, the organization announced a delay of 50 minutes, so that the rain calms down. It is finally gone!

They pass through sand that has become wet, even muddy in some places. For Fred, who loves this kind of terrain, like the ones he knows in the Morvan or at Le Touquet, it doesn’t scare him.

The passage of a wadi filled with water gives a little more cold sweat to Magali (link to the video soon available on youtube)

In the middle of nowhere… They manage to capture and contact us to give us their first impressions, which can be summarized with the adjectives « Dantesque, incredible, phenomenal! »

The intensity of the waterfalls makes that sometimes the visibility is zero, with very high water sprays and this sensation of evolving on ice. The passage of Chott (dried mud lake) is crazy, because the mud is not dry any more… but quite present! The impression to be sometimes on real battlefields…

Frédéric’s experience in navigation is very useful and they succeed in relaying the 4th checkpoint. At this moment, the race direction decides to stop the stage because of the difficult weather conditions. The vehicles of the category having not all been able to take the departure of the special, this one will be cancelled, there is thus no change on the classification.

When we arrived at the bivouac, we had to dry our stuff and the engine as well as possible. A long evening lies ahead for Fred, who wants to make sure that everything is fine on the Buggy even if it is at first glance. The work done by Eric before the start pays off…and the front hood protection is efficient.

Even the 1982 windshield wiper is very efficient, more than those of some modern vehicles!

They were followed all day long by onboard cameras… Can’t wait to receive the pictures!

End of the day: Mag did the briefing as every night and managed to go to bed around 11pm. Fred continued the mechanics until almost 2am.

Thank you for your support and follow up!

janvier 3, 2023

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