The end of the 2017 Dakar trail!
“A week has passed already since the flooded bivouac in Oruro where we were fortunate to find refuge for the night in the official canteen,” observes BFGoodrich®’s Dakar coordinator Sébastien. “We finally managed to dry out our clothes between two showers during the Rest Day in La Paz where some members of the team suffered terrible headaches due to the altitude. A quick top-up of oxygen, though, and they were soon up and running again…
“The Rest Day turned out to be less busy than we had been expecting. The cancellation of certain stages meant that the teams were able to spread out their tyre-fitting requirements over a longer period. From La Paz, we travelled to Uyuni by plane and flew over the famous salt flat of the same name. A magnificent sight. We had a pleasant day in Uyuni because there was no overnight servicing. It was our personal rest day, so we got a chance to have a walk around and do some shopping.
“That evening, we flew on to Salta where the teams’ service vehicles didn’t arrive until late into the night because of the big landslide. The organisers asked us to keep the BFGoodrich® Dakar Service Center open until five o’clock in the morning!
“The weather was warmer in Chilecito and San Juan, so that did us all a world of good. We also had a lot of work there, with 170 tyres to fit in Chilecito. That was our second busiest day of the rally, after Tupiza .
“There’s no denying that the Dakar is hard work, especially because of the conditions, but I think everyone would be happy to sign up as part of the team again next year. There was a great atmosphere in the squad and we will all take some super memories back home with us!”
“The job used to be much harder before,” notes Jean-Luc, one of BFGoodrich®’s truck drivers who has worked on 31 Dakars. “In Africa, we didn’t have luxuries like showers – you just had to wash out of a bucket. It was a different era altogether!”