African Dakar vs South American Dakar; You remember?
African Dakar vs South American Dakar; You remember?

Many of us were skeptical when in 2009 the most famous rally in the world moved from old Europe and Africa to South America. But at that time there was no choice for the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) organizing the Dakar, after the security threats in the 2008 Lisbon-Dakar edition and the murder of four French tourists on Christmas Eve, who made the decision to suspend the rally.

I still remember the feeling that the news that the Dakar would be raced in South America gave me and the subsequent impression that this rally would no longer be the same. But time passes and puts everyone in their place. Now in 2013 It will be the fifth time that the Dakar has been run on the American continent. In fact, the official calendar of this edition has been known for a long time and it travels more and more countries in its wake.

And if the passage of time is making something clear, it is precisely that the Dakar will never return to Africa. The competition is fully established in the new continent, winning in many aspects such as the safety of the pilots or the attendance of the public to see the passage of the caravan live. The Atacama desert or the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Andes mountain range or the pink lake of Dakar. Impressive landscapes in often hostile terrain for a motorcycle trip, choosing which is the best is a complicated task.

The most purists continue to say that the adventure spirit of the African Dakar has been lost and that it is now easier in South America. My personal opinion is that as hard or more is this new Dakar than the one that ran through Africa. In addition, the adventure is guaranteed from the moment you start to visit areas where there is no one for many kilometers around.

The panorama has changed so much that to train on terrain similar to those that the pilots will encounter in the upcoming 2013 Dakar event, no region of Europe is worth it. Now Morocco and specifically the Merzouga region is a place where European pilots travel to practice the dune conditions that will later be found in South America. Of course it will not be exactly the same terrain but without a doubt it is the closest place where you can have similar conditions. Dunes that used to run stages of the old African Dakar now serve as training.

Of course, in Africa good and different rallies continue to be held, including some of them like the Intercontinental Rally that have that spirit of adventure of the first editions of the Dakar and that are now accessible to any hobbyist, not just professionals. I hope I can talk to you about this rally later.

But what about youWhich one do you like more in Africa or South America?

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