480 participants started the ’Wacky Races’ and the most of the racers arrived to Bamako although not without real hardships.
Blood pressure of the racers remained normal on the European section except some regular repairs. The racers arrived to the African continent on the third day.
Africa shows its fangs again
Even the Bamako’s most experienced participants were surprised while they tried to make their best against flooded and deep-mud rivers, fast-running creeks and muddy cart-roads.
Those who crossed the Atlas Mountains in Morocco had to fight with snow and avalanches first, then snow was changed by sand, cold by hot and snow shovels by sand shovels as they neared the ocean. Participans of Bamako crossed the paths of amiable local residents between friendly palm groves and dried river beds.
They placed a memorial tablet on the Tropic of Cancer in order to greet the travellers not only in Hungarian and English but also in French. Some of the racers left the official route and found themselves in the middle of a war game but the army turned them back.
Mauretania: ’Abandon hope all ye who enter here’
The race then reached the unguarded and outlaw wasteland on the border of Morocco and Mauretania. These lands are controlled mainly by smuggler bands. Most of the participants were already fighting for survive here and tried to push their cars to the destination.
Race day was cancelled in Mali
Extremely rigorous security arrangements had been disposed on the triple border of Senegal, Mali and Mauretania after the terror actions in Paris so the organizers changed the route first then cancelled the whole 30th January race day after the appeal of the Mauretanian authorities. After crossing the border a real African village feast was arranged to respect the members of Bakamo with tam-tam drummers and dancers who greeted the tired ’travellers’.
Help in connection
Many had to concede during the African etaps that, with a little exaggeration, Western technologies can’t help in all circumstances. Official mobile provider of Budapest-Bamako ’15 CitySIM helped racers and organizers because they could make connection with their fellow-travellers and those who pulled for them at home. CitySIM can be used in all countries of the rally’s route and more, has exceptional call, sms and internet fees in more than 190 countries of the world. Behind that, all this is given for much better prices than local providers’.
Participants could share informations about themselves on sites especially created for this and could send messages to an SMS wall. On those territories when there was no GSM cell network those who run into trouble could ask help on satellite phone in case of emergency.
Reaching the goal and more than 1 million EUR donation
Racers rolled in Bamako on Sunday at last starting a couple of hours of celebration. This year’s rally ended later in the evening with the official announcement of results and distribution of prizes and the number of the winners was exactly as many performed the race to the end.
Everybody sits in his or her car after some rest because another 9,000 kilometeres of run is waiting for them. Medical groups will lead the convoy and there will be checkpoints too as before so nobody will be left behind because the most important thing is that everybody should arrive home safe and healthy after this unbelievable exciting tour.
Gabriella Veres, Lloyd Magazin