Relive #Dakar2002 with Annie Seel
STAGE 8: ZOUERAT-ATAR (396 km)
Saturday 5/1 2002
Counting down to rest day… It’s getting really tough now. Riding with a fever for the last 3 days, and my injured hand and thigh is wearing me down.
After yesterday’s stage I just crashed into my tent exhausted and with fever. Last night I woke up many times soaked in sweat of fever, and had to change t-shirt three times. Also I missed out on the evening’s riders briefing, where the organisers informed about a change on the course.
In today’s stage I paid the price of not getting the change of race course! It was tough to realise after an hour’s riding that the organization had added an extra check point, so all I could do was to head back, and luckily found it despite not having the correct road book instructions.
When I was back on track again there were lots of dune riding. As I was very tired and weak I was riding too low a pace and I kept on falling off. The falling off bit was not too bad except sometimes landing on my “blue side”. At one point though, my bike would not start again and I lost an hour getting it going, cleaning the carb and letting the engine cool down.
At refuel I checked my position, 95th overall. That was a surprise, but the marshals told me many had got stuck or been lost in the dunes before finding the right way.
I was so happy when I crossed the finish line already arriving about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, even if I lost two hours on mishaps. Many riders arrived much, much, later that evening.
Now time to eat, sleep and rest.
A little bonus – at the camp site I found a washboard with laundry tub. Perfect! The tub wasn’t big, but I could just manage to sit down in it and have a hot bath, instead of the cold bucket of water in the bivouack.
Liaison : 9 km
Special : 383 km
Liaison : 4 km
Total : 396 km