BUDAPEST TO BANJUL RALLY 2018
The CX Rally team is back home. After a warm welcome on the finishline by our three beautiful ladies we spent a week relaxing on the beach in Banjul and visiting friends in the Gambia and the Casamance.
Again we wish to thank all our donors and sponsors, see also the the sponsor page. We collected 1718 euros for the two projects we support. Thanks again everybody!
.Garage Hydraulique supported us with fresh spareparts to make our return to Europe possible.
For the CX we found a safe, inshallah, place for the next half year or more before we will drive it back home. Or maybe further into Africa. Mali? Ghana? We will see. To be continued.
In two days we drove on tar roads from Georgetown to the finish line in Banjul. Roads were fine but really too much checkpoints. In this part of Gambia there is a military, customs or police checkpoint every other 5 minutes. The last night before Banjul we spent in Tendaba on the shore of the river Gambia. Last night in our tents! The finish in Serekunda was a great happening when all teams went through the finishline. All people really like the CX very much! We made it! I was even interviewed by Japanese TV.
Yesterday we arrived in the Gambia, the final destination of the rally. The border crossing was smooth except the Gambian customs. For some of the crews it took over three hours. We followed the northern bank route over horrible gravelroads for the first part but slowly the road became better and better. The CX runs really well on these kinds of roads. Most of the time we put it in high driving position which gives the car about 4 cm more ground clearance This route involved two ferrycrossings, always a nice happening in Africa. For entering the ferry we had to put the CX in the highest position which gives an extra 6 cm clearance. The night we spent on a deserted birdwatching camp. Beautiful spot but no cold beers;-(. Happily we still had a cold South African white wine in the fridge ;-) This morning was the official opening of the waterwell, one of the charity projects of the rally for which we also collected money and donated 1200 US dollar.
Today an easy day and a short stage if only about 250km. We drove from the Baobab camp to Wassadou camp, a beatiful spot at a river. The CX is running like never before. She starts to like Africa I think. In Tambacounda we ended up in a few roadblocks of protesters against the plan of the government to implement taxes on motorbikes and scooters. Burning tyres and lots of stones on the road. A tense situation but the police looked in control. This was one of the very few days we arrived with daylight at the camp and were able to have a proper shower before our sundowner. Ice cold beer from Holland...
I will upload more pictures when we have proper internet.
Today we drove deep in the Sahel. Life in the rural areas seems to be the same as ever. Beautiful people living in small huts with goats and cows. Transport with donkies and horses. Big cities are completely different. Noisy, dirty, full with rubbish and chaotic. But also fun to drive through. The stage ended on a beautiful spot, about 40km of the main road under a group of big baobabs. We arrived just before total darkness. The last cars arrived 3 AM in the morning!
After a few days of hard working through sandstorms in Mauretania we finally can enjoy a cold beer in the Zebrabar, St. Louis, Senegal. Because of the sandstorm we skipped the beah section and won one day in Senegal. Mauretania is an amazing country with big diffetences between very poor and very rich. We saw the longest train of the world. We got our visas in the bivouac which was perfectly organised. In Nouakchott we spent the night in a nice place which we knew of our previous travels. The CX was behaving more and more like a wild horse, driving only half to full throttle. On smooth roads no problem but in cities and potholed roads a real disaster. Every time we haf to slow down the engine died with a loud bang. Because of this racing the rear brake protector plate broke and cut the braking tube
We had to block the pipe pemanently. From now on we drive with only three brakes. Yesterday we finally could repair our wild horse. After hours of searching, cleaning the carburattor we replaced the coil and the transistor and the car runs like a real CX again! After that she deserved a proper washing with a African shining wax finish: with gasoil!
One week on the road and almost in Mauretania. Yesterday a bivaque near Dakhla which was the first time we spent the night with a big group. Today is border passing day. Will take the whole day probably. From there in three days through the desert without hotels and internet before we reach Senegal.
In two days we drove about 1000 km from Ouarzazate to Laayoune. Another two long days of driving but on reasonable good roads. Well, with a CX every road becomes reasonable good… 😉
The scenery is most of the time beautiful, temperatures are slowly rising every day. For the first time we can lunch beside the car in our T-shirts. We spent the night in Tafraoute in a hotel with a lot of participants. Room was OK but the Tajin was certainly not the best you can find in Morrocco ;-) The CX is still suffering from the heat and long hours of working. We have to find a solution. We also had a leaking hydraulic hose but could repair it with tape. Slowly the CX is Africanising.
In two days we drove from Tanger to Ouarzazate. About 1000km on very good and sometimes very bad roads. The car is now looking like a real rallycar. The bullbar has proven its strength already. We catched a big goat on it yesterday. So now it is our goatbar. We crossed the High Atlas on a small muddy and snowy road. Partly in darkness. Tiring but very spectacular. Car is having a minor problem with ignition/carburator on the bumpy roads but hopefully we fixed that issue now. A loose connector and a broken idle valve. The rally has really started now.
Kees and Ed
A limousine, a grand lady but also a tough winning rally car in the 1977 -1979 editions of the Rally du Senegal and winning