From Africa to Europe

World Record Run: Dakar to Moscow (April 22nd to April 25th)
Morocco / Spain

Second day of the run began for me exactly 24 hours after the start. Our car was crossing through Atlas mountains pass on a narrow road. When we were close to Marrakesh the road has straightened again and we could pick up the pace because ahead of us was the most crucial part of the journey – we had to reach Tangier port no later than 9.00 am to catch speed boat ferry to Tarifa from our partner FRS Company.

At 8:59 am the Amarok V6 stopped at the gates of the port entrance. Such kind of precision surprised me and Peter but not Rainer as he spent many hours in calculating the schedule. We were greeted by the port and ferry officials who ran through all standard procedures for custom and passport clearing. Their was a funny moment when the police dog was sniffing the car through its attention was disturbed by a croissant in my hand.

Laughing ended when it was announced that the ferry was delayed for 2 hours. In the meantime between unloading and loading to the ferry we had the chance to meet and talk with the captain of this vessel. He was a nice guy with Spanish-Irish roots and he promised us to unleash almost full power of the ferry engines to gain some time lost due to delay. I must say he did not disappoint us, ship was ripping through the waves of Gibraltar channel, in less than 50 minutes we were already on the other side.

Quickest passport control was done almost on the move. A quick stop for a photo at the gates and we were off to charge through Spain's glorious coast and highways. Despite the fact that it was midday on Sunday we were presented with relatively empty roads. My shift began on the outskirts of Valencia when the sun started to settle down, just like yesterday. It felt so good to drive again through the familiar region of Catalunya, unfortunately we didn't have time to stop in Barcelona's tapas bar or have a rest on the beach. Girona and Figueres were passed in a blink of an eye and by midnight the team crossed the French border.


Author: Georgy Golubev