Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Plymouth to Banjul by luck

The front-runners in the annual Plymouth Banjul challenge are due into the Gambia any day now. Inaugurated in 2003, this slightly batty amateur trans-Saharan race was inspired by the famous Paris–Dakar Rally. Unlike the Paris-Dakar, which follows a different route every year and invariably causes trouble (for participants lost or injured, and for local bystanders injured or killed) the Plymouth–Banjul follows the same – rather straighter – route across the desert each year. And it ain't about speed. Participants have to follow a few idiosyncratic rules – notably, no car may be worth more £100 at the outset, and all must be auctioned for charity at the end in the Safari Garden Hotel.

Marigold, the 2CV in the picture (© Lucie Mathiszig, top pic) actually made it last year, and can still be seen on the sandy streets of the Gambia (second pic) – it was bought by Geri and Maurice, who run Safari Garden.

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