Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Plymouth- Banjul Challenge – from England to the Gambia

Not got the money for the Paris to Dakar Rally? Well why not try the low budget alternative race between Plymouth in England and Banjul in the Gambia?

An alternative to the Paris to Dakar Rally
A novel take on the more established (and infinitely better-funded) Paris to Dakar Rally, the Plymouth - Banjul is about willpower overcoming rusty engineering. And the fact that it doesn’t even go to Dakar is irrelevant, despite also calling itself the Plymouth to Dakar rally in order to get attention.

Banger run through the Sahara Desert
The idea is that the route has to be covered, completely unsupported by back-up crews and the like, in a vehicle that costs under £100. Essentially is a great banger run over two continents, risking all manner of trauma in the harsh, isolated conditions of the Sahara Desert.
Just to make things a little more interesting, the organisers have no specialised arrangements with the governments of the countries that are raced through (unlike the Paris – Dakar).

Travelling as a tourist, not a sportsman
Everyone travels as a tourist, having to detail with little problems like Senegal not letting in cars older than five years old (unless customs officers escort them all the way to the Gambian border) and a Gambian ban on right-hand drive vehicles.
The challenge is almost as much about keeping sane with bribe-hungry officials as keeping sand out of the engine.

More details: Plymouth to Banjul Rally

1 comment:

travelrat said...

This is one we nearly did,(or try to do) about five years ago. A local car-dealer was going to give us an old Panda 4X4, provided we carried his advertising.

Unfortunately, it was RHD, so we abandoned the project.

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