Epilogue of the <a href=”/?p=15987″>4L Trophy</a> by Fanny. “At the end of the trip, we are full of unforgettable memories. To reach our Merzouga camp, down ocher dunes, we had to cross over 30km of tracks. For the first time, we use our compass : ‘”cap 130”, “follow the far antenna”, “exceed wadi cap 90 then follow PP at 110° during 6km” etc. It is also at this moment that we discover the first “children of the desert”, for whom we realize this adventure. Hand signs, smiles, checks on the fly, it is with care that our crew evolves in the middle of their laughter and their shouts of joy. However, we are forbidden to stop and give them gifts by hand. The king made the illegal distribution of food prohibited because of a tragedy that occurred a few months earlier. Indeed, the backside of the decor is bitter. It happens regularly that older children assault and steal the younger ones. It is for this reason that all our donations will be donated to the Children of the Desert Association which will ensure that everything will be given to children in the best conditions.
At the end of the track, our base camp appears for 3 days. It is a desert landscape with magnificent sand dunes (fifty meters high) that stands in front of us and we hurry to climb to watch the sunset.
The days that followed were articulated in the same way. A morning sunrise (around 6:30), a short walk of 30-45min around the camp in the sand dunes, then a breakfast served by the organization under large nomadic tents. This is where we were able to taste our first Moroccan tea.
1st big day of racing in the desert
Here we go again on the road to look for beacons. Guided by the road book and the compass we manage to finish the first loop in about ten hours, without losing too much. The spirit in this race in the desert is as I had imagined, a lot of help. Nobody hesitates to help the other crews to disembowel “of a sandbox”, to provide parts of 4l etc.
Between 2 steep mountains and 2 sandboxes (one of which, too soft, has encouraged the stagnation of our Great Tortoise), we found a great expanse of … nothing … a big dry lake on which we were able, with 2 other crews, to do skateboarding pulled by a rope and a skateboard without wheel. This activity was very popular, and many teams (including the TV channel LCL) made the detour to us to test !!!
Returning to the camp around 18h, we must quickly set up our tent, clean our air filter, fill our petrol jerrycans, do a technical inspection of the car and prepare for the briefing of the organization which starts at 19h . After noting the important info for the next day, head under the tent for dinner organized. Towards 8:30 pm return to the tent, strand of toilet and we enjoy the evening with the crews met the same day.
We encountered the same difficulties the next day (difficulty to orient oneself, soft sandboxes and steep mountains). Note here the first micro shower stay !! Deliverance!
Thursday 22/02, departure at 7am for the marathon stage, a stage during which we will have to join Marrakech in 2 days and in full autonomy (we still have a road book). We are not allowed to ride at night which slows us down but also allows us to rest. The road is beautiful, although full of pitfalls and the road book indications are more and more vague “at the tuft of grass, turn right 110 to the pebble then keep 220 for 15 km. It was on this road that my co-pilot chose to hit the wheel for the first time … for 15 minutes.
At night we had to stop and sleep in the desert with another group of 4L.
Friday (23/02) we have to finish the marathon stage and reach Marrakech. For this we have 380km, mostly of the road.
After 4 hours of road, we arrive at Ouarzazate. A hundred KM separates us from Marrakech but it takes us nearly 5 hours to pass the pass! We finally arrive in Marrakech before dark.
This is the big finish, we are 593rd out of a little over 1200 competitors and 2007 registered. we are here making our road books and our beacons and we are exchanging them for our hotel keys. To us the shower, the cozy bed and the restaurant !!!!
Saturday visit of Marrakech to the run (18km walk through the museums, the ramparts, gardens and souks) and closing night “Chez Ali” with dinner, shows, and awards winners ceremony.
On Sunday morning, we are on the road back to Tangier through Casablanca to take the boat at 21h to the south of Spain where we are resting at the same place in Algeciras. We will then need two full days to cross Spain and find our families.
Our “great turtle” brought us to the end of the journey without any problem, not even a flat tire. Fortunately, the spirit of mutual help was very present. Often, we put our hands in the grease and made beautiful meetings with crews from everywhere in France and beyond (Belgian, Spanish, English …).
We will keep unforgettable memories of this adventure, its landscapes and its encounters forever. Thank you the 4L Trophy! ”