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    • The Dakar Rally 2019 is approaching, and the tagline is "100% Peru, 100% Dakar". Allegedly, this is going to be the sandiest rally in the history of the Dakar!

      I am currently in Arequipa, Peru, right where the race will go through. I'm considering chasing it. Should I? Any advice on how to?

    • Well, I'm already here, and I understand they'll post the exact stage route every day, I think there's an app for that. I've reached out to Lithuanian racing teams and they say they might get me into the bivouac! So right now, all I have to do is figure finances - the distances will be huge and accommodation will be expensive. Still, I'm starting to think I might actually pull it off :D

    • We were in Argentina for a month a few years back and traveled through many areas where the rally was going, It's very hard to know exactly where you will get to see some action.

      They can and do change parts of the route often, the overnight stop points are a sure way to see some of the competitors vehicles, but the action stuff is harder to get info on.

      We were lucky we stumbled on a fuel stop on one of the transport sections so we saw a lot of the trucks and many of the support veichels.

      If you know they are going through a pass between to overnight stops it's possible to find some acion.

      We met a group of German bike tourists that were very frustrated how little info they could get on the race sections. They were going to camp near the border crossing at Passo San Fransisco because they new the race was going through the next day.(pic below)

      They may have made it easier in recent years what information are they giving now in Peru?

    • Right?! There are all those super expensive Dakar tag-along options and chase tours but it's totally doable by yourself!

      Maybe really should document the whole process :D

    • Russ, apparently they release the exact race spot info an evening before, and there's an app where you can track it. I hear you get the next day's route after 8pm the night before, or something like that.

      I'll have access to the bivouac so I should be OK with that, and I know I won't be able to see all of the stages because the distances are huge and my DR is no match for Dakar vehicles :D But it's a loop this year, so it'll be easier. I actually know the area they'll be going through relatively well so all I need is to source a good camera somehow (chasing the Dakar with a $60 phone just sounds atrocious) and some gas money and I'm good to go!

    • I would be concerned about these.

      A camera needs to have as much telephoto as you can travel with or you will be shooting specs for two weeks except in camp. There are old Canon P&S that go out to 200mm+. Options are a Canon 20-70 model that are cheap used with an 18-300 zoom. Might get you through. I'd use a case that zipped tight and fit well. I would always put the case inside a plastic bag that sealed tight, and put that in a garbage bag that sealed tight. I would never take it out if the wind were blowing or around moving vehicles. I would pack a light bristle brush, a can of compressed air, a squeeze air bulb, and some tissues in a tight bag. I might include a small container of gun oil...don't expect this rig to survive the Dakar! Gun oil is crude, but might make it last the Dakar.

      I would try to source the best uplink you could borrow or steal from the camp area so you could post each day of the race to us smucks sitting at home! Good luck! Love your writing and photos. Your photo skills may not be up to Paul's but they are really good to tell your story.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Welcome to Cake, johnT1. 😁 It sounds like you really know your camera gear and admire Paul and Evergreen as I do.

    You've been invited!