Laia Sanz and Miguel Puertas at a time of the Dakar Rally
As usual since he witnessed the exit of the Dakar in Buenos Aires in 2009 -the first one that moved to South America after the threats suffered in Africa-, I dedicate an article to which, they say, is the toughest engine test on the planet.
I started following him when he was 11 or 12 years old. I did not like - I do not like now - any sport related to the motor but I was attracted to the adventure that supposed to travel those deserts and African places that, for me - already with an overflowing and adventurous imagination -, were the supermum of the emotion.
I remember, as if it were yesterday, the suffocating heat I suffered in the forests of Palermo Buenos Aires while waiting for the arrival of the pilots to test their motorcycles and cars that were macerated in the southern summer sun. After a long wait I could see the greats Peterhansel, Eat, Later, Nani Rome and Carlos Sainz (who was heavily booed, including me, for the little attention he devoted to his fans).
That year I met Cecilio, a crack from Granada who came from taking pictures of his brother Miguel Doors, an independent motorcycle rider from the Dakar who was signed last year by the Gas Gas team, with whom he runs again in this edition.
In the Dakar 2009 in Buenos Aires
I managed to talk to Miguel for a few seconds while resting, next to the rest of the caravan, in the Chilean desert of Atacama. Later I was lucky to interview him and know what it feels like to participate in one of the greatest adventures that may exist for a motor lover.
This year the Dakar Rally started last January 5 from Rosario. The cradle of Lionel Messi replaced Buenos Aires in the first edition in which the Buenos Aires people have been stripped of the honor of seeing the participants pass through its streets.
The caravan will head west to pass through San Luis, San Rafael, San Juan, Chilecito and San Juan de Tucumán before reaching the beautiful province of Jump, in the Argentine Northwest.
I know well part of that area and I remember the trips I made through the Atuel Canyon in San Rafael (2009) and the striking La Luna Valley of San Juan (2011).
Motorcycles lined up in the Palermo forest of Buenos Aires in 2009.