Dakar 2013 – Day 0

It was an early start today as I woke around 3:00 am. After a quick and very welcome coffee from a very attentive wife it was off to the airport at 4am. Our flights were from Johannesburg at 9:30 am and so the first leg was a 5:45 departure to Johannesburg for the connecting flight.

Everyone was very excited as we met at the airport and checked in without a hitch. Security was only a bit more complicated as Neil forgot that a pair of pliers is a security threat even if it is only to repair a KTM!

The flight was uneventful and relatively short made all the more relaxing by the fact that there were a number empty seats allowing us to spread out.

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After a meal and a short sleep Gus arrived with a few miniature bottles of wine. We started sharing a few stories and laughs as the hours passed. Before too long we saw the mouth of river Plate and for the first time I caught a glimpse of South America.

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Meyer kindly took the initiative by creating T shirts for all of us. Each T shirt carried our flag and the name of each of the riders.
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Clearing passport control and customs was a painless operation but collecting luggage proved a challenge. Gus waited until all luggage was cleared from the conveyer but no kit arrived for him. His riding kit had been packed into a golf bag which, due to its size, had to be separately packed and this proved to be too much for SAA. After some negotiation we arranged to get his luggage in Buenos Aires by Friday. We will hold thumbs.

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We all drew Argentine Pesos from an airport ATM and then found a taxi large enough to carry 5 riders plus all of the luggage. Next stop was Hotel Olma Dorado and the big City of BA.

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