Today we had an incredibly early start: 5 am wake up, 5.15 breakfast, leaving Chefchaoen in the pitch black at just past 5.30. The views last night had been stunning but now we were all rather stunned getting up at this time and making our way back to Tangier and eventually on to Malaga. A long but inconsequential day, it really did feel like the journey was coming to an end. No regularities or time controls today. Our control boards and stop watches were sadly packed away. It was difficult not to feel gloomy as we descended into a fog-laden valley. When the sun eventually did came up, it did so without any of the majesty of the Sahara and the terrain – although pretty enough – was already incredibly Spanish-looking with numerous flower-decked villas standing by the road, gently easing us back into a more European frame of mind. There was also a return of numerous policemen and speed traps, which a number of us got caught in. Perhaps they were just checking that we were not be the types to be crossing the country with illegal substances obtained in the Rif mountains; stashed under the bonnet or in our glove departments.
After a very long day and a ferry crossing included, the competitors rolled back into the hotel in Malaga where they had been flagged off nearly two weeks prior. They were met with glasses of champagne and great big smiles. Toby was visibly relieved that the cars and competitors had all made it in one piece. Everyone seemed very happy. Any frustrations about some of the route book or the difficulty (or not) of some of the stretches of roads used in the regularity events were forgotten or joked about. Everyone seemed to find it hard to wrench themselves away from their beloved 2 CV – some vowing to be back for more sometime soon.
Finella, Toby, John T, John B and Fiona: The owners and directors of 2CV Adventures
Alastair and Hayden Tim and Pat
Nick and Leslie John and Judith
Dave – a happy mechanic making good
With a bit of downtime to repack and get ready for the flight home tomorrow, everyone managed to spruce themselves up and came to dinner eager to hear the final results of all the regularity events combined, calculated, checked and double-checked in order to determine the overall winning team….
Much merriment ensued after dinner as tales of daring, keen driving, over-steer, under-steer, fantastical speeds(downhill and up, around corners and flat out) were discussed, dissected and presented by Toby. On four wheels, three wheels and at one point quite possibly on two – these cars had bounced and flown across pot holes, river beds, dust bowls, speed traps and icy mountain tracks. They had; defied the laws of gravity whilst hugging corners around cloud-covered passes, kicked sand in the faces of slower competitors across the desert plains and almost been washed away at the start of the rally by copious amounts of Spanish rain. Drivers and navigators had laughed together and argued together, they had sat in stony silence, cried, bellowed, beeped, flashed and occasionally crashed.The mechanics had re-sprung, replaced, smoothed, wrenched and welded so that every morning all the teams had to think about was easing themselves into their comfy seats, unfurling their maps, get out the route book, fire up the Brantz, reset the GPRS and set off on the adventure ahead. Friendships had been forged, memories stored and collectively thousands of miles of digital footage had clicked and whirred into life on GoPros, smart phones and other technical wizardry. A relatively small group for a rally had created a great amount of comraderie and shared experience and in the process had also had quite a lot of fun.
Alastair and Tim
John T and Reg
As reputations lay at stake, long-standing rally-ists and friends eyed up the trophies with delight as the winners were announced and loudly applauded.
Pat and Tim
Father and son team: Sean and Mike
Michelle and Reg
Nick and Lesley
Alastair and Hayden, declared the winners!
One could sense a bond with both the 2 CV’s and Morocco had been emerging throughout our journey – even amongst the hard-core Paris to Peking pro’s. They all totally rocked the cars and the Kasbahs. Both competitors and crew had at some stage in the last two weeks spoken of their deep respect and admiration for the car and the country. Most wanted to buy the car and many wanted to return to Morocco some time soon either on another rally or with loved ones as part of another holiday. We were all enchanted.
The most enthusiastic were already thinking about what other 2 CV adventures might lay ahead; trips were being dreamt up across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. With a lot of TLC and respectful driving they had already come far … and with a good set of tulips and a trusty GPS there are really not many places that the 2CV can’t go!
I’m sure it is pretty safe to say the 2CV adventure has only just begun…..