Little did Frenchman Thierry Sabine know when he lost his way in the Libyan desert back in 1977 – mid-motorcycle competition – that he was on the cusp of creating the world’s most challenging race for riders. And that this race, the Paris-Dakar Rally, would move continents to make its home in South America more than 30 years later.
Following its cancellation for security reasons five years ago, the Dakar revved into action for the 31st time in 2009, but with Buenos Aires, ‘the Paris of the South’, as its starting point. In the fifth Latin American edition of the race, drivers will start in Lima today, taking in 8,000km of often uncharted territory through Peru and Argentina before crossing the finish line in Santiago de Chile. Should you be following this 14-stage event on the ground, these are the top three destinations to check out.
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Photo courtesy of Marc Van Der Aa / Dakar Press Team