On March 18, members of the Safari Race team shared their experiences of the 18,000 km race in our auditorium.
Many did not know that the boys originally wanted to take on Africa in a van, but they missed applications for the touring category. They had no other alternative than to sign up for the racing category. Since racing is not a stroll in the park, Doki’s father trained all winter on an exercise bike.
However, Doki, Pega, and Öcsi needed more than physical strength. Though there was an official itinerary, the real information always surfaced during the course of the road. The Nissan’s turbo got busted in Spain, the satellite phone barely worked, they couldn’t use the radio, and they had to rely mostly on the GPS. Due to the dangers of terrorism, it was unadvisable to make much of a ruckus at night or show any sign of life at all. Conditions for hygiene were not exactly the best. As the team found out, African kids throw stones at all cars they don’t recognize. (The solution was to either slow down or get behind a local car which they won’t target.) However, the team found that taking care of matters can be expedited by giving small gifts to locals. Whether these were hats, T-shirts, key chains, or karabiners, it didn’t matter as long as they were European.
But of course, the majority of experiences were positive. Locals were friendly and there were no conflict or incidents. Everyone was very helpful and there was no shortage of mechanics, though most of their equipment comprised of screwdrivers and welding machines. (Of course the self-nominated mechanics worked at incredibly high rates, but that's a different story.) Competitors also helped each other: at one point Doki and the guys saved a Polish team which got stuck in the sand.