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"Race to Dakar" by Charley Boorman, Book Review

Take On The World's Most Grueling Motorike With Amatuer Motorbike Adventurer Charley Boorman



I have to admit I'm normally not an avid reader of this type of book, or biographies or true "adventure" stories (unless they're the military kind), but I received a copy of "Race to Dakar" by Charley Boorman for Christmas, so it would be rude not to read it.

My interest was piqued as soon as I read the dust cover, the author had previously written "Long Way Round" about his motorbike journey around the globe with actor Ewan McGregor, and I managed to miss every episode of the TV version which looked very interesting indeed.

This book, Race To Dakar, is all about Charley's attempt to compete in, and complete, the most arduous motorcycle Race on earth, the Dakar Rally, which covers more than 7000km, across some of the most difficult terrain that bikes, cars and trucks ever attempt to race across.

Charlie and his team, like the majority of motorbike entries, are amateurs, and the book goes into the preparation and training they have to go through before the race, an arduous round of endurance races and desert training.

Charleys story I found ok at first, then riveting as they get into the rally proper. The sheer scale of what is expected of the riders, every single day, is astounding, and the willpower they have to keep going will amaze you too.

Mr Boorman takes us from the despair of tackling mammoth dunes that seem impassable, to the joy of reaching the next service point, where the team mechanic breathes fresh life into tired motorbikes.

The best part of the book actually when the team separates due to circumstances beyond their control, and we have some real drama as a life or death situation develops.

Do they make it? I will not spoil the ending, because this story is not about the destination, it's about the journey, and the titanic struggle to compete in the Rally that is Dakar .

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