Airing: Episode 486, Week of Saturday March 23
We head to the Sahara Desert where a group of women go on a very interesting race. Marco Gutierrez takes us back to the Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles, and gives us an inside look at what it takes to cover an event like this.
The terrain is mountainous with rocky plateaus and sand dunes that put the all-women competitors of the Rally Aicha Des Gazelles cut off from the rest of the world. However it’s not only the participants who embark on this unique human adventure, photographers and journalists who are here to tell their story also get to experience the thrill of this event.
We’re up by 4:00 a.m. and everybody picks up their belongings, heads over to breakfast to have a briefing and then all the gazelles start launching at 6:00 a.m. As journalists we join forces with experienced drivers who take us into the Moroccan desert. We’re off to face the same challenges of each day.
You never get used to producing a story like this because it’s constantly throwing new challenges at you, which is part of the appeal.Jo Munnik | CNN Africa Producer
You can come as prepared as as possible and when you arrive, you’ll realize how unprepared you actually are. It’s very difficult to control, we start early but it’s nuts because we’re pretty much chasing them on the same routes that they do.
We’re driving on the same course, probably the same route that they’re doing, we’re just behind them most of the time. We have the GPS we can see where the waypoints are, they can’t.
The elements of the Sahara Desert, sand and clay minerals are formidable enemies of cameras and photographers. Sensor dust gets inside camera body’s and filters are damaged, all scratched up from whatever just comes at you.
Nerves kick in about getting out of here while we continue to get stuck ourselves. The rally of an event based on values like perseverance and determination, and like the women who are brought together in this event we also found ourselves united by these shared values, realizing there are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet, and that every new friend is a new adventure.
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