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2013 Dakar Rally Will Visit Peru, Argentina, and Chile

The 2013 edition of the Dakar Rally was presented at the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris, France, on November 21, 2012. The rally will tour three South American countries, starting on January 5 in Lima, Peru, passing through Argentina from January 13, and culminating in Santiago, Chile, on January 20, 2013.

Argentine news website Télam [es] writes about the different categories in the new edition:

Tendrá 14 etapas, la categoría autos recorrerán 8574 kilómetros (4419 km de enlace y 4155 km cronometrados); en la categoría motos habrá 8423 km(4277 km de enlace y 4146 km cronometrados) y en la categoría Camiones habrá 8121 km(4580 km de enlace y 3541 km cronometrados).

[The competition] will have 14 stages, the cars category will cover 8574 kilometers (4419 km linked and 4155 km timed); the motorcycles category will cover 8423 km (4277 km linked and 4146 km timed) and the trucks category will cover 8121 km (4580 km linked and 3541 km timed).

Dakar 2012 – photo: Laura Schneider

The official website comments on the topography of each country and shares a map of the rally:

Peru, episode II

The discovery of Peru thrilled everybody who reached this stage of the rally in 2012. This time, all the riders, drivers and crews will be able to test their mettle on the largest chains of dunes crossed on the continent since 2009. The Dakar has never before started in the middle of the desert in its history. Whilst the dosage of difficulties will decide just how and when the pressure rises, there will be no room for improvisation in 2013.

Argentina and its many facets

Once it crosses the Andes Mountains, after a first visit to Chile, the rally will encounter a different face of South America: one that guarantees a broad range of terrains which smile primarily upon flexibility. In Argentina, the capacity to adapt will be vital to switch from one type of riding and driving to another and between different methods of managing the race. Although the ration of sand will be less dense, the visit to Gaucho country will nevertheless finish with a major test in which only genuine experts in desert riding and driving will be at ease.

Chile a double and capital dose 

Two distinct sequences will be played out in Chile and each of them will be decisive. The return to the Atacama corresponds with the phase of the Dakar where competitors navigate in the domain of extreme endurance. As a challenge of ultimate resistance, the sessions in the dunes will continue up to the day before the finish. Before reaching Santiago, the competitors will have to tame difficulties of the highest order right up to the end.

However, Alex Sender in his blog Astroufo [es] writes about his concern regarding the geoglyphs in one of the stages in Peru:

El desierto y pampas del departamento de Ica (Perú) es posiblemente la zona más poblada en el mundo por innumerables geoglifos, es decir figuras trazadas sobre el terreno las cuales sobreviven a pesar del paso de los siglos. Ejemplo de ello tenemos las famosas Líneas de Nasca, las figuras de Palpa, los geoglifos de Ocucaje, asi como el Candelabro de Paracas. Pero estos no son las únicos geoglifos que podemos hallar en la región, también en el desierto de Paracas se encuentran un grupo de figuras poco conocidas, los denominados: Geoglifos de Paracas.

The desert and pampas of the Ica department (Peru) is possibly the most geoglyph-populated area in the world. [Geoglyphs] are designs drawn on the ground which survive despite the passage of centuries. For example, there are the famous Nazca Lines, the figures of Palpa, the geoglyphs of Ocucaje, and the Paracas Candelabra. But these are not the only geoglyphs we can find in the region; in the Paracas desert there are a group of little-known figures called Paracas geoglyphs [es].

On the same blog, Alex had warned [es] about possible damages during the 2012 Dakar edition:

Desde este humilde sitio, hago un llamado a las autoridades y personas en general, para que se interceda por la protección de estos invalorables legados de nuestros antepasados, patrimonios no sólo del Perú sino también del mundo. Que no se permita se destruya lo que ha perdurado en el tiempo transmitiéndonos un mensaje histórico, y se preserve el desierto, el cual seguramente contiene muchas otras maravillas aún ocultas.

From this humble site, I call on authorities and people in general to intercede in protecting these priceless legacies of our ancestors, a heritage not only of Peru but also of the world. Let's not allow the destruction of something that has endured over time, transmitting a historic message, and let's preserve the desert, which probably still contains many other hidden wonders.

Rally Dakar 2012- Foto Laura Schneider

Rally Dakar 2012- photo Laura Schneider

For five consecutive years, the Dakar organization has chosen South American territory for this competition that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. The Dakar generates an economic movement that favors the region, revealing to the world the natural wonders offered by the three host countries.

You can follow related tweets under the hashtag #Dakar2013. Cesar Ruiz Arana (@CesarRuizArana) [es], for example, writes:
@CesarRuizArana: Se viene el #Dakar2013 .. adrenalina y pasión por los verdaderos fierros!
@CesarRuizArana: #Dakar2013 is almost here… adrenalin and passion for real fans!

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