Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dakar 2009

The sound of the engine comes from far away, behind a gentle hill in the road. Grave and deep, it announces its arrival much before you see it. Slowly, from the roof to the huge wheels, it appears from behind the hill. Motorbikes and cars have passed by all the morning, but this is different. Your blood freezes and you feel small when the 8 tons, 3 meters high thing passes you at full speed, just meters away. A bit later the engine drops down the revolutions and the big mass waves a little under the powerful braking, but not for long: a quick turn to right and it accelerates again to disappear in the distance. Welcome to the awesome spectacle of the Dakar's trucks...

After calling off the 2008 edition of the traditional raid París-Dakar due to terrorist threats in the African part of the route, the organizers (ASO) took a risky decision: to move the 2009 edition to South America. Organized together by Argentina and Chile, the Dakar 2009 went through the wonderful landscapes of both countries in a route that took it from Buenos Aires to the Patagonia, through the Andes and to the driest dessert in the world, and back to the departure point two weeks later. Two weeks that will stay in the history of the competition because the risk taken by ASO was rewarded with a resounding success, specially between the public: in a country where motorsport runs trough the veins of the majority, millions rushed to the roads to see the passing of motorbikes, cars and trucks. I was among them and this is a little sample from the last stage for you to enjoy.

You are warned, however: you can see, listen and read everything at your disposal, but nothing and nobody can transmit you nor prepare you for the power of a massive truck in full competition...

"A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind."
Thierry Sabine

(esta entrada en español)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Afternoon in the garden

How many times have we heard that the best moment to take pictures is the sunset? Well, it's true: the soft shades of the Sun in the hours that precede the night give a unique aura to everything they touch. And it's not necessary to go too far away to take advantage of it, it's enough to go out to your house's garden...

But the hummingbird isn't an animal of sunsets. To "hunt" this flying marvel you have to arm yourself with patience much earlier, in the heat of the midday hours. Fortunately it's a bird of habits: it comes every day at the same hour.

"The sound came vague and dull, like the fall of a chair on the carpet or a stifled whisper of conversation. I also heard it, at the same time or a second later, at the end of the corridor that takes from those rooms to the door. I throw myself against the door before it was too late, I closed it quickly leaning my body; luckily the key was on our side and I also closed the big bolt for more safety."
Taken House (Bestiario), Julio Cortázar

(esta entrada en español)