My reasons for doing the Rallye des Gazelles originally was because life had changed for me recently freeing up the mental and physical space in my life in order to do it. I have always wanted to do something challenging and something that takes me away from normal life... I really wanted to do something that flew the flag for Women in Motorsport and also i really wanted to do a big thing for charity...and I felt the rallye ticked these boxes.
Well... That it does but in more ways than I ever, ever anticipated. The rallye isnt just tough, its epically gruelling. Our guide was an organiser for this and for Dakar and he said this was as tough, even more so in some ways, mentally...the rally not only flies for women in motorsport but also for women in general.
The oppression is still very high in morocco and this rally is not some feminist act created commercially, it is genuinely changing the countries perception of women and their capabilities....finally, I was taken to the mobile medical centre that is the Coeur des Gazelles - the heart - and I have NEVER, EVER experienced anything like it. Desperate people are given clothes and toys and are sobbing with happiness at the most simple of gift. These people have NEVER had medical treatment - during the rally the centre goes to each village and it has doctors, optometrists, dentists, gynaecologists, teachers and is fully equipped to deal with everything. We were taken to film each section and learn and report. I witnessed people getting eye sight for the first time; Seeing their children properly for the first time; Children learning about how to be healthier, safer; elders having fillings; just so much stuff and the gratitude from these folk was the most overwhelming thing I have ever seen. Nothing prepares you for that experience. So emotional. So humbling. And now - THAT is my main reason why I am not only going to compete in the rally next March but we are also going to produce the best fricking tv documentary on it and the journeys of the first UK teams to EVER enter too!
I intend to make sure that after next year, the UK fly a flag every year more to help such a good deed. Please follow on here, on our Monsterfeet Media FB page and our @rallyedesgazellesuk twitter.
We went out this time as a skeleton crew of myself, Jack Ford and David O'Sullivan with little budget. We have had one of the hardest weeks we have ever experienced physically and mentally. We faced the most mental of challenges from the actual act of the rally driving to getting lost at night in the sahara for hours with no gps to getting taken in to the police station to driving mad epic dunes to breaking down in the middle of nowhere in a major sandstorm to dancing and singing with moroccans and camels in the centre of the desert... every step was AMAZING, and the best thing too is that we have it ALL on film The journey has begun in a monster sized way!