Once they get back, the Gazelles explore the bivouac and its different facilities, from the CBA Informatique medical tent and the mail tent to the Bosch Car Service mechanical workshops and the booth of Eaux minérale d’Oulmès, partner of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, which supplies the teams with drinking water throughout the adventure. “We’re getting our bearings slowly but surely”, remark Elsa and Stéphanie of Team 102 (Stéphanie FLEURY / Elsa SCELLIER - EMMA NOEL). Team 150 (Chantal PORTHAULT / Marisa IASSOGNA - Garage & carrosserie de Bellevue F. Iassogna SA) leaves its vehicle at the Bosch Car Service mechanics area because “it’s making a strange noise”.
The bivouac starts to resemble a campground as the Gazelles set up their tents. Team 501 (Fabienne STOLF / Soizic ROCHER - EDF) get back after dark: “The stakes won’t go in, we might end up being a bit crowded in there.”
At the bar tent, some teams are unwinding as they discuss their first day in the desert, such as Cécile and Céline of Team 212 (Céline IMBERT / Cécile PAGES - AXA ASSURANCES AGENCE IMBERT PAGES). Just outside the restaurant tent, the Gazelles don’t hide their pleasure: “What a great meal!” enthuses Solenne of Team 114 (Sarah ARMAND / Solenne MORENO - RESTAURANT LE SOULINE), adding “and I’m hard to please because I own a restaurant!”
Meanwhile, the more studious Gazelles are already plotting their first points for tomorrow’s leg as they discuss what did and didn’t work during the Prologue. “Then pyjamas and goodnight, we decided we’d like to be in bed by 10:00”. They’re taking things seriously, these Gazelles. We’ll see if their good intentions still hold in 9 days’ time. But for tomorrow, they want to be in good shape for their first 5 a.m. wakeup call and to attack the first leg of this 29th edition.