Saturday 30th March 2019 – the final day of our Gazelles experience!
Another early start to get to the assembly point in a car park pre the beach finale, and still no word from Jonathan. Our plan had been that Jonathan would drive Priscilla on the beach allowing us to sit on the roof. Luckily, one of our fellow Gazelles had a spare man, who was happy to drive, so we got to sit on the roof anyway!
After deflating the tyres a bit for the last time, we headed off to the beach ….
I hadn’t really bargained for exactly how cold and windy it would be. (I have since found out that Essaouira is known as the windy city, due to the string trade winds which constantly blow in from the Atlantic ) It was only 8.30am and although the sun was up there was no warmth in it, and the wind was whipping down the beach . We had about a half hour wait before the cars started moving towards the finish arch, plenty of time for the locals to come and bring their 4 legged friends to see us!
Slowly we edged towards the Finish arch, and then finally, we were through!
When we got parked up, everyone was in party mood, and we had a bottle of our specially labelled bubbles from our partners Veuve Amiot, which had made it to the finish with us, to celebrate!
As we were all celebrating I got a message to my mobile from Jon, a mutual friend of Jonathans. Where were we? Jonathan was in Essaouira looking for us! Turns out that he had no internet access and my phone wasn’t receiving texts, so our efforts to communicate really weren’t working! As we headed indoors for the prize giving ceremony I gave Jon directions to pass on, and was relieved that all was well.
Inside the “tent” the stage was set up and the room was packed. There was a review of the rally and a thank you for the organisers and volunteers, as well as the Coeur de Gazelles team, and then we were invited to the stage to receive our trophies! The prizes were given in reverse order, so we were among the first to go up, although much to our total surprise we weren’t actually ranked last! Bonus!
There was no denying we were officially Gazelles. The trophy says “You Lived the Legend” and indeed we had! Despite the rally really not going as I had imagined it might, we did it, we survived and Priscilla survived. Many lessons were learned, the experience will stay with me forever.
On getting out of the ceremony, my first thing was to find Jonathan, which I did, and I can honestly say I have never been so bloody glad to see anyone in my life!
After lunch we had a free afternoon, so Jonathan, Ivy, Susan and I went off for a walk around the medina of Essaouira.
Then it was back to the hotel to spruce up for the Gala evening! it was quite strange seeing all the Gazelles in posh dresses, and the tent had been transformed into a glittering Moroccan fantasy ….. we toasted everyone’s achievements with Tsarine champagne, food was eaten, people danced, and the rally was really over.
Our Moroccan adventure wasn’t quite over yet though …… Marrakech beckoned ……