The 39th outing gets underway on January 2 in Asunción, Paraguay. Here’s what you need to know in advanced:
- How do I drive at speed and drink?
- How do you go to the loo when you’re racing?
- Where do I sleep?
- How am I going to sleep?
- Why do I have to get up at 4am?
- What’s the food like?
- What do I wear?
- Who’s going to do my laundry?
- Where do I wash?
- What do the doctors treat?
Bivouac Rule 1: Rocky ground for your pop-up tent is better than a bed an hour’s drive away.
Rule 2: Avoid hotspots like toilets, showers and food distribution centres.
Rule 3: Avoid big teams as they attract a lot of attention.
Rule 4: Avoid gentlemen drivers/riders as they often spend the night fettling their hard-pressed charges.
Rule 5: Avoid generators.
Rule 6: Avoid jolly people.
Rule 7: Basically, avoid everyone.
Because you won’t cover nigh-on 8,500km in just two weeks otherwise.
Good question. You’ll have to cope with temperatures from freezing to +40˚C. Jackets with a good inner lining and body-warmers provide excellent protection against cold. You’re going to sweat whatever.
In a mobile shower with cold water, if need be. Don’t forget to bring your flip-flops.