SANTANA TROPHY 2016.- STAGE ONE: ALGECIRAS-IFRANE
There are days in which attitude is everything. The first rays of sun hadn’t broken through and all the participants were ready to begin the administrative process to cross the border: first, before boarding the ferry at Algeciras, and then a more tedious version at the Moroccan port at Tanger MED.
A brief ‘family’ presentation and the first briefing took part after the disembarkment, and the first stage started at mid-morning. Today’s stage was a long one through fast routes which took the participants to the first Moroccan landscapes.
The first part on the highway, which was pretty monotonous, gave way to a not-so-good road and finally, what everyone was waiting for: the first real Moroccan trails. This is “Santana Territory”, their natural habitat. These bayonet-suspended beasts know they’re in the environment they were made for. Their occupants, too.
There’s a different life rhythm here, slower, calmer. Faithful to their Land Rovers - wherever they were assembled -, the participants undertake these trails ‘as slowly as possible, as quickly as needed’. This part of northern Morocco will pose no problems for these tiny brutes.
With the first chapter of the ‘off-road’ experience at their backs, the participants take to the roads again, having learned a lot about their vehicles in this initial stage.
The afternoon was well on its way when the cars reached their final destination for today. The participants get to spend the night at Ifrane - also known as the ‘little Switzerland’ -, one of the most ‘westernized’ areas in the country, home to those with a higher income and placed at 1700 meters above ground.