The Dakar is coming through again today and causing a huge disruption to travel plans. Last year, Hilary and Jason's trip was completely reworked otherwise they would have been stuck at Colome (possibly the best place in NOA to be stranded) when the ministry decided last minute to adjust the route and close Ruta 40 and Ruta 68.
This year the race is generating a certain amount of aggravation locally for the rubbish left behind and pollution to the eco-system following the aggressive passage of hundreds of vehicles and tank-like supporter vehicles, not to mention many thousands of spectators lining the roads.
The blog 'No al Dakar" has been quite adamant in posting the destruction caused and invites signatures to its 'No al Dakar" petition. Here is a link to the English Digital Journal
For me there are certain discrepancies in the statements on the "No al Dakar" blog. For instance, last year the Ministry set the route so that the race was not staged through the PN Los Cardones but came through the artesans village, much to the outrage of the weavers who had to pack up their workshops because of the dust thrown up by the vehicles and who lost business. The blog states that last year there was garbage left and burnt out vehicles which was not the case. The photos in one post are not even of the Parque based on the vegetation lining the road.
Although it was a hassle for many concerned, the Dakar brought an influx of excitement and attention to NOA. Driving back from Jujuy, Jason and Hilary's trip ended with them being on the same highway as the Dakar Rally alberit heading int he opposite direction and their route was lined with thousands of waving spectators. As Jason said, A trip of a lifetime.