AP Photos: Navigating the desert in the Dakar Rally

Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_89478 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, Sara Garcia of Spain checks her Yamaha motorbike, next to his partner Javier Vega of Spain at the Dakar rally "park ferme" in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_85496 In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 photo, an overview of the Dakar rally bivouac in Al Ula, in Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_67112 In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, Saudi Arabia security forces pray while a care races during stage seven of the Dakar Rally between Riyadh and Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_54864 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, a track drives past the entrance gate of Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_22575 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, Dakar rally staffers play petanque after stage eight in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_40516 In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 photo, a competitor washes a Can-Am SSV after stage five of the Dakar Rally in Hail, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_79433 In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, co-driver Maurizio Dominella of Italy, checks the road book for the next stage at the restaurant of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_90573 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, a team member of driver Camelia Liparoti, of Italy, and co-driver Annett Fischer, of Germany, does the laundry after stage eight of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_52629 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, a mechanic works on a car after stage eight of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_93370 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, Muslims pray at a tent after stage eight of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_81993 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, Dakar TV staffers work inside the broadcast truck after stage eight in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_38008 In this Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 photo, Red Bull mechanics work at the Dakar Rally bivouac in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_03528 In this Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 photo, driver Peter Van Merksteijn, of Netherlands, foreground, and co-driver Michael Orr, of Great Britain, after crashing their Toyota during stage nine of the Dakar Rally between Wadi Al Dawasir and Haradth, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_70340 In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 photo, Karcher staffers fill a tank with water to be used for cleaning vehicles at the bivouac of the Dakar Rally in Hail, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_05332 In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, APSCO employees fill a tank of a Dakar helicopter at the end of stage seven in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_52391 In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 photo, a team staffer pauses at the bivouac after stage five of the Dakar Rally in Hail, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_84199 In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, Dakar pilots and medics gather around a bonfire after stage seven of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_84941 In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, driver Giniel De Villers, of South Africa, and co-driver Alex Haro, of Spain, race their Toyota during stage seven of the Dakar Rally between Riyadh and Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_12695 In this Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 photo, a race car kicks up a trail of dust during stage two of the Dakar Rally, between Al Wajh and Neom, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_16959 This Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 photo shows an overview of stage four of the Dakar Rally between Neom and Al Ula, in Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Dakar_Rally_Photo_Gallery_16668 In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, driver Quan Ruan, of China, and co-driver Yirong Wang, of China, race their Chevrolet during stage eight of the Dakar Rally in Wadi Al Dawasir, Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year's event and move it to South America. It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia. The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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Spanish motorcyclist Sara Garcia searches for a tool inside a red metallic box during one of the world’s toughest races, gazing at pictures and support messages from family and friends.

Garcia and her Yamaha are taking part in the Dakar Rally, an annual event being covered by The Associated Press.

“I’m tired,” Garcia said with a smile, adding: “She is tired,” referring to her motorbike.

In the same division, Spanish rider Julian Jose García Merino fine-tunes his loyal partner, a blue Yamaha.

“At the end, it is all about finding time to rest,” said García Merino, who is riding in the race for the fifth time and competing in a category that cannot accept external help. “Me and my machine go together on this adventure. I can’t be on one side and the machine on the other.”

The race started on Jan. 5 with 560 drivers and co-drivers, some on motorbikes, others in cars or in trucks. Only 41 are taking part in the Original category.

“Original is the concept that is closest to the first Dakar,” rally director David Castera said.

Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, the race was created by Thierry Sabine after he got lost in the Libyan desert in 1977. Until 2008, the rallies raced across Africa, but threats in Mauritania led organizers to cancel that year’s event and move it to South America.

It has now shifted to Saudi Arabia.

“Our intention is also to expand the Dakar to the border countries: Oman, Jordan, United Arab Emirates,” Castera said. “The Dakar is a nomadic race whose vocation is to explore the deserts in the world.”

Today’s Dakar Rally is a well-oiled machine with millions of followers on social media and thousands of hours broadcast in more than 100 countries. Over two weeks, the competitors speed through breathtaking landscapes and end each night at the bivouac, the heart of the race and a landscape of camping tents with clothes hanging from dismantled vehicles, co-pilots checking the road book while eating dinner, staffers playing pétanque, and pilots queuing for a hopefully not-so-cold shower.

“The way of living here is a little wild. It’s not the comfort you may have in the circuit or in the Formula One environment,” said two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who is competing his first Dakar Rally. “It’s a personal challenge.”

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