As Helen Rowland said “the follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity“, and there comes a time when it doesn’t seem a bad idea to base your life according to this exciting premise.

I don’t even remember when or where I heard about the Rally Albania, a true rally raid in low-cost version: 7 days and almost 2000 kilometres on one of the most demanding routes of the continent. It remained hidden in my head along with all those things “good to do someday”.

Perhaps excited by the Dakar, which was about to start, or by the vital necessity of a new challenge, I arrived again to this rally, or it arrives to me, I am not sure about this. One way or another, the end of 2016 was coming and with it the reduced fee deadline. But everything seemed unreal, a chimera, no more: Without racing experience, very limited off-road skills, zero mechanical knowledge… Not to mention the economic effort.

But “madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push”. And then Deli arrived to push me, convincing me to register just before the 31st of December: Suddenly I was in the rally website, filling in the form and making the payment; the next day an e-mail arrived with the confirmation. It was done, there is not turning back.

And here we are, with the race number 50 assigned for an almost suicidal adventure, sorting out holidays and looking for sponsors and help to get to Albanian lands. Because it is low-cost… but not really, Albania is in the other corner of Europe, and then there is the bike preparation, spares, gear, etc.