months of preparations The Isuzu Challenge teams arrive
in Australia for the first day of the event. Some teams
have been in the air for 40 hours before landing Down Under.
first day we face rain and strong winds that threaten to
blow away our tents. We survive the night and wake to a
clear, calm and mellow morning.
away the tents and look over the vehicles that we are using
on the voyage across Australia. Parked neatly in a semicircle,
it wasn't long before we are on our long convoy north, to
the heart of the Flinders Ranges.
road greets us with magical groves and a variety of weird
eucalyptus trees. (Did you know that there are more than
600 species of eucalyptus tress in Australia?).
the scenery are kangaroos that skip around us - we are strange
beasts indeed and they are inquisitive. Above us colorful
the Flinders Ranges National Park we drive on "The
Geographic Road," it's 20Km long and offers impressive
rock folds and awe inspiring geological forms sculptured
by nature millions of years ago. There's a tremendous diversity
of animals and insects such as the wallaby, ostriches and
leave the park behind and turn towards the tiny village
of Blinman which has just 21 inhabitants - all join us for
lunch. The situation is amusing: we photograph the locals
and they take pictures of our yellow convoy.
farewell and continue on our way. At the Elder Ridge we
head for the dry riverbed for real field driving. But it's
not easy. The land is so rough that covering just a few
kilometers takes three long hours.
roads are difficult, the driving is technically intricate
and there are water passes. But at the end there is also
ample applause as we congratulate ourselves on completing
the first day's driving. This is where the second night
of camping awaits us.
: Gerry Avramovich