the eighth day we left our vehicles behind to go white water
rafting on the Tully River in northeastern Australia. Six
people and one guide sat tightly in a raft and set off on
a 10-kilometer route.
Our guide, Daniel, was 24 years old, and when he wanted
us to paddle faster he yelled, "Come on you bastards!".
We are not sure who is more frightening - Daniel and his
yelling or the chilly and ferocious level 4-5 current (the
highest level for amateurs).
One thing is certain, the view was amazing and despite the
fact that waterfalls kept filling our raft with water, nothing
deterred us from enjoying this adventure. Not even when
a craft capsized, spilling the people into the fast flowing
Among its passengers was Avihu Ben-Nun chairman of Universal
Motors Israel and Mosh Savir, president of the Geographical
Tours Company (initiators of the Isuzu Challenge project).
After a quick swim they were pulled back in by their guide
(someone almost as strong and frightening as Daniel).
At the end of the run everybody was charged with excitement
from this special day that included a lot of good laughs
and encouragement. The change in scenery, in the atmosphere,
and mostly the break from tiring driving, have all had an
impact and we are feeling especially refreshed. We said
goodbye to our rafting guides but not before adorning them
in the official Isuzu Challenge Expedition Wear.
Three hours on the road brought us to Cairns. At the Radisson
Hotel they were surprised to receive a group covered in
dust but seemed glad to see us just the same. The truth
is that after eight nights of sleeping in a tent we were
quite happy to be here, too. That night, we enjoyed proper
showers, clean laundry and finally, a clean soft bed.
The thought of sailing a yacht around the Great Barrier
Reef, on the eastern coast of Australia, encouraged us to
get up early next morning. After a short two-hour drive
we were in paradise: water and coral reef all around and
a small island of sand in front of us. We quickly forgot
about the last eight days of mud and dust as we dove and
snorkeled in crystal clear waters and relaxed on the golden
me who prefers to be on solid ground, quickly ended up wearing
flippers and flapping through the water. I was amazed at
this magical and beautiful underwater world. The Great Barrier
Reef 0 the only living structure that can also be seen from
the Moon, is within hand's reach.
was our last night in Cairns. The tiger-print convoy that
we left two days ago is waited patiently for us. Tomorrow
morning, washed, clean and refreshed, we will continue on
our way north.
: Gerry Avramovich