<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Wall Murals and Washed Away Paths: Day Two of The Isuzu Challenge
Isuzu Challenge
Wall Murals and Washed Away Paths:
Day Two of The Isuzu Challenge

Isuzu Challenge 2003 "I've never slept with such a breeze," said Arik Baraz with a smile as we met on the second morning of the Isuzu Challenge expedition.

Although Baraz, the man behind the complex expedition, has slept in many places around the world, he too was surprised at how strong the winds are at night - so strong that they blow tents and people all over the place.

The locals and news broadcasters say the weather conditions in Australia right now are the most extreme within the last 100 years - and we are the 'lucky ones' to experience it!

We wake up in the morning to discover that the path we were to follow has been washed away during the night. This is a situation where improvising at a moment's notice to direct the drivers on how to move and where to turn is essential. We need to quickly decide on a new route so the tiger-printed convoy can continue on its way.

We continue toward the Chamber Canyon, leave the vehicles and continue on foot to look at Aboriginal wall murals. If only the painters of these magical murals on the canyon wall knew that 15,000 years after they died people from around the globe would come to see their drawings.

Driving through Australia is an experience in itself. Every once in a while another 4x4 vehicle comes into view and the occupants always wave hello. This contact is an important and exciting part of every meeting between the Challenge participants and local residents.

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We continue north into incomprehensible vast spaces. For example, after driving for 200km, we see a sign that warns us that the next gas station is 409km away.

A few kilometers back we passed a sign that said we are entering "remote areas" - a clue of what to expect in the upcoming hours: endless spaces continuing to the horizon, with nothing in between. Everything is big, wide and truly gigantic.

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The long distances mean we drive into the night and so hold a safety training session that includes warnings against cows and kangaroos crossing the roads and jumping in front of the vehicles.

To help keep us awake Eti, our guide, tells an exciting story on the walkie-talkie. After 15 minutes of silence she realizes she had been transmitting into the wrong frequency. Next time we'll try harder.

Photographer : Gerry Avramovich


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