<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Days Eight and Nine of The Isuzu Challenge
Isuzu Challenge
Days 8 and 9 - Wet and Wild Isuzu Challenge

Isuzu Challenge 2003On 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 water.

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.

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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 beaches.

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Even 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.

This 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.

Photographer : Gerry Avramovich


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