Adventurers cruise home
IF you were going to drive around the world in 59 days, you probably wouldn’t choose to do it in a couple of small Ford Fiestas.
And that’s exactly the point, said Jeremy Hart of the Ford Fiesta global trek that finished recently in Sydney with a cruise around the harbour on a barge.
‘‘It’s not that challenging to drive around the world in a 4x4,’’ Hart said.
‘‘But to take a car that is essentially viewed as a city car on such a long drive it out of its comfort zone that’s a challenge.’’
Hart said that while the epic adventure largely went smoothly, there were some sticky points along the way. And some very high points.
‘‘We didn’t have any great disasters or dramas and there were a few issues crossing some borders in the Middle East,’’ he said.
‘‘We had to change plans as we crossed from Greece into Turkey because they wouldn’t allow us to bring some of our filming equipment across the border.
‘‘The longest day we did was 1522km across Saudi Arabia because we only had limited visas to get through there. And that was one of the hottest drives with 48C, along with Death Valley in the US.
‘‘The most challenging driving was in Asia, firstly because we hit a typhoon in southern China, and also because there are a lot of people on the roads in that part of the world who are buying driving licences, not necessarily earning them, so there were some challenges there.
‘‘But we came through unscathed, with the only problem being a puncture in China. Otherwise the cars did their job perfectly.’’
Hart said any hard days were more than offset by the long list of high points.
‘‘We got an elephant in northern Thailand to write the name Ford Fiesta on a piece of paper. The elephants up there paint,’’ Hart said.
He said the trek across the Australian Outback ranked high on the list of memories.
‘‘Driving across the Outback is still a huge thrill, and Australia is a great kind of place to finish,’’ Hart said.
‘‘We got the car painted by a couple of fantastic indigenous artists in Alice Springs, and we ended up at Daly Waters which was Australia’s first international airport, between Katherine and Tennant Creek.
‘‘But it was weird coming up over from Bathurst into Sydney and knowing it was the finish.
‘‘It was really something to see top of the skyscrapers in Sydney and then finally the bridge — which is our official finish line because we started on the Pacific Coast in the US and we wanted to finish on the water here. It was quite emotional, actually.’’