Author(s): Ben Kozel
When Ben Kozel casually accepted a friend's invitation to raft down the Amazon he was setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. It was a journey that would take him from the ultimate source of the Amazon high in the Andes to its mouth on the Atlantic coast of South America - a distance of over 7000 kilometres along the length of the world's wildest river.
The journey from source to sea had only ever been completed by two expeditions, both of them assisted by first-class training, state-of-the-art equipment and major budgets. Ben, the Australina on the team, Colin Angus from Canada and Scott Borthwick from South Africa - all in their mid-twenties - were attempting the epic journey with fifteen thousand Australian dollars between them, some second-hand camping gear, a grand total of five afternoons' training in whitewater rafting and a large dose of blind optimism.
Five months later they arrived at the Atlantic Ocean, having survived some of the planet's most dangerous whitewater, wild storms, disgusting tropical diseases, several hundred species of venomous insects and reptiles, not to mention being pursued and shot at by guerrillas from Peru's murderous Shining Path rebel movement and mistaken by paramilitary police for drug smugglers.
Three Men in a Raft is the account of their extraordinary journey. It's both a travel book and an adventure story, laced with humour, danger and vivid description - unlikely, endearing and enthralling.