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Keyhole Island by Charles Coiro

Genre/Category: Action and Adventure
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Keyhole Island by Charles Coiro
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It was listed as an endurance trip for only the most experienced and physically fit young men and women between the ages of 21 and 28 who had experience in endurance sports  such as mountain climbing, caving,  racing, survival living, skiing and motor cycling.  Its itinerary included a learning cruise for those who never sailed on a two-masted, square topsail schooner from San Francisco to Australia and then an endurance hike across the Outback to the western coast.  The journey would include the Anyang, Poitjantdatura and Yankunyryatjara lands where the Aboriginal tribes still live and the mountainous area of  New Zealand.  All room, board and travel expenses would be paid except that the selected adventurers would have to travel under their own expense to the dock where the schooner was moored in  San Francisco.  The trip would be for 12 months and those accepted would have to be interviewed by persons of the three  organizations sponsoring the journey.  There would be a very rigorous medical examination.  The applicants would be the 12 men and women most fitted for the adventure.

            The purpose of the trip was linked to an important and a politically influential Environmental organization; an energy or power food bar company and a very well known foot ware manufacturer.  Each of the sponsors naturally wanted their products used and there was to be an agreement to use all interviews, photos, reports at the discretion of the  sponsors.

            When the announcement was posted in the various Environmentalist magazines, it attracted the attention of a great many young sportsmen and women all  over the world.  What could be better than an 12 month adventure with all expenses paid.  For most, if not all, the cost of such a trip would be prohibitive.  With the idea of testing your own skills and endurance, the trip would answer your doubts about your degree of fitness and expertise.  There was something for everyone and the learning experience of the other trials was a challenge in itself.  The trip was to take place in one year’s time.  The response was very large from the athletes but many applied for the application to see if they could get past the preliminary requirements.  Being a year off most applied just to see what happens. The trip was given wide publicity and the winners were anxiously awaited.  None of the people to be selected were required to excel in any particular event or challenge;  the only prerequisite being that they be of sound body physically and that they have the adventurous spirit to face any physical challenge that they might encounter; also, the contestants had to have an excellent command of English.

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