by Jeni Bone
This story will appeal to those among us with a craving for adventure travel and who aspire to the aptitude and resilience of both Bear Grylls and McGyver. A film about four young people who travel between Panama and Columbia, across the Caribbean in a motorbike-powered boat.
Four Strokes of Luck
Four Strokes of Luck is an adventure film about the perilous journey of four unlikely mates who give a life boat new life and travel between Panama and Columbia, across the Caribbean, with a little ingenuity and a lot of luck!
In fact, in an area declared by the Australian government as dangerous as Afghanistan, they rig up a motorbike-powered boat and take to the treacherous waters, with equally challenging regions on either side.
The film is premiering at the Byron Bay Film Festival this month (March 13).
The documentary showcases the hilarious, harrowing and fascinating journey of three Australians: Roly Stokes from Sydney, Andrew Young from Mackay/Brisbane, Adam Broadbent from Tamworth/Newcastle and Bolivian, Claudia Orellana.
The group invents a motorbike powered boat to carry them 200km through some of the most dangerous parts of Colombia and Panama.
The adventure begins when Adam was inspired to ride his motorbike the entire length of the Americas, from Patagonia to Alaska. Adam said: 'Between Colombia and Panama was the only section of my trip without any roads. Powering a boat meant I could complete my entire journey using only my bike and also be the second person to ever do this!'
Based in Turbo, a town listed as up there with Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya for danger, the team race against time to wrangle their motorbikes into the boat before the Caribbean hurricane season erupts.
Faced with being marooned, imprisoned, blackmailed and more, the film captures the elation and trepidation as they plough on through rainforest and river.
'Audacia I', meaning Audacity in Spanish, a worse for wear 1964 life raft found on the Caribbean coast in northern Colombia, became their means of transport. According to Roly, she was in terrible condition, but with a lot of work, and brilliantly crafted 78 page report, they convinved Columbian authorities she was seaworthy.
As it turned out, the boat was the least of their worries. There were plenty of other hazards along the way, such as Guerillas, pirates, politics and the wrath of mother nature.
'There were a couple of situations where things went really bad,' explained Roly, with typical Aussie understatement.
'We lived under the constant threat of the Colombia revolutionary army, FARC, kidnapping us, there were drug traffickers everywhere, the hurricane season was closing in and we were held hostage by the police for days because we didn't have Panamanian visas. Plus Youngy cut his leg very badly with an angle grinder and almost died. The boat broke down a few times, including right in front of a big reef in high seas, and I'd loved to tell you what happened, but it'd ruin it!
'We are quite honestly, lucky to have our lives.'
A once in a lifetime voyage, Four Strokes of Luck is 'The Long Way Around' without the support team, 'Top Gear' where the stakes are real, and 'The New Inventors' where the inventions spell life or death.
For tickets and info about the Byron Bay Film Festival visit www.bbff.com.au
To buy a copy or to watch the trailer of Four Strokes of Luck visit www.fourstrokesofluck.com
Or see it here