Quite unusually, the Grand Raid started in La Thuile, Italy – the very location where the newly-selected travel reporters had undertaken a full week of intense training. After a brief stop in Milan, the caravan drove on the A1 motorway, all the way to the most unique Matera, also known as the city of rocks. After witnessing the legendary “flight of the angel” in Castelmezzano, a ship took the girls to Greece where some white Mitsubishi pickups were waiting – a brand new color for that year’s expedition.
Soon everybody had a chance to visit and explore Athens and its world-renowned Acropolis, then take a long trip on the Diabolika catamaran on the crystal-clear waters of the Peloponnese archipelago.
After a visit to Pamos and Simi, the caravan went back to the mainland and set off to Istanbul, Turkey. At the same time Diabolika set sail to Kusadasi, for another cruise to be enjoyed later on along the Turkish coastline.
The Donnavventura pickups reached the fantastic white terraces of travertine in Pamukkale, across the endless cotton fields. Entering the very Antioco’s door, the reporters arrived in Syria and were mesmerised by the strong Islamic atmoshpere, culture and heritage. Wondrous pictures were shot in the legendary archeological site of Palmira, while gazelles and oryxes gently roamed around the nearby hills. Damascus and its lively suq opened their doors to the Donnavventura explorers, eager to disconver more about this fascinating Country.
Once in Jordan, everybody was granted some well-deserved leisure time in a spectacular spa built on the very lake opposite Israel. From Amman the team drove all the way to the Dead Sea and then reached the canyons of Mujib and legendary Petra.
Later on the Wadi Rum desert literally fascinated every member of the 2010 Donnavventura Grand Raid, with its huge red dunes and bedouins settlements.
In Aqaba, on the Red Sea, the caravan took a fast ferry to the Egyptian coast, and after clearing the Customs everybody set off to Cairo. The lively capital city of Egypt offered endless thrills to the team, especially during the fascinating visits to the Archeological Museum, the Sphinx and the famous pyramids of Giza.
Travelling across the eastern part of the Grand Erg, the caravan reached the secluded monastery of Saint Anthony, where monks live, work and pray. Finally the crystal-clear water of the Red Sea appeared in front of everybody’s eyes, while te travel reporters had also a chance to catch a glimpse of its colorful fish species.
A few days later, the Donnavventura expedition arrived in El Shalatin, near the border with Sudan, and visited the famous market of dromedaries. The nit was time to pay a visit to massive Abu Simbel and its rock giants, near lake nasser. On a special cruise ship – Eugenie – the whole team thus reached the dam in Assuan. There, Eugenie was exchanged for a much smaller, but most typical and cosy Dahabeya, which took the team to Luxor and the Valley of the kings. Many small villages on the very bank of the Nile were briefly visited, while the girls discovered more and more about local traditions and culture.
In the Dakhla oasis the Donnavventura explorers set up one of their last base camp for 2010, before entering the majestic and almost blinding White Desert. A typical Bedouin camp then provided shelter for the following nights and then again it was time to visit the Black Desert.
The towering pyramids of Giza near Cairo welcomed the arrival of the expedition at the very end of 2010 Donnavventura Grand Raid.