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Hottest Place on Earth

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Read about a journey to the hottest place on earth for the B2 First Reading Part 5 which practices reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea and the implication of the idea.

Hottest Place on Earth, desert

B2 First Reading Part 5 Set 4 (Hottest Place on Earth)

For B2 First Reading Part 5, you are going to read an article about a journey to the hottest place on earth. This text describes Colleen Kiber travels with her father to the Danakil desert in Africa. This exercise consists of a text with multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose one of them.

No one travels alone to the hottest place on earth. You need, for starters, a driver and a Jeep stocked with water and four days of non-perishable food. There are no places to lodge or dine in this desert, so you'll need space for beds and someone who knows how to cook. And finally, because a journey like this costs many thousands of dollars, you'll need some fellow travellers to split the bill - the sort of people who like to fry themselves on vacation.

My father is the easiest recruit. Dad, who naps the best roasting in the afternoon sun, is a lover of extreme heat. He's also an extreme traveller, drawn to the fringes of places, all the countries where no one vacations. From my father, I've inherited both tendencies: I'm known for getting bright pink sunburns, and also for stalking the edges of maps. The Dankil desert lies on the fringes of several countries, which claim a sliver of this sweltering, low-lying desert, names the cruellest place on earth. I don't have to mention this is to my father - not the endless salt flats, lakes the bright colour of mouthwash, or camels by the thousands. When Dad starts calling this desert 'the frying pan', I know he's in.

We enlist three more people and in Mekele, the starting place for our voyage, we merge with four others. We fill five Jeeps and have nothing in common but a love of travel, and a willingness to sweat for it. The Jeeps plunge down mountains for hours. The heat, of course, is brutal. I remind myself this is just a warm-up. The real heat won't strike until we reach the sizzling edge of the frying pan, an uninhabited region, roughly 130 meters below sea level, called Dailol, which holds the record for the highest average annual temperature of 34 C.

As we continue, sand gives way to salt, and soon we're in a landscape of white crystals glinting in the fresh morning light. The ground is miraculously flat. Our driver, who has been battling fine sand, cannot resist the urge to go for it. We surge ahead of the other cars in what looks like a Jeep race across some frozen lake. Suddenly, in the pure white expanse, a huge brown mound appears. We're ordered by our guides to find a full litre of bottled water and to bring it with us up the lumpy brown mountain.

At the summit, I find my travel mates standing in a kind of silent daydream. Astonished, they crouch down beside pale green toadstools - mineral formations whose glossy tabletops are smooth as marble. The hottest place on earth is an assault of colour: yellow and deep rust, pea green and purple. Some of the formations look like coral reefs, others like eggshells., air-blown from the hot breath of the earth below. Everyone wanders off alone, crunching over the earth, heads down, staring at the ground and shaking their heads.

I know the ground is hot - you can even hear water boiling underground. Everywhere we step, things break and splinter. Just when I work up the nerve to step with force, the purple ground collapses beneath my foot. The sneaker I pull back out is covered in bright yellow stuff. You start to think: we really shouldn't be here. This desert wasn't built to handle a human intrusion, and the human body certainly wasn't built to handle this desert.

Back in the Jeeps, blazing towards the white horizon, I look down at my sneakers. The fluorescent yellow stuff has faded into neutral dirt, like that was all just some fever dream up there, a place we made right up.

1. What point does the writer make in the first paragraph?

Question 1 of 6

2. What does the writer say about her father in the second paragraph?

Question 2 of 6

3. What do the words 'remind myself this is just a warm-up' in paragraph three?

Question 3 of 6

4. What does the writer compare the landscape to in paragraph four?

Question 4 of 6

5. What does the writer suggest about her fellow travellers in paragraph five?

Question 5 of 6

6. How does the writer feel as she is walking around on her own?

Question 6 of 6


 

A journey to the hottest place on earth by Colleen Kiber 2012

More exercises available:

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B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

For this part, you practice vocabulary by using words with similar meanings, collocations, linking phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

B2 First Writing Section

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare. You will also be asked a short question about your partner's photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

Available in Feb 2019