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Hottest Place on Earth

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the hottest place on earth,desertRead 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.

About 10 minutesStrengthening reading comprehensionCambridge English B2 First Exam

B2 First Reading Part 5 (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.

Hottest Place On Earth

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 and 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 Danakil 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 the 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 the 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 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

Listen to the story about the hottest place on earth.
Extra Free Exercises for B2 First Reading Part 5.

B2 First Reading Part 5B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

You need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to you such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students. Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.

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

You are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be an essay of 140-190 words. For the second, you can choose from an article, email/letter, essay, review or report (B2 First for schools the report is replaced with a story) of 140-190 words.

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials, such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources, but targeted at the interests of the learners.

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 for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their 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.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear someone being interviewed.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practise so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully. We have many activities to get your English up to speed in no time.

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles such as our films word search are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
Level Links:
This free material is for students at an Upper Intermediate Level of English. This will probably be suitable for students in their third or fourth year of English studies. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practice activity for students who are preparing for the C1 Advanced which is part of the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses and IELTS examinations.

We also provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

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