Features, World Cup

The World Cup of Adventures – Group A

If you didn’t already know, there’s a little something called the World Cup taking place this summer. And yes, it’s kind of a big deal. Despite England’s best efforts, previous editions of this famous tournament have, more often than not, resulted in disappointment – leaving England fans far and wide frustrated.

But nevertheless, there is always a sense of optimism in the air whenever World Cup time comes around. If (when) England get knocked out from the competition, the tournament is still a fantastic sporting spectacle which anyone can enjoy.

During the build up to the main event – which officially kicks off on 14th June in Russia – Geronigo are going to take you on a virtual trip around the globe visiting each and every World Cup competitor and seeing what they have to offer in the action and adventure sports department!

So, without further ado, let’s get started with Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay.

Russia

As hosts of the competition, Russia automatically gained a place for the tournament, as they look to impress in front of their home crowd. Despite their defensive frailties, Russia have a handful of adventurous young players who bolster their attack on the football pitch. But how adventurous are they on the activity scale?

Credit: fifa.com

As the world’s largest country, there’s no surprise that Russia has the terrain for you to do almost anything imaginable. You can even take a leisurely ride across the world’s largest, deepest and oldest lake, Lake Baikal – on a bike. A four day guided winter excursion takes you along the frozen western coast of the lake, stopping to camp along the way. Just remember to take it slow on the ice!

Credit: sidetracked.com

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia enter this competition as the second lowest ranked team out of all the 32 nations involved. After manager Bert van Marwijk led them to their first World Cup competition since 2006, Saudi Arabia swifty decided to give him the axe and now, two managers later, they start their World Cup campaign as 1000-1 hopefuls.

Credit: albawaba.com

But what are the odds on you having some adventurous fun when out and about in Saudi? Quite high, actually. Take dune bashing, for example. Staying true to its name, this popular tourist activity involves guiding your off-road vehicle over sand dunes repeatedly. But, make sure that you’re going as part of an official excursion, as off-roading is illegal in parts of the Middle East.

Credit: newsonia.com

Egypt

Egypt really is a country with a little bit of everything, and this is reflected in their football team for the upcoming World Cup. Man-of-the-moment Mohamed Salah will be hoping to influence his countrymen, as they strive to reach the knockout stages. If they get the balance right, they will certainly be able to do this.

Credit: egypttoday.com

But what can be said about their ability to provide adventure-filled experiences? Well, Egypt is known to have a number of world class kitesurfing spots dotted along the coast. One of these spots, El Gouna, is a seasonal home to thousands of devoted kitesurfers, as they flock here every year to take advantage of the high winds especially in the summer months. Surf on, dude!

Credit: globalkitespots.com

Uruguay

When Uruguay play, you never know which team will be walking out of the tunnel. Will it be the attacking, ambitious team who led them through the qualifying round with ease, or will it be the more defensive side who managed to lose their November friendlies against tame opposition.

Credit: noticiasuy.com

But how does this South American country fare when it comes to the more adventurous sporting activities? If you’re looking for things to tick off the list when in Uruguay, this next activity really kills two birds with one stone. As the third highest point in Uruguay, Cerro Pan de Azúcar in Maldonado is often flooded with rock climbers throughout the summer months, as it soars 423 metres above the beautiful nature reserve which lies beneath. When you get to the top – and if you have the energy – there are opportunities to abseil or even paraglide back down. Now that sounds like an adventure.

Credit: andeshandbook.org

Verdict

Host country Russia and Uruguay are most likely to progress through to the following stages of the tournament. But don’t write Egypt off just yet, as they could well be the surprise package of the World Cup.

When it comes to adrenaline activities, there is surely only one winner. Russia comes close to snatching the top spot, as the sheer size of the country means that it’s bound to challenge even the most daring of thrill-seekers. But, when it comes down to it, you just can’t beat a scenic climb up to high altitude and then a paraglide back down to the ground, hopefully spotting some jaguars and pumas in their natural habitat along the way.

So, that’s Group A done and dusted. We’ve settled who wins it in the adrenaline department, but be sure to tune in to the World Cup to see who comes out on top on the football pitch!

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