The water gushed and swirled around them as they quickly realised their mistake.
Just metres from where they were using sheer determination to sluice a heavy bike through the knee-high depths, the rapids cascaded down the falls and into the South American valley below.
A slip would mean losing the bike to the white water, many of their possessions and risk serious injury, even death.
Dylan and Lawson Reid used their body weight to push against the torrent and drive the bike towards the opposite bank, hoping it wouldn’t slide along the flooded roadway and over the edge.
At the rear, Lawson, 32, lost his footing and was shunted on all fours closer to the waterfall’s edge. He scrambled up along the bank and set out a second time into the fierce torrent.
Dylan, 35, stumbled, trudged forward and somehow held the bike upright against the hungry water. The bank couldn’t come fast enough.
With relief, the brothers laughed off another close call on their trip of a lifetime.
Their epic two-and-a-half year journey saw them motorbike through 50 countries and raise more than $81 000 for QIMR Berghofer’s mental health research program. The brothers arrived back home in time for World Mental Health Day on October 10, and celebrated their homecoming at QIMR Berghofer along with a huge crowd of family, friends, staff and supporters.
The journey was inspired by their sister Heidi, who at 27 tragically ended her own life in 2011.
“Our world was shattered when we lost Heidi. There was nothing but a bottomless pit of grief… this ride is the one and only positive thing about Heidi’s loss,” Dylan said.
Professor Michael Breakspear, who heads QIMR Berghofer’s Mental Health Research Program, said the money raised would go towards finding an imaging-based diagnostic test for depression.
‘One of the biggest challenges for scientists is getting funding to do the research. I am tremendously grateful to Dylan, Lawson and their parents for supporting this crucial research’, he said.