Rickshaw Run Update From the Road #2

April 12, 2014 9 Comments »

I’m traveling 2,000 miles through India by motorized rickshaw, raising $15,000 for Charity: Water. While I’m sweating buckets, becoming one with my horn, avoiding cows, and getting grease under my nails on the road you can follow along with my Instagram updates.

woman carries water on her head

A woman balances water on top while chatting with us about the Rickshaw Run.

roadside lunch in India

Our lunch stop today in a small village. 7 of us ate lunch for $7.

Day 2 Update: We started with an issue – which seemed to be the theme of the day. We took off with our convoy mates, Stephen and Peter, and I promptly broke the metal rod trying to start it. I clearly don’t know my own strength. Two hours later, a LOT of stares, and less than $4 later we had a welder come and fix it and on our way again. Today’s heat was completely oppressive – a rather boring drive through fields though. We added a little Madonna to the playlist and that helped a bit. We had more night driving that made me a little nutty, but it was necessary. I think my Asian motorbike driving skills are coming back as they served me well as I wove in and out of traffic at the top mind numbing speed. We lost ground today but are of course hoping to make it up tomorrow!

arriving into Chittorr India at sunset.

Every night we seem to be racing the sun. This time we lost again and rolled into Chittorr in the dark.

traffic police in India

Every night we seem to be racing the sun. This time we lost again and rolled into Chittorr in the dark.

egg & chapati on the side of the road in India

Serious weight loss happening here. This was lunch today – an egg & chapati. Charlie also managed to find a coconut and some fresh orange juice for us. We pretty much eat at little local spots that any western traveler wouldn’t ever try. So far so good – it’s super cheap and the interaction with the locals is priceless.

masala chai on the side of the road in India

It was sort of like Starbucks – a great roadside masala chai shop this morning for breakfast. We even bought eggs next door and he added them to our dosa.

Update Rickshaw Run Day 3:
At the end of every day I feel like I ran a marathon. My body hurts, my eyes sting from the dust and pollution, my ears ring from the noise, and all I really want to do is take a nap. No real major breakdowns today with the Rickshaw, however I think I had my share of mental. I’m really tired and it’s only been 3 days and have had a headache and an issue with an allergy or something now for 3 days. But – the race must go on.

We got an early start at 8 am and had a full day of driving until the sun had set at 7pm. With 11 hrs on the road we made it 315 km. It’s slow going and stops are required to not go crazy. Indian traffic no longer surprises me – trucks, cows, goats, oxen are just a horn beep away. We are still fighting the heat and today one of our convoy’s tires burst and we had a whole army of locals men interested in helping. A little shoeless boy ran off with the tire and had it fixed. Soon our 3 little rickshaws were surrounded by Indians taking pictures.

At the end hands were shook, very little money exchanged and everyone bid us goodbye. We have chosen to go around the big, big cities and try to stick to the smaller ones – the smaller cities are definitely challenging enough – and it’s certainly challenging to stay together amidst the traffic! Sometimes the sites out the rickshaw are beautiful and sometimes they are just dirty and rundown. But it’s the people we’ve actually met along the way that makes it special. I’m ridiculously proud of us for doing this so far…but I still want a nap.

richshaw run convoy in the middle of India

Our convoy stops to buy fruit in a small village. We make a pretty good team – pediatric doctor (MacGyver mechanic) & lawyer from Australia, 3 finance professionals from nyc (they keep all the Indians happy in tips), and Charlie and me – writers. Lots of laughs and lots of grinding thru the gears!

Indian Family portrait

Family portrait roadside while waiting for tire repair.

For more updates throughout the week check out my Facebook page: Ottsworld Travel and Life Experiences.

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