Carlos and Jeff of Team CAA just tackled the April 2013 Rickshaw Run. Here's a set of their finest photos and updates from their blog:
The first day of driving was both difficult and rewarding. A wrong turn has taken us slightly off our original path -- and up a seriously steep set of mountains. We find ourselves in Angadipuram, and are now making some decisions about our next steps. Everything is otherwise well: We are sharing the driving and the rickshaw is exceeding our expectations.
Day seven is now over. It was an incredibly draining, difficult day. At one point, we ran out of gas, and were thankfully prepared and able to resolve the situation within ten minutes. Road conditions were variable, leading to wild swings in our average speed, and creating uncertainty about our ability to meet our distance goal.
The danger level peaked in the mountain roads with the wild oncoming traffic. A few buses came remarkably close to ending our lives.. Thankfully, we made it safely into the city -- which was our goal. We're really looking forward to heading towards Goa tomorrow, but right now we're having some Jack Daniel's.
Indian bathroom etiquette is simple: Squat and poop. That can happen anywhere. And at seven in the morning, it happens everywhere.
It was a very long and good day of driving. We just stopped for the night, and are having dinner at a very remote restaurant a few kilometers north of a town called Mahagaon. We will camp somewhere nearby.
Seeing a dead human being on the road was the worst experience so far this trip. Spending a day on the beach near Goa was the best. And we've experienced every bit of the spectrum in between. What an unbelievable journey. So happy we're here.
About to end our eastward march and finally head north on the road to Rairangpur. The journey through the forest was one the coolest experiences imaginable, with great roads, amazing mountain passes, and some exotic wildlife. Really happy we made the detour. As it stands, we're about three days away from the finish line.
Slow going as we head north towards Siliguri. We had to take a tiny connecting road between two highways, and it looks like it was the recent focus of a major bombing campaign.
Our poor Bessie can't catch a break -- either she's getting engine pressure from intense heat, steep climbs, and long distances, or she's getting suspension pressure from crappy roads. Hopefully we'll get her back on a proper road soon.
As we begin the final push to the finish line, we're reflecting on what set our team apart: The breadth of our route.
From the central mountains and temples of Angadipuram to the coast of Mangalore and the beaches of Goa. From the oppressive heat of Solapur to the broad highways of Nagpur. From the amazing forests on the road to Kolkata to the depressing poverty of Purulia. We've seen it all.
And while we still don't know the exact length of our journey, we're comfortable in believing that few -- if any -- other teams managed our kind of route. We have gotten as much of India as was possible, given the time frame. That's something to be proud of.
With seven hundred kilometers to go, we're getting Bessie serviced one last time. The past two days have been absolutely brutal on all of us (we even put the rickshaw on a tiny ferry across a water reservoir), and we want to make sure she cruises to the finish line.
A proper toilet is a thing of beauty.
And on that poignant note, here is Team CAA being welcomed at the finish line in Shillong by Rickshaw Run Chief Mr. Matt. Bravo chaps.