13th - 20th October
Price: £1795 per team (3 people, that's less than £600 each)
A week of tyre-tearing madness hurtling across the spectacular scenery of Sri Lanka in a comprehensively terrible 10.5hp rickshaw that's barely powerful enough to carry itself.
Your trip includes:
- A rickshaw, pimped to your own design
- All the necessary paperwork to drive the vehicle
- Test driving, and startline shenanigans
- Huge launch and finish parties
- A jerry can and a few key spare parts plus the tools to change them
- A week of some of the most underpant-stirring adventuring possible in a rickshaw
The humble auto-rickshaw. The perfect(ish) adventuring machine. Kind of.
The engines on our Sri Lankan beasts are an impressively pathetic 10.5bhp. They have tiny wheels, shite ground clearance and bad suspension. They have no real protection from the elements, and they're incredibly unreliable.
All of this pretty much guarantees something will go wrong. Which is where you find out what you're really made of. Hopefully it's stern stuff.
Some of the off-road tracks in Sri Lanka are properly gnarly. Thankfully, with a mere 198cc at your command, this should mean you get utterly stuffed.
Sri Lanka, the teardrop shaped island just south of India that delivers equal measures of tears of joy, and tears of frustration.
Beaches, jungles, off-road tracks in the middle of bloody nowhere, the crumbling remnants of past kingdoms, mountains, elephants and remote villages. All this goes towards making an adventure that will basically melt your face with awesomeness.
Here's some quick stats about Sri Lanka that you might want to know.
- Local Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
- Capital City: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte & Colombo
- Price of a pint: £1.63 (€1.87)
Getting hold of fuel for your rickshaw shouldn't be a problem. There are plenty of filling stations and if they are few and far between you can probably find someone in a village who will sell you some from a bottle. Failing that, you've had it.
If you like rice and curry, you're in for a good time, Sri Lankans love the stuff. It's cheap too. Expect to pay as little as a dollar for some dishes although if you head for the more touristy areas you could pay up to ten dollars. For cheap eats though, follow the locals. Confusingly some of the food outlets are called "hotels" but don't be put off, go in and eat. On the road there are loads of places to stop and chomp.
You can find decent hostel style accommodation for as little as five bucks. Hunt around and some of the locals have turned their homes into guest houses that offer a decent clean sleep. If you're boring there are all the usual branded hotels but with over 2,500 hotels listed on this relatively small island, catching some zzz's won't be a problem.
For even more info, go here
Driving License - To drive a rickshaw in Sri Lanka we highly recommend these 3 things:
- A driving licence
- An International Driving Permit
- A category 'A' stamp in your International Driving Permit
The IDP is a small booklet which explains in multiple languages that someone somewhere deemed you capable of driving on public roads. The category 'A' stamp allows you to drive a 3-wheeled light vehicle (your Auto Rickshaw).
Those of you with a UK driving license have been graced by the presence of the Robin Reliant and can use your regular license to acquire the special stamp. In some other countries (Australia, USA & New Zealand for example) you may need a motorcycle endorsement on your license to get the Category 'A' stamp in your IDP.
Sri Lankan Visa - Many nationalities can buy this in advance and it costs just $35. More information on how this works and if you need them here.
Travel & Medical Insurance - You'll need appropriate travel insurance that covers you for exactly what you're doing and exactly where you're going. We wouldn't scrimp on this one, we might make light of the dangers in our writing, but they're very real.