Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka
The Details: Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is rammed with off road tracks, mountain roads, jungles, elephants, beaches, remote national parks, amazing food and some of the nicest people on Earth.
Here’s the run down on how to squash yourself and a couple of mates in a glorified lawnmower and adventure your way across the island.
1. The un-route
FINISH: Rekawa Beach, South Coast
DISTANCE: 650km (ish)
TIME: 2 days test driving, 6 days on the road
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 melt your face with awesomeness.
Set off from Negombo, an hour or so north of the capital Colombo and head inland to the mountains around Kandy. After you've got totally lost in the hills head East for a bit of coastal action then make your way to the finish line near the Southern coast. As this is an unsupported adventure the exact route you take, where you sleep and how lost you get is entirely up to you, just as it should be.
"In one sentence? Fan-fucking-tastic."
Carol B, April 2019
"Probably the most fun you can have on three wheels whilst sweating off 20% of your body weight."
Walker R, April 2019
2. The dates
October 2023 - Two spots left
6th October: Test Driving & Launch Party
7th October: Test Driving & Team Briefing
8th October: Launch Day
14th October: Finish Line & Party
31st December: Test Driving & Launch Party
1st January: Test Driving & Team Briefing
2nd January: Launch Day
8th January: Finish Line & Party
15th March: Test Driving & Launch Party
16th March: Test Driving & Team Briefing
17th March: Launch Day
23rd March: Finish Line & Party
9th August: Test Driving & Launch Party
10th August: Test Driving & Team Briefing
11th August: Launch Day
17th August: Finish Line & Party
4th October: Test Driving & Launch Party
5th October: Test Driving & Team Briefing
6th October: Launch Day
12th October: Finish Line & Party
3. Entry fee & what's included
That makes it a measly £665 each for a team of three.
You can pay in instalments too, chopping the fee up into monthly chunks.
What you get for your money
A start of the art 3-wheeled, 4-stroke air-cooled rickshaw with insurance and all the other necessary paperwork.
Two days of adventure prep and test driving including rickshaw driving lessons from the Rickshaw Run crew.
Rickshaw repair lessons
Our expert mechanics will bestow their knowledge in sessions covering basic maintenance and repairs on the road.
Team Flag to Pimp your Ride
A ruddy great big flag, designed by you to mount upon your steed.
Launch Party & Launch Day Ceremony
A ruddy great big knees up including dinner, some free drinks and awesome local live music. Plus an official send off ceremony on launch day.
Finish Line & Finish Party
We set the stage for your finish line photo and round things off with another bloody great big knees up to swap tales from the road. Much back slapping and a bit of falling over is likely.
Offering the best and worst that Sri Lanka can throw at you and all the stories and glory that go with it.
Support from our team of experts to advise you how to get to the start line, the best outfits for the parties and the best biscuits to pair with Ceylon tea.
Plus the team handbook with all the pre adventure knowledge you need so you can keep the bit between the start and finish focused on getting totally lost.
A community of likeminded idiots
We'll introduce you to Sri Lanka Rickshaw Run veterans if you want a chat before the adventure. Most importantly you get the company of fellow Adventurists in Sri Lanka. You're joining a collective of genius-idiots drawn to the call of overland stupidity.
Refundable Vehicle Deposit
The deposit is fully refundable and deductions will only be made if the rickshaw is seriously damaged or if there are bits missing. If you don't bring it to the finish line we'll need to use some of your deposit to recover it so it's best, and cheaper, to get it there yourself.
We understand the 'shaws will take a bit of a kicking because we've been running these adventures since 2006 so we don't deduct anything for normal Rickshaw Run grade wear and tear. We'd rather not have to take a deposit at all but it's a boring necessity so we do our best to make it as painless as possible.
"Absolutely loved it. More please. Truly memorable experience in a beautiful country."
Allison S, April 2019
"Better than a kick in the dick"
Pat S, April 2019
4. The rickshaw
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.
4 stroke, air cooled
4 forward, 1 reverse
5. Pimp my rickshaw
It’s pretty easy too. We’ll supply you with a digital flag template. You can then use photoshop or some other graphics editing software to decorate said design. If you’re not too handy with a computer then you can print the template out and decorate it with crayons, marker pens or bodily fluids if needs be. Once you’re done then scan the printout or take a photo of it and send it back to us.
We’ll then get our graphic designer in Sri Lanka to make it into a ruddy great flag to mount upon your rickshaw and bam, one pimped rick. Very detailed designs can sometimes get a bit lost. Best to go big, and bold. Like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.
Bear in mind, they’ll make the flag exactly as per your design, which means if you make a mistake, it will also appear on your flag.
You can even take the flag home with you come the end of your adventure to adorn your living room wall for years to come.
"The Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka was filled with epic variety of terrain, culture, nature, people and mishaps - 100% recommend!"
Emily M, April 2019"
"Unforgettable, will be signing up again."
Eugenie P, April 2019
6. Driving license & insurance
Temporary Sri Lankan Driving License
The authorities in Sri Lanka will issue a three-wheeler temporary license if you have a standard driving license for cars, listed as Category B on the IDP.
Always make sure your travel insurance covers you for driving three-wheeled auto-rickshaws and nothing about your license invalidates your policy.
Travel & Medical Insurance
So get travel insurance, otherwise you're one of these.
7. On the road costs
Expect to pay anything between £2 - £15 for a meal.
A room will likely cost you something around the £20 mark for something basic, and £50 for something with a pool, the smell of freshly laundered sheets and a minibar full of cold beer.
Petrol's cheap, around 50 English pence per litre.
8. Saving the world
Anything above this can be raised for any other registered charity of your choice.
Cool Earth works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. All their partnerships are community-owned and led. Local people stand to lose the most from deforestation but the most to gain from its protection, that’s why they are the forest’s best possible custodians.
How do we raise the cash?
You've got until 2 weeks after the end of your adventure to raise the minimum amount of £500. Teams often raise the most cash while they're on the road and just after they get back, but it's wise to start your campaign early.
If you don't raise £500 by the deadline, unfortunately you will go to hell. Together with Cool Earth we give you tips and resources to help you fundraise. Then 2 weeks after the finish line party we will pester you for your final total. But don't panic, we won’t set any dogs on you, or force you to sell your children. We will be very, very disappointed though and do a sad face at you.
9. The warning
Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.
This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.