Day 1 to 5 recap

Oh me oh my, this place is insane and amazing all at the same time. We’ve been trucking along without any real troubles. We’ve had a few things wrong with the rickshaw, but all have been easily fixed. The people here are so nice and very quick to help. We’ve been alternating driving thru small tines and a Bit of highway driving, maxing out our speed at about 50km/hr. Everyday is like being in a parade, the whole town comes to the road as we drive thru, waving and cheering and taking pictures. We can’t stop anywhere too long or it becomes a mob scene. We are pretty sure we will get back to New York and walk down the street waving at people. We are quite the site, three decorated rickshaws full of white people, esp us being three girls. We are still with our original caravan of two Canadians and two English guys, we make a pretty good group. I’ve somehow become the boss, I give the orders and everyone falls in line. The driving is pretty insane, there are no real rules and people are just all over the road.

The shaws, me and the police officer, and our pool. The boys were asked for licenses and passports by the officer. Me? I just took pictures with him,

All hail King Andy.

Oh me oh my, what a couple of days it has been. We were going to keep a stall out log, but when I stalled about 50 times getting up the ramp at the launch, we scraped that idea. Im pretty sure as Matt, the director kissed our cheeks and sent us on our way, he was thinking he’d never see us again. But two days in, we are feeling much more confident. We have ended up traveling with two Canadian guys and two English guys. Andy, one of the English guys, put our exhaust back together after it fell off a few hours in, immediately earning himself the title of king Andy. We made it the rest of the day without much further incident.
Day two started off much better. After driving the entire first day, I finally got some time in the back seat while Julia and Robyn took some time behind the wheel. The day started off a bit shaky when the battery started smoking and we lost our electrical stuff, like lights and the horn. We drove a few hours and when we couldn’t find a mechanic, Andy got back in there and fixed it. The day was pretty smooth until we hit the town of Salem. It was a full on crazy drive thru town. I’d think it would be easier to drive thru time square. So many people and bikes and cars and rickshaws. We made it thru and just when it was getting dark, the electrics went out again. We taped our headlamps to the front and back and made it, after many turn arounds, to the most amazing hotel where we have been treated like royalty, complete with a poolside dinner.
Now back on the road! This is by far the hardest and most amazing thing I’ve ever done!

Our first few days…

We made it to India without any real trouble… It took us about 24 hours from leaving our apartments to walking into our hotel in Fort Kochi. A very long day indeed. We lucked out on the flight to Delhi, the plane was about half full and we each had our own rows to spread out in. After working the night before and not having slept yet, it goes without saying I immediately passed out and slept almost the entire way.
On Friday morning, we got our first introduction to our rickshaw. We had sent in the design and a local painted it for us. It was very interesting to see his interpretation of our Elvis! Robyn was the first in the drivers seat and made a few laps without any trouble. Then I got I and couldn’t get the gears to shift for the life of me. After a few minutes with the mechanic, it was much better. After we all got a few laps in the compound, they sent us straight to the street. Nervous yet? You should be. The thing I wasn’t counting on was the fact that we will be driving I the left side of the road. I have already driven several times into oncoming traffic. Once we were comfortable driving around the block, we decided to drive back to the hotel it it. After a couple of curb checks, we managed to get a wheel into a ditch/sewage river thing. Luckily we were able to pull it out on our own and went on our way. We spent the rest of the day being driven around by our lovely new Indian friend (we never figured out his name) who took us all around the markets finding all the things we needed, such as speakers, a radio, flowers to decorate the shaw… He took us to a little restaurant where they carried around buckets of food and served you what you wanted. The food was so good!
The area of India we are in is dry right now, which is very interesting. We were allowed to buy 5 beers each at this one wine store but somehow there was a bar that was serving last night. There are about 68 teams of rickshaws and pretty much everyone was out last night, which got pretty crazy and included a game if beer bottle jenga.
Today was pretty uneventful, just decorated the ride and got the sound system outfitted. Today we have our launch party and then tom we are set to leave between 10-11. We don’t have a exact route, nor do we know exactly how to get out of the city. We are hoping to lock down a few teams to buddy up with. Hopefully one that knows the way out…
Tell Granny to light a candle, tom we hit the streets for real!

Pimping the shaw! She looks amazing!!!!

Our ride!!!! (That’s supposed to be Elvis on the back!)

India or Bust!

My latest crazy adventure: Drive an rickshaw across india.  What exactly is a rickshaw?  Apparently there is an engine with about as much power as a lawnmower, three wheels, and I am pretty sure a roof.  We are the Tiki Tuk, complete a custom paint job in hawaiian theme with Elvis painted on the back to cheer us on.   We have two weeks to get from the bottom of India to the top, puttering along some of the worst roads and the most congested traffic known to man.  A perfect vacation… 

We leave today (April 2nd) and will touch down in Kochi (hopefully as scheduled!) Thurs at 9pm.  We will be starting us off a bit behind the other teams, as most people will be arriving Wed., but we will still have Thurs., Fri., and Sat. to learn to drive this thing and get it fully outfitted to our liking (you know, the important things like christmas lights and a sound system…). 

check out the website for more of what this is all about:

check back here for updates from the road!  Our drive is going to take 2 weeks while we cover about 2000km of unknown territory.  Its bound to be full of both fun and disaster of epic proportions!  

You can barely see it, but ours is the first on the right, the orange with red flowers.  Isn’t she a beauty?!?!?

You can barely see it, but ours is the first on the right, the orange with red flowers.  Isn’t she a beauty?!?!?