Published: October 24th 2008October 24th 2008
Hello Melvyn here...
Today has been quite straight forward compared to the madness of the last two days but still a long day.. As we have moved South we seem to have caught up with the late Monsoon as we have had torrenential rain in Mysore.. Dinesh and I took an interesting sightseeing trip in an auto rickshaw that thought it was a speedboat. Although the roads generally have been better today, potholes still lurk to catch the unwary,usually around blind bends or in shadows.. Even the motorway standard road into Mysore had sudden unmarked ridges across the road, a bit like finding a sleeping Policeman on the M1 at home.. Tomorrow welcome to the jungle..
The day started with tales of how people overcame the difficult driving coinfutupba yesterday and some awards. One car managed to hit a calf head-on but the good news is that despite being thrown through the air the calf survived without injuries. Everyone has been thoroughly impressed with the ingenuity and the hard work of the mechanics travelling with us as they repaired all the damaged sumps quickly and got the drivers moving again.
Once again we drove through lush green and thick countryside. I have never seen so much greenery anywhere in India. There were extensive coffee plantations and we were told many cardomam ones too although we did not see any. Also, there was a lot less poverty evident through the areas we drove through today.
It has been interesting to talk to the many of the drivers. There is a guy with his 13 year old son who is here for the first time and like many people is astonished at the gap between the rich and the poor. And as well as many couples there are five solo drivers, retired folks and several father and son teams. The organisers have found such a large group quite a challenge and are unlikely to repeat such a large rally again so we could be the largest rally of Ambassador cars ever held!! One for the Guiness book of records.
In typical Indian fashion the maharaja's palace is only lit up on Sundays and so we won't see it in its full glory. And like in many other tourist cities people are getting ripped off by the tuktuks, retailers and pestered by hawkers