This summer two ex-Mongol Ralliers (Chatty and Jamie) and one never-backpacked-before (Olivia) individuals are flying to India, where they will hopefully buy an auto rickshaw and then drive it across India, all in aid of the children's charity HEAL.
Yes, I quite agree this is a bit of a hare-brained idea, more dangerous than the standard villa holiday and thanks to the lack of team organisational skills just plain silly.
A bit more info:
We are flying into New Delhi, getting an internal flight to Guwahati in the Assam region, buying a second hand auto rickshaw and driving it to Jaisalmar where we will jump on a train back to New Delhi, then flight home. All in 12 days.
An auto rickshaw is basically a three wheeled motorbike with a roof on top. Auto rickshaws (or Tuk Tuk's as they are also known by) are present in all Indian cities replacing the taxi as a means of getting from A to B.
Now you know what we're doing, you probably want to know why?? Apart from the obvious need for adventure (none of us can last long without it) we want to raise money for charity - Heal.
We know that us tight pursed Brits aren't great with parting with the pennies, which is why we thought we should do something so dangerous you'd feel pretty bad not to!
Heal helps relieve under privileged children, educating them so that they will never live a life of poverty again . We are aiming to visit one of their projects in India, so we can see for ourselves where our money is going.
Please donate as little or as much as you can www.justgiving.com/AnAutoRickshawAcrossIndia
August 21st 2012
Leaving the calm state of Sikkim was not done lightly and as we sit here sweating in the streets of Varanasi as a cow waltzes past shit trailing in its wake, we still wish we were there in the cool town of Darjeeling, gazing out across the Mountains, cold glass of beer in hand. After a bumpy ride back down to Siliguri, along steep mountain roads and flooded paths we eventually arrived at New Jailapurgi Junction to catch a train to Mughal Sarai, a train station close to Varanasi. Turns out its very hard to get a ticket on the day, and the ease in which we got the last ticket is due to the fact that no one wants to leave or visit the calamitous capital of the state of Assam. We managed to get ... read more
August 18th 2012
So we arrived at Darjeeling at about 7.30am and made the very exhausting trek up the mountain - heavy rucksacks and all - to the hotel we had decided on (and later advised as it was 'out of town'). After gorging on omlettes - our second meal in India - we finally had some much needed sleep (we had only had one full nights sleep at this point) before an setting off on an exploration of the colonial tea town. Darjeeling is a not your typical Indian town (speaking from experience) and it the most environmentally friendly town in the country thanks to the presence of rubbish trucks. There is a distinct colonial presence at the top of the town, and surrounding it thanks to the vast tea plantations. Lower down the mountain you get a ... read more
August 17th 2012
Our first four days in India have consisted of a lot of travelling and marvelling at the sheer stink of the capital of the Assam region - Guwahati. Having done copious amounts of research into the conflict zone of the state of Assam, we made an executive decision that really we would be ok. The PM of India had travelled there so how bad could it be? Arriving at Delhi airport we went straight to the Spicejet (India's answer to easyjet) counter to book the first flight to Guwahati. The travel man immediately asked us about our route from there warning us to not go out when we arrived there due to Indiependence day and to have our wits about us due to tribal friction. This advice seemed to follow us wherever we went and was ... read more
August 11th 2012
Rushing through Mughal Sarai station we just made our train to Ajmer where we would hopefully get a bus or tuk tuk onto Pushkar. Finally prepared for a train journey I feel we enjoyed it a bit more and even took the trecherous step towards train food (best to buy it on a train with a diner car served from train uniform wearing official food sellers). This journey wasn't as friendly as the first, and no one in our carriage spoke English. We got on the train at 10am and got off at 3am. Yet again we hadn't booked our onward journey and just hoped that because Ajmer was the last stop on the train that there would be buses or something willing to take us to Pushkar. Arriving exhausted in a busy train station when ... read more
August 11th 2012
To find the Burning Ghat walking through the intricate web of Varanasi's alleyways we followed the pungent smell of burning flesh, and the odd whisp of smoke floating over the cow houses and temples that lined Varanasi's streets. Olivia and Jamie (I had already been) were very eager to visit Varanasi's main attraction after the Footprint pages (Olivia is also a wiki-aholic) painted such an exotic image of colourful funeral processions and load chanting of cremation prayers. Varanasi is experiencing high water levels at present which means the river is empty of boats due to the ferocious rip tide. As such the ghats are still recovering from flooding with temples partly under water and flip flops embeded in the muddy path ways coming to and from the waters edge. To experience the Burning Ghat you need ... read more