It has now been a little over a month since the Rickshaw Run ended, and I am still cleaning dirt out from beneath my fingernails and trying to smell like something other than gasoline. It sticks with you, India does, and when you take a road trip, a lot more sticks with you as well. After the insanity subsided and we pulled onto that victory platform as survivors, the following weeks were meant to be for relaxation. But, things haven’t turned out as planned, and a month later I am still finding it difficult to sit down and concentrate enough on writing anything.
And you all haven’t been given the chance to read about it or see the mayhem yet! I know, and I apologize, so I have a nice teaser for you today — something to whet that appetite for the stories of twisted metal and sweat and blood and tears. Geez, you all are evil! I don’t blame you, because what we have to tell is pretty crazy.
After the race, Derek and I were supposed to head to Nepal together. He left first, since his visa was expiring, and I decided that I didn’t want to leave India before seeing Darjeeling. And I was with a group of cute girls, so can you blame me? While in Darjeeling, I felt the earth rattle beneath my feet and saw buildings crack, but I would learn later that day it was from the massive earthquake which hit Nepal and killed thousands, and is still causing destruction. So I wouldn’t be going to Nepal. Even though I wanted to travel there to help out with the relief effort, at the time flights and crossing by land was blocked. For weeks I went traveling around more of India, looking for a spot to relax and regain energy, and to decide what to do next after it was clear Derek and I wouldn’t be traveling together again so soon. Even the relaxing places I arrived at were still stressful at times, and while in India it didn’t seem like I’d find a quiet place at all to get caught up with Rickshaw Run goodies.
Now that I have left India and decided on some new travel plans, I’ve had a little time and enough energy to start putting some articles together.
As I am writing and editing some longer articles and videos, I decided to give you something for an appetizer, so here are 13 Rickshaw Run photos that will blow your mind from various parts of the trip. I chose 13 because most of the time, we ended up in some of the unluckiest situations ever. And somehow we got lucky enough to come out alive.
Day one of the Rickshaw Run was a nice and easy start. Until, of course, a massive sandstorm hit us.
When a sandstorm hits you and winds are shaking trees and sending cows running, what do you do? Have a sandstorm techno dance party of course.
Sometime on the road you have to make on the fly adjustments and repairs. Here, the rickshaw Thomas the Train Engine needed a quick windshield washing.
The roads in northern India are quiet pleasant. You’re driving along and suddenly the roads have more potholes and actual road, making you bob and weave to avoid wheel rupturing slams.
Though we consider ourselves daredevils, wheelies in rickshaws were never planned. But when you arrive at a freeway that is blocked by boulders and dirt, you need to figure out how to get across.
Where there is a will, there is a way. On the other side of blocked freeways, you find even higher obstacles, and tall curbs and cracks to navigate or cross over.
Now this seems like a great idea. Have you ever heard sheep cry? What about 100 sheep stuffed in a truck cry? As this truck tried to cross the barrier we did, it nearly tipped over 5 times.
Cruising along in India enjoying the scenery can be great, until those distractions make you not see that the road ahead of you has collapsed, and nobody has decided to block it off. This happened quite often, where your lane doesn’t just end, it falls off.
Traffic in India is fun. It is like trying to put your finger through a plate of spaghetti…without touching any spaghetti. Often, our lane would become the lane for opposite traffic because one person wanted to go around traffic faster. What happens? Everyone else follows them and suddenly we are facing semi trucks with two sides of the freeway blocked.
When you are cruising along getting an epic shot with your GoPro and suddenly something falls from the sky and smashes into your head. It turns out that our spare tire wasn’t tied tight enough, and as I was filming, fell off and landed perfectly around my head. Nearly breaking my nose and glasses of course, but still funny.
This one was a bit of a doozy, and one of the scariest things I have experienced. A rickshaw following us lost control as a semi truck pulled out in front of it and this was the result. The driver was pretty badly injured and had to return to Norway, but his teammates were okay. More on this to come later.
Another rickshaw with another group of Norwegians turned their rickshaw into a convertible. Or, they were force to after they flipped the rickshaw and ripped off the top. But it seems like there was much better airflow after.
Maybe one of the most calming moments from the race was an incredible sunset on a perfectly paved road with the air cooler that it had been for weeks. It’s the little things that you appreciated after the Rickshaw Run, like this, as we were just one day away from the finish line.