Just a little drive across India

52 comments

For at least the last five years I have longed to take part in the Rickshaw Run, trying my best to carouse and cajole everyone I knew into sharing the adventure with me, without success. And so it became this thing I carried around with me, a seed I didn’t have the heart to cast aside.

And thank goodness I didn’t, because about this time last year I finally found the perfect spot to plant it, and sent two strangers an email, inviting them to drive across the sub-continent of India with me, in an auto-rickshaw.

The tiny little flower that grew from that seed has blossomed and spread with abandon, and brought two courageous and inspiring women into my life, Kim and Sarah, and friendships I feel certain will last a lifetime.

And they feel it too, because each of them crafted their travel plans around this dream of mine, and just five days ago we came together for the very first time, on the platform of Jaisalmer train station in the north west of India.

Sarah, me and Kim, AKA team Namaste Outta My Way

Since then our days have been beautiful chaos, as we talk, write, explore, and make our preparations for the epic journey that awaits us. Here in the golden hued city of Jaisalmer, with her crumbling walls and shit-strewn cobbled alleyways, we have been impatiently waiting to start the engine on our rickety old rust bucket, and slowly but surely make our way out across the wilds of the Thar desert, and beyond.

In the meantime we have been spending a good part of each day at the Rickshaw Run HQ, the beautiful Jawahar Niwas Palace Hotel, and test-driving and pimping our ride to our hearts content.

The driving has proven (thankfully) easier than we had anticipated, and every time I get in the front seat I feel a huge grin spread across my face, and my excitement levels skyrocket.

We have already suffered one breakdown, run out of petrol in the middle of a busy street due to rickshaws NOT having a fuel gauge, and I am yet to master the crank start, but despite all this, I feel comfortable enough to head out onto the infamous roads of India, which is just as well, as tomorrow this thing starts for real.

And you know what? We’re totally ready. Our rickshaw has been pimped to within an inch of her life, with a sound system, curtains, good luck charms from friends and flower garlands that Sarah brought all the way from Mexico. I can’t look at her without feeling this overwhelming sense of…  ahhhhhhhh.

She is just so darn cute, don’t you agree?!

Tomorrow morning, at around 11.30am, we will load her up, start the engine, and fall in line with the other 70+ rickshaws taking part, then make our way through the streets before we slowly, one by one, bid each other farewell and turn left or right, north or south, and begin our totally un-aided journey towards Cochin in Kerala.

We will be trying our best to keep you all updated on our adventures from the road, and I will be blogging as much as possible both here on Further Bound, and the Rickshaw Run Diaries. We will also update our Facebook and Twitter pages daily to let you all know we are still alive, and allow you to follow our progress in real-time.

And let’s not forget the most important part of this whole experience. We are raising money for FRANK Water, a wonderful charity who bring clean drinking water to rural parts of India via sustainable, community run projects for villagers living below the poverty line. We’ve raised an astounding £2,605 GBP for the charity so far. Can you help us reach £3,000? Click here to donate.

So I guess all that’s left is to say a huge thank you to all of you for your support, we hope you will continue to follow along as we inch our way across one of the most diverse countries on the planet. See you in Cochin!

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly December 31, 2012 at 13:32

Amazing girls! Wish i was there! Good luck for the trip – expect a little donation from me 🙂

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:55

Thanks Holly, we really appreciate your support 🙂

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Scarlett December 31, 2012 at 13:54

Ohhh it’s so pretty! I’m so excited for you, it’s going to be amazing xx

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:12

Thank you my dear x

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Tyrhone December 31, 2012 at 14:35

You have definitely given that Rickshaw a womans touch. Well done on reaching the precipice of a dream and diving over. I know your all gonna love it. Happy New Year and Happy travels 🙂

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OurLifeExperiments December 31, 2012 at 14:42

Hannah, how exciting, tomorrow you will write the first word of a whole new chapter in your life! I am proud of you gals for having the gall to go on this huge adventure! Good luck with everything, I’ll be waiting for updates!
Maria

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:11

Thanks you so much Maria, we all really appreciate your kind words and support 🙂

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Sarah December 31, 2012 at 15:59

Looks like an amazing adventure ahead! Best of luck and I look forward to reading your updates from the road 🙂

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:10

Thanks Sarah 🙂

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Rachel December 31, 2012 at 17:21

Good luck for tomorrow and the entire adventure! Love the feminine touch you have given to your tin can – hope she doesn’t let you down. And can I advise you to carry a can of spare fuel – just in case!
xxxx

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:08

We have a 20 litre jerry can with us, which has been a lifesaver as we need to refuel every other hour!

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Clare December 31, 2012 at 21:28

Ahhhh, so fun! I will be following your journey. Safe travels!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:11

Thanks Clare, so glad to have you following along 🙂

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Meka December 31, 2012 at 22:32

I’m so excited for u all!!! What a wondrous adventure! Have a blast ladies, can’t wait to hear about the journey! Praying you gals have a safe & fun journey.

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:07

Thank you Meka!

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Patricia Sands January 1, 2013 at 00:42

I love the friendship the three of you have created! SO looking forward to following the adventure. Happy New Year and bon voyage!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:07

Yes, the friendship has been such a gift, and the greatest part of the whole experience. Thank you so much for all your support Patricia, and Happy New Year to you too!

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Carmel January 1, 2013 at 02:33

Looks like you’re getting close to getting on the road. Buen viaje! Have the best time!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:56

Thank you my dear 🙂

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Jill January 2, 2013 at 03:59

Your tuk tuk is super cute!!! I love it!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:56

We love her too, she makes us so happy!

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TammyOnTheMove January 2, 2013 at 07:56

She is a real beauty. Love how you pimped her. Good luck you crazy girls!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:57

Thanks Tammy!

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Phillipa Sen January 2, 2013 at 14:17

You must be well on your way now! I left you a message on your Rickshaw Diary page a few days ago, but wasn’t sure which one you were looking at, or when you would get the chance. Your trusty orange wonder will be good to you. I know and feel it!
Let’s hope that compass comes in useful!
I love you Hannah bo Bannah Fo Fannah!! Go ladies! Go!!! xxxx

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:04

Love you too lady, and the compass is wonderful xxx

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Hogga January 3, 2013 at 16:50

This looks like so much fun!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:58

It really is!

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Tamara January 4, 2013 at 14:13

The rickshaw came out great! So glad you’re off on your way. We’re SO looking forward to following your travels.

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:02

Thank you Tamara, it’s so great to have you following 🙂

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The Guy January 7, 2013 at 08:34

Best of luck with your journey. It should be fun but maybe testing, those things are very comfortable on some of those bumpy roads.
I look forward to hearing of how you get on.

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:03

Yeah, those bumps certainly make the ride more memorable!

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Jessica Wray January 8, 2013 at 07:00

The rickshaw is incredibly cute! Good luck!!!

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 08:59

Thanks Jessica 🙂

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nomadic translator January 9, 2013 at 22:18

your ride looks SO beautiful! Great job. And omg I want to steal that compass…
– Maria Alexandra

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:01

Thanks Maria, we’re very proud of her! And the compass really is amazing, it was a gift from my best friend 🙂

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Venkat Ganesh January 10, 2013 at 04:13

Great to hear that your ride has begun. Am sure you are having an awesome time. Good luck!
Cheers,
Venky

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Hannah January 10, 2013 at 09:00

Thanks Venkat, the whole experience has been incredible.

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Angela January 11, 2013 at 10:47

This is an awesome adventure! I hope you guys are having an amazing time!

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Hannah January 18, 2013 at 15:00

Thank you Angela, it certainly was an awesome adventure, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but worth nearly all of them!

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Tal Gur January 13, 2013 at 21:58

Every great journey starts with one small email… 🙂
Have a blast!

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Hannah January 18, 2013 at 15:00

Apparently so!

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Edna January 18, 2013 at 11:01

I love how colorful your rickshaw is! Even the compass seems to match 🙂 Bon courage, ladies!

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Hannah January 18, 2013 at 15:03

Yeah, we were working the colour scheme big time – it even matched our blog about the adventure, http://rickshawrundiaries.com/ 🙂

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teju January 22, 2013 at 16:51

Wow! it does seem like you’ve had a whale of a time in India! 🙂

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Hannah January 23, 2013 at 07:50

India has been very good to us!

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Robert March 28, 2013 at 00:14

I love following your adventures! =)

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Hannah March 29, 2013 at 07:23

Thanks Robert, I’m so happy to have you following along 🙂

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Jen September 16, 2013 at 05:21

It’s so fun to read about your Rickshaw Run experience…makes me super excited for January 2014 when my friends and I will be doing it!

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Hannah September 19, 2013 at 09:04

I’m so envious of where you are right now, with the whole adventure still stretching before you. I would happily go back and do it all over again – you guys are going to have the adventure of a lifetime! Drive safe and enjoy every minute of it 🙂

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Ross August 21, 2014 at 17:03

Great intro. I am doing the version in January so it makes it a bit more real for me. Sounds tough but brilliant fun. Well done on doing it.

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Hannah August 22, 2014 at 15:03

Ah, that makes me so envious! I’d love to get out there and do it all over again – you are going to have an amazing time!!! Drive safe, and enjoy every second of it 🙂

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