The Rickshaw Run – Day 11-12

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The Rickshaw Run – Day 11-12

The Rickshaw Run – Day 11

Rickshaw Run India Udaipur - View of the lakeWe spent the evening of day 10 relaxing and having a few beers after a few epic days of driving in Gujarat and southern Rajasthan. Day 11 in Udaipur was where we gave ourselves a half day off and boy did we pick the right place to do it. Udaipur was easily the most beautiful city we had been in so far. With the blue lake as the centre piece and palaces surrounding it, it was a marked contrast from the back of some ‘Horn Please’ truck on the motorway! If any of you have seen the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’ then you will recognise the hotel in Udaipur as that is where the island hotel in the film is located. They play Octopussy on repeat in several places in the city so you will never be short of some smooth talking. Although we gave ourselves a lie in we were still at breakfast for 8.30am in a roof top cafe as the place is full of them. Anything passed 5.45am these days was a lie-in! We walked around the city, saw the temples and got a tour of the City Palace which is very impressive and dates from 1559. We got a boat tour around the lake to relax and enjoy the sunshine which is also the only way you will get close to the floating 5 star hotel in the middle of the lake (the one from Octopussy). It’s much smaller than you think and there is no chance of popping in unless you have a reservation.

The Rickshaw Run – One pig town

Rickshaw Run India - Chai in the morningBut all good things must come to an end and after lunch we set off passed a few camels on the road in search of Pali and maybe even Jodhpur. Of course we immediately hit problems with road works and a traffic jam and it took us 30min longer than we thought just to get out of the city. There is no direct obvious route to Pali so after some debate we went west initially and after several hours had a decision to make. The slightly shorter road north looked hilly and after our recent experience getting lost on back roads we were in no mood for a repeat episode. We asked people at this junction could we head that way pointing at the rickshaw as our mode of transport. We were met with a resounding no. That settled that. By now we should have been wise enough to realise that all Indians think driving more than 10km in a rickshaw is crazy and non-Indians doing it is even crazier so they probably would have said no to going down to the local shop. It turns out that again this wasn’t a great decision and we found out a day later that the road wasn’t bad and Rickshaw Run India - On the way to nowherethe route was much shorter. We ended up doing two sides of a triangle when one would have done. We trekked on and although the road was good there wasn’t much traffic or many towns it dawned on us that we hadn’t a hope of reaching Pali nevermind Jodhpur. We drove for a few hours in the dark (and the bitter cold) and got to the one pig town of Sheoganj. Luckily for us there were two hotels. The one in the middle of town was surrounded by pigs, cows, mangy dogs, was a dump and smelled of curry. The other outside town looked very impressive from the outside and was at least clean inside. For $10 each we couldn’t complain. This was one of the girl’s favourite hotels just because they gave us extra blankets!

The Rickshaw Run – Day 12

Rickshaw Run India - Say helloEven though we probably drove 100km extra yesterday we could comfort ourselves in the fact that we probably never would have made it to Jodhpur because of the late start so after a very uneventful journey on empty roads through Pali and onto Jodhpur we eventually were at our penultimate destination and on the edge of a vast desert. Doing the usual of only booking when we arrive in the place it took us a while to get sorted but we found a great spot near to the city centre with roof top bar. We found out after that Rickshaw Run India - View of Jodhpurmost hotels have roof top bars for the views. Jodhpur is a big city so after having almost no traffic for the previous few days it was a shock to again be avoiding markets, donkeys, saucepans and even elephants on the road. Yes elephants! We were driving down a Rickshaw Run India - Lonely Indianmarket street when as normal as you like an elephant just wandered by as if he was out looking for toilet roll! Like in Udaipur the roof top bars are for the super views except in Udaipur it was the lake and in Jodhpur it is the spectacular castle. Jodhpur is known as the Blue City because of the blue houses and its crown is most definitely the fort that overlooks the town. It is huge and looks like the mountain is almost part of it. Huge 30mtr walls surround a museum and palace. After food we got a local rickshaw to bring us up so we could have a few beers. It is amazing how now we were critiquing the locals driving even though less than 2 weeks ago these things seemed like death traps. A trip into the museum and the fort was well worth it just to see how the Maharaja used to live. They are still around today and they all have posh English accents from being in university there. They live now in the more modern palace on the other side of the city. An unwanted local guide followed us around the few hours we were there despite telling him after 10seconds we weren’t interested. He even sat down with us when we were having something to eat. It’s just a warning to anybody else going. After much haggling at the top because they know they have you by the cajones the 17year old rickshaw driver let me drive for a bit but wouldn’t believe us when we said we had one. As soon as I started and accelerated he immediately put an end to the experiment. He didn’t believe we could drive a rickshaw but he did believe me that the 3 girls were my 3 wives and I was looking for one more!

The Rickshaw Run – Joyriding

Rickshaw Run India - Smiling localAfter a bit of walking around the bell tower and the centre we retired for beer and dinner and by chance bumped into other Rickshaw Runners. The last few days had been very relaxing and we knew it was only another 280km (a full days driving for us) to the finish line. There was debate with the other teams whether to go tomorrow (day 13) or on the day of the big party (day 14). It basically was split between how your breakdown history was. Ours was not good so we were going to go tomorrow. Others who were more confident in their Rick were going to head on day 14. It turns out we definitely made the correct decision (for once). So with the knowledge that we could leave relatively late tomorrow we had plenty of beers and things got a rowdy. Late in the night 6 rickshaw runners went flying around Jodhpur in their ricksaw at 2am driving through parks and down steps while 4 were in and 2 were ontop of the rickshaw! It’s okay, no cows got injured. This was the night I got sick for the first time. I hadn’t been feeling great after dinner (before beers) so wasn’t on the joyriding but it ended up being mild food poisoning I think. 3 of us in our group had similar episodes throughout the trip but nobody was Rickshaw Run India - View of Jodhpur from abovesick twice or for more than 12hrs so over 3weeks in India that is a good record I think. I was fine 15hrs later more or less so I would have taken that before I left Ireland.

 

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Our Rickshaw Run Route

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Launch location - Fort Cochin: 9.965054, 76.240447
Day 1 - Tirur: 10.915057, 75.921910
Day 2 - Bekal: 12.397648, 75.032380
Day 3 - Bhatkal: 13.999247, 74.545306
Day 4 - Palolem Beach: 15.009965, 74.023219
Day 5 - Belgaum: 15.855439, 74.506551
Day 6 - Pimpri Chinchwad: 18.629781, 73.799709
Day 7 - Nashik: 19.983067, 73.717101
Day 8 - Surgana: 20.560467, 73.637432
Day 9 - Bharuch: 21.721821, 73.005675
Day 10 - Udaipur: 24.581209, 73.681842
Day 11 - Sheoganj: 25.141818, 73.062635
Day 12 - Jodhpur: 26.287630, 73.015815
Day 13 - Jaisalmer, the finish line: 26.914083, 70.917384
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Launch location - Fort Cochin
Cochin, Kerala, India
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Day 1 - Tirur
Cochin, Kerala, India
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Day 2 - Bekal
Bekal Fort, Kasaragod, Kerala, India
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Day 3 - Bhatkal
Bhatkal, Karnataka, India
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Day 4 - Palolem Beach
Palolem Beach, Goa, India
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Day 5 - Belgaum
Belgaum, Karnataka, India
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Day 6 - Pimpri Chinchwad
Pimpri-Chinchwad, Maharashtra, India
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Day 7 - Nashik
Nashik, Maharashtra, India
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Day 8 - Surgana
Surgana, Maharashtra, India
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Day 9 - Bharuch
Bharuch, Gujarat, India
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Day 10 - Udaipur
Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
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Day 11 - Sheoganj
Sheoganj, Rajasthan, India
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Day 12 - Jodhpur
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
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Day 13 - Jaisalmer, the finish line
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
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Ross Travellingforfun

About Ross Travellingforfun

I have ducked, dived, bungeed, burned, skydived, surfed, volunteered, volcanoed, crossed continents, conquered mountains, got robbed, got sick and got drunk and I hope this website will inspire you to do the same.