Well somehow, since we last updated you all on day 6′s (mis)adventures, we made it to Cochin on this, day 14 of the Rickshaw Run. We tried to make a push for the finish yesterday, only to get stuck in a horrendous traffic jam in northern Kerala caused by a political march, that we then broke down in.
We were soon crawling through the traffic yet again, however, thanks to a guy selling sodas on the side of the road that also happened to be an expert on auto-rickshaw engines. He jimmied and jiggled connections, sucked on pipes and had Sunny raring to go in no time, whilst we drank cold Pepsis and stared at him dumbly.
And that about sums up the entire journey – we broke down and someone fixed it, usually some kind person who wanted nothing more than a photograph with us (that they may never see) and a smile. Sometimes they wanted $3 or so for parts. How rude…
Our time to shine did arrive, however, on day 9, about an hour from Hannah’s house in southern Goa. We were dreaming of massages, western food and beaches, when all of a sudden, we got a puncture. It seemed like a cruel joke after the previous 8 grueling days; we were on track to be eating dinner at Hannah’s favourite Italian restaurant on Patnem beach, but of course Sunny had other plans for us (yet again!).
For some reason we all thought, ‘We’re on our own this time’, even though previously we had always been helped. We leaped into action, all too aware of the diminishing daylight; the girls hoisted Sunny up while I secured a large rock under her as a makeshift jack, and we changed the tyre in what seemed like record speed.
It’s amazing how motivating the prospect of sunset drinks on the beach can be.
Last night we made it to a hotel about 50 km from the finish, deciding to call it quits on Kerala’s crazy roads around 8 pm. We may have left the highways of Gujarat behind us, but the drivers down here are seriously nuts! And the buses?! Don’t even get us started…
We arrived at the finish line around noon after checking into a nice hotel and having breakfast, almost unable to believe we had finally made it.
We will of course be writing more about our journey in the coming weeks, the girls will both be settled in Goa for a few months, and I fly out to the UK to join Tyrhone on Thursday.
But, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you ALL for being part of this journey with us. Your words of support and encouragement have kept us going during good times and bad, and we are so grateful for your belief in us. Thanks to you guys, we have raised over $4,550 for Frank Water, which is such an amazing effort – thank you SO much. Donations are still open if you would like to make a last minute contribution to clean drinking water programs in India, this amazing country that has challenged, inspired, infuriated and humbled us, but most of all taken care of us every minute of this 3,000 ish kilometer journey.
We made it guys. And tonight, we celebrate!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!