Dave and I are aiming to arrive in Grenada on June 15. This would give us two weeks to explore the area as well as prepare the boat for being hauled and dry-docked. We need to have the boat hauled to repair the keel damage we sustained in Cambridge Cay in the Bahamas. There are a couple other minor things that can be done while it is hauled, too, but we don’t need to stay while the work is completed. The boat is scheduled to be hauled on July 1 and we have airline tickets to go to Alaska on July 3. We will spend about 3 weeks visiting with our son, Devan, and his girlfriend, Amanda. Then we fly from Alaska to India. We pick up our rickshaw on August 2 for pimping and test driving.
The Rickshaw Run is broken into three legs. In April 2015, rickshaw teams started in Jaisalmer and ended in Shillong. We pick up our rickshaw in Shillong and end in Cochin (Kochi). The final leg to close the loop is in January 2016, which runs from Cochin back to Jaisalmer. We chose our leg purely for the hurricane season timing, but I wish we could do all three. Maybe someday we can come back and do another leg? The Rickshaw Run is a race of sorts. We cannot just go where we please for sightseeing. We start our run on August 5 and must reach the finish line on August 20, when we turn our rickshaw back in.
We must achieve the finish line by whatever means with the rickshaw in whatever condition. That means towed, pushed, driven, kicked, floated, whatever, as long as it arrives.
Rickshaws are not known to be the most reliable vehicles and these are not new to start with. These are probably returned from previous runs and retired from rickshaw services prior to whenever the Rickshaw Run acquired them. The rickshaws have three wheels, two in back and one in front, a small lawnmower-type 4 horsepower engine, and little or no suspension. Basically, by the time we receive it, it is already running on rubber bands and bubblegum.
Pimping it out consists of a custom paint job designed by us and hand painted by volunteers before we arrive. If any of our graphic artist friends would like to suggest a design, click here for the template. We can further pimp it after arriving by decorating it, making cushions to help our spines and bottoms, and adding lighting or anything else electronic that will drain our tiny, weak battery and guarantee a breakdown.
Blogging is going to be challenging, especially since we have no idea where we are going to be and where we will find Internet. One of the very few rules of the Rickshaw Run is that we must stop every night. It is considered too dangerous to drive at night. We are hoping to find some kind of lodging with electricity to charge our phones and camera batteries and Internet at least nearby. By the time night falls, we could be anywhere, out in the middle of nowhere. Finding a Holiday Inn is quite unlikely. We may be lucky to find a dirt-floored hostel for all we know. As a precaution, we are bringing our lightweight backpacking gear for any nights where a tent may be the preferred accommodations. We will not have much room for luggage on the rickshaw (not to mention hauled from Grenada to Alaska to India and back to Grenada again), so space is precious and we must really weight the importance of each item we choose to bring. Who needs underwear anyway?
In order for us to officially enter the Rickshaw Run, we must raise money for the official charity as well as a charity of our choosing. The whole purpose of the event is raising funds for charity, after all. If you want to follow our blog as we risk life and limb doing something really stupid, please donate to the Tibetan Girls’ School here or Cool Earth here.
If you believe in saving the rain forests, combatting climate change, and educating villages of indigenous people in ways of supporting themselves without slashing and burning the rain forest, which supports an incredible number of plant, animal, and insect species, please donate to Cool Earth here.
If you believe children should be educated no matter their gender, home country, or poverty level, please donate to the Tibetan Girls’ School here.
If you used up all your good karma and need to add a little to your reservoir, please donate using one of the links above.