Meet our new man, Robbie the Rickshaw…’he’s quite a card, ain’t he?!’ After the briefest of driving demonstrations (the lights are shit; don’t use reverse, just push it; the wipers are crap; the handbrake’s a brick behind the wheel; the gears will move position over the course of the 2 weeks; oh, and you’ll never find neutral, especially when you stall at a busy junction with 10,000 horns a-hooting and 10,000 eyes a-staring), signing the rental agreement (?), looking over and discarding the tool kit (‘like…uhm…what do you expect us to do with this), we were ready for TEST DRIVING. An hour later we had still failed to start the beast. 2 hours later we had driven in a circle round the car park in 1st gear. Maybe tomorrow we might venture onto an actual ROAD in 2nd gear. The day after, we’ll attempt to drive Robbie across 1/10th of the world’s circumference. Bloody hell.
Plonker of the Day
Jodie, Claire & Erica were all plonkers today for failing miserably for several hours to even start their rickshaw. Notes to remember for the next 2 weeks: it helps if there’s petrol in the tank and the ignition is turned on.
Moment of the Day
Running a little late for the all-important Rickshaw Run briefing, we accepted a lift from the friendly Sunil, nephew of our guesthouse owner. Question: how many Trotters can you fit on the back of a moped? Answer: all 3 + Sunil + a daypack. It was dark; Sunil was speeding; we dodged goats, cows, dogs, pigs and a camel with a rotting eye, not to mention pot holes and open sewers (all quite normal for Jaisalmer). Jodie, who was balanced on the back, only stayed aboard thanks to Claire’s grip around her knee. Erica, who was at the front, got far closer to Sunil than she ever thought possible. We would like to apologise to our parents. This was reckless behaviour. But it did make us giggle.
Phrases of the Day
Claire ‘I really have reached my shithole limit now!’ After we walked past a dead dog and a flattened chipmunk with its eyes bulging out on the way to the market to buy Rickshaw Run supplies.
Fellow Rickshaw Run participant ‘I’m a former criminal hedge fund manager. An exonerated crim.’ Right then. It seems that a race across India in a rickshaw attracts all sorts.