After 2 weeks of waking at 4.50am, a sleep-in was out of the question, our body clocks were tuned to the rising of the sun. By 6am I rose and showered and spent some time checking messages from home.
By 7.30 everyone was up and showered and ready in the breakfast hall. We shared toast and coffee and started planning our root bridge hike 56km’s away in Cherrapungee.
Carol, Kaitlyn and I hit the shops in search of a few toiletry’s and enjoyed watching the city vendors open and begin unfolding their wares.
I managed to kiss goodbye my shoes that were dying a slow death over the conditions of the last 14 days and pick up a new pair. They give you chocolate bars as change in India if they don’t have small coins. I’m loving this. I actually tried to resist this on occasion, but they’re quite insistent that you take the chocolate. We have found all the people we have dealt with to be incredibly honest. I’ve mistakenly overpaid on 2 occasions and both times the shop assistant has pointed out my mistake and returned my money.
At 11.00am we set out to take our Tuk Tuk’s to the finish line – The Pinewood Hotel. We got to chat to other teams checking-in. Markus partied the night before at the hotel and managed to return as captain of the soccer team. He had a game starting at 11.00am so Adam and I saw Uggi off and bid her farewell. We rolled in as team #20.
The leader board was showing 4 teams having officially withdrawn, reasons as follows:
“One member had a seizure and died for some time. Went home for MRI scan after CPR”
“Projectile stuff from both ends. Went home after 3 days in hospital”
“Started pissing blood and went home”
“Got scared and went home and got sand in their fannies”
I think the Adventurists coined the last quote on behalf of 3 scared English boys that didn’t make it out of Cochin.
A lot of Tuk Tuk’s were in a lot worse shape than ours and seemed to have had much more trouble. I think in the scheme of things we had a comfortable run, if you count 12 hours a day in a Tuk Tuk on Indian roads as comfortable.
We went along to support the boys in the soccer match against the locals. As we made our way, we came across a military show. It had an amazing display of synchronised motorbike riding and tricks. It was awesome. Just the encouragement we need to take our motorbike riding to the next level. Shillong has a huge military presence and soldiers armed with machine guns man hotels and events.
The boys weren’t faring too well. They were a straggly bunch compared to the more organised and uniformed locals. There were a few decent players that were the glue of the team and a lot of other guys running a little lost around the field.
I headed off in search of pampering and found myself a beauty parlour, think ‘Golden Nail’ and then drop your standards 3 fold. For the huge sum of $20 I got an eyebrow threading, manicure and pedicure, I feel human again. That was my first eyebrow threading and it was awesome, of course my sister Suzanne (the eyebrow police) will be sure to critique them.
So off we headed to the big bash. It seems they’re not great at getting Tuk Tuk’s roadworthy, but if the Adventurists can get one thing right it’s a party. Good vibe, great food and a local covers band to boot.
A number of trophies handed out and a lot of alcohol consumed. I hit the skids at 10pm as off hiking tomorrow.