Archive for the ‘Preparations’ Category

Day 3 – Krishangari to Srikalahasti (265kms)

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Day 3 – Agriculture Day

It’s also day 3 of an involuntary detox. Try getting a drink in India. I came armed with an alcohol license but it seems I won’t have much use for it. I guess it’s all part of the enlightenment.

We hit the road at 7.00am faced with a highway U turn. This was the first of these maneuverers and probably a little early to start the day with, but none the less mandatory to get en-route. Chris took the lead and confidently hauled straight into it. I quickly followed, and it was all over in the blink of an eye.

To add to the mix of obstacles we already face on these crazy roads today oxen and cows were introduced as well as massive farming equipment – sorry not sure of the official name of these machines – my farming family would be appalled – I’m going to take a stab at a ‘Header’. A picture is included below.

The irony is that the highways are littered with Safety signs spouting a host of safety messages – all of which are completely and utterly ignored. Signs like “lane discipline gives you long life”. Life expectancy in India has to be at an all time low because I can assure you no one in India knows what a lane is, let alone what direction you should travel in it. Another pearl of wisdom “Be alert, accidents hurt”.

As soon as I get back to Australia I’m heading straight to one of those gaming halls, if I can’t seriously get the top score on one of those driving games with all the obstacles, I’ll walk from here to Shillong. I’ve already made a bet with Benn Dalby of ‘The White Tiger’ that I’ll run naked down the streets of Shillong if he gets his Tuk Tuk to Darjeeling so I’d better stop now or I’m going to have a lot to do in Shillong.

Today Carol debuted on the roads and handled herself like a pro. I on the other hand did not fare so well as navigator. I was loading some pics to facebook and missed a crucial turn. This lead us off track navigating our way through some serious back streets to try to get ourselves back onto the right side of the highway. It was absolute chaos and Markus and Chris both behind the wheel, managed these backstreets exceptionally well. After about 30 minutes we were back on track and I was reprimanded by my team. No more facebooking while navigating! I will say though it was a right challenge to navigate through those back streets and quite rewarding to have done so without too many hiccups.

Only one minor vehicle issue today with our roof rods coming away from our windscreen, nothing that Chris, Markus and Adam couldn’t fix with a bit of gaffa tape and a cable tie.  Chris assures me it’s no problem and the weight is handled by some other vertical poles.  OK then, no biggie – a detached windscreen it is.  Onwards we go.

We made 40km more than we expected and have bedded down in the small town of Srikalahasti. We arrived late afternoon and managed some daylight hours roaming the streets and getting a taste of some Indian culture. Again, warm and wonderful people and some unrelenting begging – a taste of what I am sure is going to get much worse.

We all strolled the main street excited and enjoying watching the local vendors go about their business.

Markus and I visited the Srikalahasti Temple. It is one of the most famous Shiva Temples in Southern India. We partook in 2 x 20 minute ceremonies and wandered through the temple. Alive and beautiful was this place.

It’s 10.00pm and that’s my bed time.






All pimped out

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Today we had another round of test driving, just confirming it’s complete mayhem out there. You don’t go around roundabouts, you cut across them and it seems quite normal for vehicles to simply turn right into oncoming traffic. Without fail every time I stall it I’m in the middle of an intersection.

Having replaced nearly every part of our engine, today our exhaust pipe came loose. How we are going to make 3500km when we can barely make it around town is yet to be seen?

Markus and I had a fun afternoon securing Uggi her gorgeous little red hub caps and orange sun visor – I feel she is now complete. This little piece of crap is starting to become a serious money pit.

Carol & I had a great massage in prep for the next 14 days in a Tuk Tuk.

May the Indian Gods be on our side!







Pimp my ride

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Second pimping day is over! Just a few more little bits to install on Uggi, like the rain cover tarps, grips, etc! Have to track down some sexy hub caps. Wired in the 12V socket and our massive spotlight!!!! Yes, we are gonna be seen! Maybe I’ll turn into a car electrician on my return!!!
Took it for a good test run around town! One really close miss with a motorbike, but we survived! Soooo much fun riding Uggi, it is like a game of frogger….keep going, keep beeping your horn, look out for the massive speed bumps and avoid the obstacles by squeezing past!!!




Ready to roll!

Friday, April 5th, 2013

It’s been a day of mechanics for little Uggi. She’s had a complete overhaul. New battery, new broken rubber thing, new horn and she’s all tuned. Thanks to Tim from NZ who put us on to a local guy to help us with the big service. Seems everyone sought outside servicing. Great referral from our NZ comrades. I did a good hour of driving, even scared the mechanics with my parking skills, so feel I’m ready to hit the roads. It’s just like a computer game, you just have to dodge the obstacles.

Lots of banter with other rickshaw runners last night. Crazy antics with a scary Mongolian girl tasering the lads and then going nuts with henna. One of the young American boys at Saj Homestay awoke with a Kingfisher hangover and half a henna moustache.

Crazy kids.

Fort Kochi is a great place. The Indian people we have met have been very friendly and welcoming. I like this town.




The Engine

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Apparently the split in this engine part is no problem as long as we don’t get dirt in it – mmmmmmm!!20130405-094012.jpg

What I’ve learnt so far

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

1. It’s no fun to arrive with no luggage. Thanks Kaitlyn for the shorts.

2. If in doubt blow your horn.

3. If you think the car is broken check for fuel.

4. Don’t order white wine in India.

5. Summer in India is HOT!





We made it….

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Yeah, we made it in one piece! Day 1, you were fantastic and thanks to the WordPress app this post and hopefully so many more are to come!!!! Thanks Di for the technology kick ip the arse!!!
So here we go…..
Got pickend up from the Airport by Raschid, a Chauffeur that Saj booked for us! Great guy and what an introductory ride this was!!! Had numerous near misses while blasting along!!! Apparently there wasn’t that much traffic at night, but Raschid still managed to kick and beep them all off the road in great numbers…..good onya!!!
Saj – the home stay guy – is ace and supplied us with local knowledge and a map! Adam and I explored what Fort Kochi had to offer….by foot, we see enough of a Tuk-Tuk soon!!! 15 km of walking later we had the first photographic evidence in the bag and finished with a nice cold beer or was it two, can’t remember!!! Had a proper Indian passport photo done, so I can ‘apply’ for an Indian SIM card. The amount of photocopies an information they want (fathers birth name, ect.) is amazing, but it was fun to do it all as everyone here has a big smile on there face! Love it!!!! The $2 passport photo was taken in a little backyard photo shack! Well equipped and the woman behind counter waved me through! She only swiveled around on her office chair, turned on a couple of switches for the soft boxes and garbed her camera….and that’s when I noticed why there was everything so compact and close by to her…..she had a leg amputated!!!!!! OMG, no lol here!!! Still got the ‘money shot’ out if the big German and it was good enough for the mobile phone guys! Yellow t-shirt on blue background, how sexy is that!!! Still have 3 left as evidence…better distroy them!!!!! Stay tuned….Markus




Testing blogging

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Testing blogging from mobile device as another unnamed team member can’t seem to grasp it…You know who you are!

I’m concerned if you can’t figure out blogging what bloody hope do we have of finding our way across India?

After 6 days chilling out in Singapore, I’m ready to join the team in Kochi. I come armed with a battery pack that professes to charge an iPhone 6 times and a travel cushion for my butt.



Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

The first team member has left the country.

Let there be light…..and power

Sunday, March 24th, 2013


With time on homeland running out I spend the arvo over at Chris’s place (Team Half-a-Tribe) mocking up some doggy looking front spotlights and 12V charging connections. Guess what, all working perfectly too. Thanks Chris, you are an engineering legend. 100% sure that this is going to fit and work. Only 7 more sleeps until the first lot of crazy rickshaw runner are on their way….can’t wait!!! (MW)