Thursday, February 5, 2009


Sorry I have been so bad about updating here since our return. I had grand plans to recap each day's adventure, but then once arriving home I needed to recover from it all and haven't had time to just sit and rethink it all.

But here are photos that I did put up!

I will give you a rundown very soon about it all. I can say that now that it's been 2 weeks I really miss driving the rickshaw and being on the road. I am already getting itchy feet about being in Mumbai for 'so long'! hah.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Luxury stop over

We decided to stop over in Kolkata for a night of luxury before heading back to Mumbai. We booked the Park hotel and got ready to be pampered! We had initially thought we'd do some sight seeing in Kolkata, but so far we've barely left the hotel grounds. We are both coming down with a cold and our bodies are finally yelling and screaming with how they were treated for the last 2+ weeks!

I went for a massage this morning only to find out that I have too many injuries to really enjoy it! I have so many bruises all over my body that the therapist kept asking 'what are all these purple dots'! haha. But as she dodged the purple spots I seemed to relax a bit.

Still have a head cold that is trying to become more so lots of rest and water is the recipe for now. Heading back to Mumbai today and will hopefully have time to go through the 800 photos and gazillion hours of video!

Friday, January 16, 2009

We made it!

It was a long tough journey, but we reached the finish line in one peice and still together :)

I can't even begin to describe the state of shock, excitement and sadness that we felt when we crossed the finish line. We couldn't believe we made it here, clocked in at number 19 out of 59 teams, excited to see other teams and share our stories and sad that our little karma kab would no longer be constantly in our thoughts!

Our route was tough and we didn't see anything we wanted to see, but we really did have the experience of a lifetime. It was really amazing. Days out on the road we thought we'd never make it and wondered about just giving up to all the obstacles, but we powered on for our donors and for ourselves and man we feel great now!

I've had almost no access to internet and hardly even the phone due to our remote locations. I thank Stacie so much for updating as she heard from us - I had no idea when/if she was updating, so it's great to see all of her updates! We also thank Kevin for loaning us his video camera. It got a lot of use and will hopefully help you guys get a sense of the insanity that we faced along the way.

For now I am off to bed an hour later than most nights (10:30 pm!), getting ready to head to Kolkata tomorrow for one night of luxury before heading back to Mumbai on Sunday. I have hundreds of photos, stories and hours upon hours of video to share as soon as we get back.

Thank you all for your support - Stacie let me know all of your thoughts were with us along the way.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It took so long to reach shillong!

Not really, I just could not think of anything clever to rhyme it with....hehe! They reached, a day early!! After all the fretting and feeling behind schedule, I received a text at around 5pmish, that they arrived.

I have not spoken to them, so we will have to await for the last days adventure stories across assam. Great to know they are safe and sound : ) Looking forward to photos and stories of their wild adventure!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 12 & 13 - Reached Siliguri - only 2 more states to go!

So apparently the 'strangers' I mentioned in the last post they had to stay with was actually a roadside restaurant, like truck stop. They often call restaurants "hotels" in India and this was where they were directed it would be possible to sleep. There were no rooms, but they had to sleep, it was dark, foggy and were told there may be some place 6kms behind them or 60kms ahead. They opted for the roadside 'hotel'!

When I spoke to them today they had already experienced a mechanical mishap, the starter cable fell onto the carburetor and burned up, they had to stop to have it replaced. K. said that the Steering was messed up, in order to go straight they had to hold the steering to the left...making it more challenging to avoid pot holes. (which i could here in the background, the auto shaking because the road was so bad and potholed).

The map they had turned out not to be much use in the North. They at this point were having to completely rely on roadside signs or stopping and asking people. They roads were either not on the map or if they were, in wrong places. At one point on the 12th I believe, they took a road that was on the map and they ended up in a tiger reserve! They ended up backtracking to get out of there. A few days back she said they drove through rice fields, for 5 or 6 kms.

What looks like a National Highway on the map turns out to be dirt road. When they try to ask for directions many times the people on the side of the road (or in it) are drunk and can't give proper directions. This is at 11am. I have seen this in the villages i have worked in, alcoholism is one of the more prevalent problems in the rural areas. They often drink toddy, a cheap homeade liquor.

They slept in Siliguri on the 12th, they met up with 6 or 7 other teams there. So far, as far as repairs they have had to:
  • repair the carburetor 5 times
  • Exhaust pipe 3 times
  • had the engine rebuilt
  • Steering repaired
  • Windsheild wipers (does not even sound worthy of mentioning! ha!)
  • Sidebar
  • Had flat tires
  • Spare tire stolen
They were not sure if they were on the correct road when i spoke with them around noon on the 13th. Karilyn was asking paul if they were going north, she was afraid they may have crossed over into Bhutan! ha!

They had hoped to complete about 300kms by the day end, leaving them about 60 to 80 on the final day to reach Shillong by mid day. This was the first day they had phone coverage and thought that once they reached Assam they may loose it again! The adventure is almost over, I am sure they will have great photos and stories to share once they are back.

Day 11 & 12

The kab was still in Bihar last news I received. And they are freezing their $#*% off! ha!

K. said they will be going through Assam, but not really looking forward to it. They stayed with strangers again because there was no where to stay for 60 more kilometers and it was getting dark.

Short post, hopefully longer more interesting one tomorrow when I have a chance to call them in the morning.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 8 to 10 - Nirvana anyone?!

Well I did not hear from team karma kab for a day, yes, I was a bit concerned but they were fine, just out of network coverage. They made it thru jharkhand fine (thank goodness saw in today's paper there was naxalite activity yesterday - eek, not to scare granny! they are fine : )!!).

On day 8 they were in jharkhand and heading toward Bodh Gaya in Bihar, it is the "most important of the pilgramage sites for Buddhists". Going still rough and slow, bad roads not allowing them to go at any consistent speed, causing sore butts and putting them behind schedule.

Day 9 I received a message that they were almost to Bodh Gaya and planned to end travel for day and stay there. Good for them, I know Karilyn was looking forward to seeing this sight. Perhaps retracing Guatama Buddha's steps will lead them to enlightment.....then they can come back and share the secret of attainment with me : )

And yesterday, day 10 they were hoping that another team, Simon and John who had been caught up in some Maoist trouble, would catch up to them and travel together for a bit.

They must be heading for the hills as I type and very cold!! Will update with more when I hear from them.