I undertook this adventure just after getting married about four years ago. Much to the delight of my wife, I headed off to India and Nepal, while she was worried stiff and dealing with more snow than she had ever seen, hailing from Trinidad & Tobago.
It was an amazing, terrifying, exciting and eye-opening trip. We started in Pokhara in Nepal and headed south to Lucknow, then over to Mumbai, down the coast to Goa and then finishing off in Fort Kochi in Kerala.
I thought I would put some tips down here, if you are doing the Rickshaw Run yourself.
• An extra jerry can for fuel (VERY IMPORTANT)
• A few basic tools. Although everyone knows how to fix an auto rickshaw by the side of the road
• Lonely Planet helped to some extent find hotels. Although some of them had gone out of business
• Get a good road map book. This is the one we had.
• Bring warm clothes. We had very little in the way of windproof clothing for the cold north of India
• We had a massive flag that made us more visible and less ordinary, so hopefully less likely to be crashed into
• Wish we had GoPro cameras, wish we had recorded better audio on our video also I should have taken a Swit light for nighttime filming
• Bike lights if you want to drive in the dark. It’s very hard to drive the whole thing in the time you have without some night driving.
• If I did it again I would wild camp more I reckon. We spent a lot of time chasing the next hotel. This might help us enjoy the moment more. There are risks with free camping, but loads of travellers do it. Read about it on Tom Allen’s excellent blog.
• Drive in pairs. We spent a bit of time with some other teams. This was among the best times and you can share map reading. But if your interests change don’t be afraid to split.
• I think we pushed ourselves a bit too much, and didn’t have much time to gape at temples. We lost time to some major repairs and ended up using a train for a section of the adventure. We felt a bit guilty, but we forgive ourselves, there are no rules after all.
• A sleeping bag and bivvie bag for sleeping by the side of the road
• Mossie net for some of the less nice abodes in which you’ll lay your head
• Save some money to do something fun. We went in microlights in Nepal and saw stunning views of the Himalayas
Thanks to Mark at Plain Lazy for fully funding the extravaganza. It was in aid of marketing the brand, but also raising money for Frank Water and the Street Child World cup.
I fully recommend you try an amazing Adventurists adventure for yourself.