Indian Rickshaw Run ‘a little bit insane’
Travelling thousands of kilometres through a foreign country jam-packed with more than a billion people and with no idea where you’re going sounds challenging right?
Try navigating it in an autorickshaw.
That’s what Queenstowners Ashley Robb and partner Holden Brower, both 23, will do along with more than 200 others from August 11.
The pair will be joined by Brower’s brother, 25-year-old Iowa native Kellan, for The Rickshaw Run, a 15-day trek across India in the preferred mode of transport for many in the subcontinent.
Robb, speaking from the heart of Old Delhi on Tuesday, says she was inspired to do the Adventurists’ charity event after seeing Youtube clips of others making the journey.
‘‘It was pretty easy to convince the boyfriend, but remarkably hard to find a third team member,’’ she says.
‘‘There’s no set route, no backup, and the only condition is that we get the rickshaw to the finish line ... no matter what condition it’s in.’’
The race starts from Fort Cochin at the bottom of India and heads north 3500km to Jaisalmer all with the aim of raising money for Cool Earth, a charity protecting native forests.
The trio - Team Tuk Me Gently - hope to raise $1000 for the charity. They also needed about $1000 each to enter the event.
Robb, who runs AM Equestrian near Arrowtown, says she’s most worried about finding a place to stay each night and being a ‘‘white woman’’ in a developing country despite it being her third trip to India.
The Rickshaw breaking down on some very dodgy roads in the middle of no-where is a very distinct possibility too, she says.
‘‘None of us know a single thing [about rickshaws]. We will learn a fair bit in the three days of prep before hand but mostly we will need to use some good old Kiwi ingenuity and some rolls of duct tape.
‘‘Rickshaws are incredibly commonplace in India so spare parts and a local mechanic shouldn’t ever be too far away.
‘‘It will be amazing to be right in the thick of it and really experience the culture, rather than staying in hostels and only seeing the tourist trail. ‘‘
The team plan to film the whole journey and have set up a Facebook page.
Queenstowners Ashley Robb and Holden Brower in India.