India 2016 | Rickshaw Run, Day 14: Looking Back on Yesterday – 17 April

A day relaxing in beautiful, though currently wet, Shillong made for the perfect moments to reflect upon the last twelve days.

We were done. Our time in India was very close to being over. I felt the sad melancholy and emptiness of a bucket that was filled with amazing experiences only for it all to be done. I wanted to press ‘rewind’ in the worst and best ways possible. I learned so much along the way, about myself, my two buddies, what we were capable of and what we were not. Through it all, our friendship remained intact, if not stronger (no small feat considering the stress the race put on us and the other participants). We met a great many people from all over the world, some of whom no doubt have and will become lifelong friends. When I look back upon this trip, it’s Derek and DaveRisner that I will remember most; and the Indian people and the friends we met a close second.

I was looking back at my Facebook wall, and realized that I never posted anything on that last day, while the others thankfully did, capturing so much of what I felt.

Derek wrote on his Facebook wall:

Yesterday our epic adventure came to a grand conclusion. As we decided to roll our tuk-tuk down the hill to the finish line the rain decided to come down in buckets. Our tuk-tuk also decided it didn’t wish to start as planned. So, we had to push the rick downhill into oncoming traffic on a one-way (seemingly the only one way in all of India that Indians actually care about obeying) and popped the clutch. Then we missed the turn to the Polo fields but ultimately made it…and the rain didn’t let up for another 15 minutes after.

All in all, it was truly an epic adventure of of a lifetime. Made many friends from around the world that I can visit on my upcoming around the world travels and met so many of the kind Indian people along the way. India truly is a country of complete and total contrasts but that’s what makes her amazing! We partied at the Queens Resort which is in perfect contrast to the King’s Palace where we started.

Elated to have succeeded on the journey. Exhausted from driving in all kinds of horrible road conditions and city streets for 2250 of the 2968 kms. Relieved it’s over and I don’t have to jump back in a rick behind the wheel ever again. God watched over us and kept us from harm and our prayers go out to those who were injured or suffered accidents and couldn’t be at the party with us all last night to celebrate. Godspeed and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

#AlwaysBeEpic #RickshawRun #gotravel #goadventure #golive #bestfriends #wedidit #wesurvived #India #tuktuk

DaveRisner wrote on his Facebook wall:

Finish line in Shillong, India! Yesterday, I finished a truly EPIC journey with Cecil J. Puvathingal and Derek Layne. We traveled about 3100 kilometers from Jaisalmer, India all the way across the north part of India to finally reach Shillong in our blue Tuk-Tuk. We started in the desert, and braved temperatures up to 106 degrees, through rain, and in extremely dangerous traffic. Indians are nutty, idiotic drivers, who will literally drive, full speed, on the wrong side of a divided highway. These fools were a constant threat, as were the cows, dogs, boars, goats, and even pedestrians and foot rickshaws, and the mangled vehicles on the side of the road were a testament to the ongoing, serious danger. Our first day, we drove 2 hours in the dark trying to reach a hotel in Jodhpur, and from that time we vowed never to roll again after sunset. It became much, much, much more dangerous driving at night. There were times I thought we could truly meet our doom…every time we got in that Tuk-Tuk was exasperating, but also an incredible experience. This was not easy. We had to deal with bandits who tried to stop us on highways, and battled throngs of mosquitos, every day. While we stayed in a few posh hotels, most of them were total shite…not horrible, but some were really gruesome. All of us became sick at some point on our journey, and we all had small emotional stresses on each other. Our Rickshaw proved to be a lot stronger than we thought it would be, but we did have a few breakdowns, and even had to rebuild the carburetor on the side of the road. To start it, we often had to push start and pop the clutch. But, got us to where we needed to go safely. Our run consisted of about 70 Tuk-Tuks, and some went to Nepal, some to Bhutan, and even Bangledesh. There were a few serious casualties among them, and one girl is even having serious spinal surgery soon as a result of an accident on the road. My only real mishap was that I appear to have lost my wallet at the closing party…might have had a little too much of the local hooch, and lost it to Mother India. But, we have had an amazing, crazy, chaotic adventure. We have met amazing people, and made what I hope will be lasting friendships from the folks we have met from all over the world. It was awesome. I don’t think I will do it again.

Traveling with Derek and DaveRisner proved to be one of the best times of my life, through all the good, bad and ugly. This will most definitely go down as the most EPIC adventure of my life. And I’m proud to say that I’ve had a great many adventures, so to have a number one, says it all.

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