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Alibagh to Mumbai

100 km (62 miles)

storm 24 °C
View India (Autorickshaw Rally) - 1 Aug to 15 Aug 08 on hilarywh's travel map.

Alibagh – Facts
Pop 19,491
- Alibag is famed for its fresh air, clear waters and clean sands.

Where the Tuk is Mumbai?
Our desire to drive in convoy with the other rickshaws on the last day is severely impeded by unexpected rickshaw sabotage. Finding it full of balloons and wrapped in toilet paper, it takes a while to make room for us inside before we can flag-off and hunt down the Americans. Unaware they are behind us, we are taken by surprise when Steve (the youngest and therefore only agile member of the team!) leaps from their moving vehicle through the small gap onto our laps. Slowed down by traffic and the extra weight we eventually manage to even up the numbers by offloading me into their moving maniac mobile in a somewhat ungraceful manoeuvre.

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The plan today is to try and re-group at 2 checkpoints across the city at pre-agreed allotted times in order to achieve optimum chances of driving though Mumbai together (and safely) while gaining maximum press coverage.

We were warned that the events of the day will be unsupported by our mobile mechanics and the traffic will be horrendous. With tomorrow being Independence Day, there is plenty of opportunity to purchase flags and bunting from young street sellers as they dangerously dart among the fast moving traffic. No-one could have prepared The Lost Vikings for the horrific road accident they witness just before the first checkpoint.

Mumbai, home to 20 million people, is our last and possibly most difficult driving challenge of all. Our final destination is Juhu Beach on the north western side - we are entering the city from the south east and it is the last busy working day before a national bank holiday.

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Quote from Lonely Planet
"This city is like no other. Measure out: one part Bollywood; 6 parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; half a dozen colonial relics; a splurge of poverty; a smattering of swish bars and restaurants; equal parts of mayhem and order; ancient bazaars; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; a mass of humanity; a frantic blend of extremes; throw it all in a blender on high, adding generous helpings of pollution and hey presto: Mumbai”.

I couldn’t have put it better myself. It is hectic, manic and very exciting. The media in hot pursuit, Kausar is hit by a car, Steve is winded by our rickshaw while leaning out to get the all essential video footage and we stop abruptly just 100 metres from the finish line having run out of petrol!

The rally concludes with an evening ceremony to award the winning team with a trophy in the shape of an Auto-rickshaw meter. The Mumbai Express Autorickshaw Rally is apparently not won on speed alone – only the very shrewd and very clever will walk away as the Grand Champions! Hopefully at some point after arriving home we will find out the final scores but for now the Two Tukkers in Tuxedos are the recipients of the coveted title having earned consistent points in all categories throughout the rally. They drop and break the trophy only hours after taking possession!

Total Rickshaw fuel consumption: 326 litres of petrol and 3260 millilitres of oil
Total Human fuel consumption: 1,000 bottles of Kingfisher, 546 breakfast omelettes and 982 curries
Total Paper consumption: 8km of toilet roll

Posted by hilarywh 06:06 Archived in India

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