140km (87 miles)
03.08.2008 - 03.08.2008 25 °C
Chennai - Facts
Pop 6.4m. Capital of Tamil Nadu
- India’s 4th largest city.
- Muggy, polluted, hot as hell and difficult to get around.
Tuk Tuk to the road
After a 6am start we are transported to Poonamallee in our array of fancy dress costumes. All the vehicles are lined up while we participate in media interviews and eagerly consume red bulls handed out by the sponsors. Aravind issues a final briefing before we excitedly but nervously flag-off to whoops, cheers and the clicking of the paparazzi cameras. Being team 2, Nip ‘n’ Tuk were second in line but only for a matter of minutes as we succeed in the fastest ever rally breakdown negotiating our first fuel stop! Our gear cable has snapped.
Due to further unprecedented breakdowns resulting in a whole host of new parts we miss the first School visit scheduled for later that day…by two hours. The proceeds from the trip go to a charity that helps build and improve schools through South India. The teams flag off together every morning, visiting schools en route, and if all goes well we meet up in the evening at a pre-booked hotel.
At 5.30pm on day 1 we are still only 40km outside of Chennai and starting to worry that darkness is looming and our driving skills are not yet fit for Indian roads. We have no choice but to kick back and relax while a team of mechanics provide us with a brand spanking new engine. Amazingly, we make the 100km low-speed dash to Vellore in less than 3 hours.
On arrival in Vellore with the noticeable absence of any navigation aids, we attempt to ask the locals for directions. Despite trying to decipher a variety of contradicting advice, accompanied by random and somewhat useless hand gestures, we are surprised not to be the last team to arrive at the hotel.
The Kingfisher flows freely that evening as we swap tales and congratulate each other on still being alive.
Damaged Parts: snapped gear cable, burnt clutch pads, broken clutch cable, perished brake washer, damaged engine, useless carburettor