And we’re off! This out-of-this-world crazy adventure that we’ve undertaken has finally seen us depart Shillong and head into the hills with our common sense flung out the window the second we signed up for this journey.
We always knew that the Rickshaw Run would throw us some curveballs and the first day has proved no exception. We’ve driven 180 kilometres, at 30kmph through sun, wind and unrelenting pelting rain. We’ve run out of fuel twice, by design not by accident, and we’ve waved and shaken hands with so many people who think the circus has come to town.
It is with that free will that we set off from Shillong this morning, full of hopes and dreams, knowing the road would surprise us. We knew that we didn’t have our first night sorted out, that was left up to chance and our inventiveness in finding lodging preferably with a roof. We ended up in Shallang before daylight ran out, in need of accommodation and having an entire village laughing at us for our foolishness. I’ve still got to get used to the stares from locals when we stop in a town, the confused looks and glee from small children.
We asked and asked, both in Nangshoin around midday and then again in Shallang. No guesthouses. But there was a Cathloic Convent.
So, we’re staying at a Convent tonight. In Shallang.
Father Bartholomew was ever so gracious to take us in, the alternative of which was looking like a roadside hayshed or asking a family if we could sleep on their floor. After some of the best Chai I’ve ever had, some jackfruit crisps and talked about the area.
He then agreed that we could stay here, and showed us our rooms.
It was gods’ will that we would be here tonight, perhaps the chance I have to make a change in my life, but we will see. I’m staying at the convent, having a Gin and Juice on the back porch with the mozzies, thinking that life is great and that this is going to be the most pious 12hrs of my life.
We’ve got dinner with the congregation tonight at 8pm, we’re hoping that we can break it to them that we’ll be leaving at 5am. Else there might be a service. Dunno.
Life is about adventures, and this is most certainly one of those.
Day one done and dusted, it can only get more interesting from here.
Here's the images from Today
At a servo just outside of town, first fuel stop on the open road
At the starting line
Stunning country scenes
We drove into the storm
About to drive into the storm, again
Basic lodgings at the Convent. Better than sleeping beside the road!