Vincent gets Delhi belly, Scott enjoys some paan, and Mayank speaks Hindi.

After another horrible rain soaked drive from Allahabad to Kanpur, it was with much relief we checked into the hotel and met our hosts the Singh’s. With their help we were able to get our struggling rickshaw mended (at this point we had a punctured tire, no first, no second gear, and a cracked windshield).

Then it was onto an afternoon of errands and an interview with the Dainik Jargran! I have no idea what Mayank said but I guess it was satisfactory enough to get published!

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We then followed this up with a local delicacy, paan. Scott really really liked it.

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When the clock struck nine, things really got exciting. Welcomed into the Singh’s glorious in home bar we proceeded to enjoy another Indian delicacy, Old Monk. The results were predictable….

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The following morning with great delight all parties felt most horrible. Myself being especially lucky not only being hungover but enjoying some cleansing Delhi belly. But as you already know, nothing can hold the mermen back, we are in Agra today, and off to see theTaj!

-Vincent

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After tucking into some tasty lunchtime treats the mermen casually checked out @ 1430, confident for an easy ride 130km up the highway to Allahabad.

A light drizzle soon turned into a long and overdue downpour. Conditions are ridiculous.

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We encounter a major road block 10km from our destination and are forced to re route through 35km of unexpected twisty farm roads. Darkness quickly falls so the mermen strap on their head lamps and proceed cautiously with 3 pairs of eyes on the road ahead.

One awkward fall in a ditch later (it was only the back wheel thank goodness – and totally Vince’s fault for not spotting the hole!) we reach our hotel totally exhausted, wet and miserable in Allahabad.

Fortunately during our drive into town, we spot those famous golden arches for the first time since arriving in India and everything soon seems excellent again.

Bonus video of Vince making a funny noise.

We have 230km ride to Konpur today with a non accessible first gear. Our mermobile is in desperate need of some mer-maintenance.

:/

S.

Today we arrived in Varanasi, the holiest Hindu city, sitting on the banks of the Ganges river, is apparently the oldest city in the world, 3500 years of recorded history, city dating back 5000 years.

The roads were shit, traffic was even shitter, but we managed to get to our first 5 star hotel for a much needed break.

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We decided to ball out and get the hotel to organize a car and tour guide for us, rather than driving around ourselves, probably the best decision of our lives, given the shady alley ways of old Varanasi.

Our tour guide took us to a 5th generation thandai store, it was excellent.

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Soon after we were led down what felt like the streets of Agrabah (Aladdin reference), down the ghat steps and onto our boat.

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Scott had bet me 10,000 rupees to dive head first, which I agreed to do without thinking. Thank god I never ended up doing it as we SAW A DEAD FLOATING CORPSE, which scared the bejesus out of all three of us. Sigh.

Headed back to the main ghat to watch the nighttime pooja

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Led back to the old city, visited the Vishwanath temple, and headed back to the hotel for some much needed gin and tonics.

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It’s 2pm and our laziness and the excessive luxury of the Taj Hotel hasn’t allowed us to depart yet, next stop Allahabad only 120km away. It’s been an excellent 24 hours in Varanasi.

-Mayank

It’s been a harrowing two days. En route to Bhagalpur we were attacked by killer monkeys! To make matters worse, Scott was not in gear so as the alpha monkey charged at us we were only able to slow roll away.

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Within minutes of the attack we then had to tackle a winding mounting track ending in an impossibly tall bridge.

Then it was on to breaking the world land speed record for auto rickshaws.

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A day of adventuring took quite a toll on us so after a horrible nights sleep at Rajesh International we booked it to Bodhgaya to recharge.

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Har Har

-Vincent

the merman decided to forgo the opening ‘parade through town’ in order to gain a strategic time advantage over their rivals, putting us ahead by 50km.

after some minor adjustments..

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and careful driving..
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we chase the sun setting over Nalbari!

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unfortunately our estimates were off and darkness falls. we drive for two hours in sub optimal lighting to reach our hotel, which we promptly leave @ 4:45 am due to a bug population that Mayank failed to deal with the night before.

330km moon crater highways later..

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we pass through the rice fields of assam and into the darjeeling foothills to rest up and drink many kingfishers.

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The day started like any other day, muscles shots by the lake…
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a jaunt around town…
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a bite to eat…
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and then things started to go wrong. We decided we should draw a mustache on our rickshaw and left Scott in charge of the task…haha proof of the bad decision below.
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Then in an exponentially worse decision we decided to let Scott drive. In his infinite wisdom he took this to mean “run the rickshaw through its paces”. As you can imagine the results were less than desirable.
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But onwards and upwards, we got some bulky Norwegians to lift our rickshaw out of the ditch
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tended to our wounds
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and completed some minor repairs.
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Tomorrow the actual race starts! Haha

-Vincent the man

Stall count:
Vincent – 2
Scott – 6
Mayank – cant be counted