Confident that our engine troubles were over we hurtled towards Jodhpur at breakneck speed. Our sights set on a rendezvous with a certain mermaid and jaunt around the fort. 60 km into our 330 km trip, ominous signs…a loud clank. Thinking something fell out of the rickshaw we pull over and backtrack. Failing to find anything we shrug it off and carry on. One hour later, disaster strikes! For no apparent reason our rickshaw slows to a halt. In puzzlement we poke around the engine…and then quickly realize we have no idea what we are doing. In desperation we hire a milk merchant to give us a tow to the nearest mechanic.


After nine men fiddle with the rickshaw for twenty minutes or so it is concluded by one of the men that we should see another mechanic. We are then kicked 2km to some roadside beautiful mind mechanic.


Who quite quickly identifies our enormous problem.


Some how our piston exploded!


A major problem but not the sort of problem that isn’t regularly fixed in India except for this day another bandh is in action. For hours our mechanic circles the town looking for someone to repair the piston with no avail. We are distraught, with 200 km to go to Jodhpur and night quickly falling our options are looking sad. Then in a final attempt the mechanic and Mayank find a shop who is able to sell them a new engine head, complete with piston. For a tense hour and a half I watch as the mechanic cleans and rebuilds the engine…the rest of the team goes for haircuts!


At 6 o’clock we are finally ready to go. Dashing mustaches and working engine we tackle six hours of grueling night driving and arrive in Jodhpur at midnight where I am reacquainted with my mermaid…who despite relaxing by the pool all day drinking gin and tonics has nothing but a ear full for me about my late arrival. Tomorrow it is on to the finish line!