Benja: It all gets a little more serious
Ratnagiri Travel Blog› entry 17 of 22 › view all entries
A fairly uneventful morning with the usual plethora of breakdowns, faffing, hangovers and more faffing. Greg also tried to leave his watch in the hotel room, but thankfully the fumble police caught him in time and he failed in his attempt. He was almost successful second time at a tea stop, leaving his bag, but returned to find that the locals are contemptuous of that low quality of fumbling, and had held onto it for him, waiting for a true pro to turn up, not some Potholio loving amateur.
The scenery on the journey was stunning, and we rounded a particularly beautiful vista to see some tuk tuk's pulled over and one of the support vehicles by the side of the road. There we some worried faces and it didn't look good.
It appears that one of the rickshaw teams (not one of ours, but I won't mention their name for various reasons) may have over-cooked a corner and clipped a rock sending them off the edge of a cliff.
Injuries are said to be non-life threatening but there is a possibility one has a fairly cut up foot, and I imagine they are more than a little shaken up.
It's a timely reminder that this isn't a Butlins holiday and the dangers are significant. With a support team and hotels each night its easy to forget that we are driving these vehicles beyond what they were designed for (50 years ago), long distances on some of the worlds most dangerous roads. A walk in the park it ain't, but if it was easy there wouldn't be any challenge would there?
India is well known for excellent cheap salons and ayurvedic massage. In the role of the dutiful tourist, team Badger racing has indulged at every opportunity. Five days in and I have sloped off at strategic moments for a pedicure, three massages, a herbal facial, reflexology, eyebrow shaping and emergency waxing. Even Benja was spotted on the massage table. Essential performance enhancer for the rally as your spine gets fairly out of line with the potholes, driving posture and constant over-the-shoulder lookout for runaway buses. Not to be outdone by the passengers, the badger mobile used a day at the beach to have a back alley make over and now sports a new black top, white stripes and logo.
The salons range from straw huts with fans and clean sarongs to marbled, hushed spaces of incense and hushed voices. Heaven. Just in case you were concerned that we were suffering.