Name: Rickshaw Rampage
Destination: Kannyakumari, India
Distance: 3,750 kms (2,340 miles)
Vehicles: Auto-rickshaws 125cc
You are pre-qualified
Never play chicken with a bus
Beware the bum gun
Does your monkey speak Tamil?
Further south? Only penguins
If the food doesn’t loosen your bowels…
…the standard of driving will. The world’s first ever auto-rickshaw rally saw teams from across the globe join a raucous Indian road trip. A voyage of discovery in every sense. It’s not every day you ride an elephant and get pickpocketed by a monkey. It must be Rickshaw Rampage.
We had “pre-qualified”
Here at Trifle Towers we get lots of adoring fan mail. It seems we have a very caring fan base as they are always looking to improve our lives with various offers of help.
Some advise us of amazing cures for everything from tinnitus to toenail fungus to belly fat. Others offer to show us how to make $100,000 a day without getting up. Some also want us to invest in property in Bulgaria.
Sadly we don’t have time to reply to all our fans but there is one we’re glad we did. Subject matter “Auto rickshaw rally India – interested?”
We were indeed interested. There is not one word in that subject matter that is not interesting. A few exchanges later and a man we’d never met was suggesting we fly several thousand miles to India to take part in the world’s first Auto rickshaw rally. Based on our website he suggested we had “pre-qualified”.
A quick bit of internet googleying showed the autorickshaw in all its glory. It appeared to be a budget version of a Reliant Robin, if that were possible. It also didn’t appear to be intended for rallying based on the numerous photos showing it either being deployed as a taxi, tractor or mobile food van. We needed no more convincing. Passport. Sunglasses. Yes please.
It was almost a surprise it had a floor
A few months later we were on a plane to Chennai (Madras if you are old school). A man was doing a little jig in the arrivals hall with a sign that had “Extreme Triffle” written on in marker pen. Our eyes met and with a one-tooth smile he beckoned us to his taxi. It was so decrepit it was almost a surprise that it had a floor. Things were looking up.
We reached the rendezvous point. We were obviously in the right place as there were about forty customised autorickshaws lined up in the yard. With more that a little excitement we wondered who would be driving the other thirty…