This is the personal blog of London photographer, backpacker, traveller Mark Coughlan. The intention of the blog is communicate updates from my personal website and on my photography projects and travels both in the UK and worldwide. When backpacking the obscure places on earth, this blog will be continually updated with images and thoughts from the road. [Read more about me]

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Team Shatabdi Express: The facts...

I've added up the number of litres, listed everything that went wrong, the amout of money raised and the question that we got asked the most by non-Indians - what the hell is the "Shatabdi Express"!

(1) Our chosen team name "Team Shatabdi Express" is named after "Superfast" passenger train, connecting major cities in India. The "Shatabdi Express" is regarded as India's fastest and most prestigious train.

(2) We departed Cochin, southern India on 1st January 2008, one of 64 teams that took park in the race.

(3) 16 days and 5 hours later, covering a total of 4,494kms and quite a few scrapes and bumps we made it Kathmandu, Nepal, team number 44.

(4) Not exactly the most eco-frendly of aventures, the entire journey took a total of 158.4 litres of petrol and 68 parts of oil to complete.

(5) Thanks to the kind generosity of our sponsors, we raised over £1,500 for two charities - Mercy Corps & the Railway Children.

(6) Our route went a little something like this:
Cochin > Munnar > Sathaymangalam > Mysore > Sravanabelgola > Hiriyur > Hampi > Raichur > Nizamabad > Mansar > Khatni > Varanasi > Bodhgaya > Barauni > Siliguri > Darjeeling > Janakpur (Nepal) > Hetauda (Nepal) > Kathmandu

(7) Some of our mechanically "issues" included:
1. Cracked windscreen (not my fault).
2. Smashed left indicator (my fault), dent to front bonnet (my fault).
3. Stolen windscreen wiper.
4. Industrial melody horn stopped making a melody, then stopped making any noise, then fell off.
5. CD/MP3 player stopped working twice.
6. Parts of the fabric roof had to be sewn together the rest held down with gaffer tape.
7. Judging by the noise the exhaust was making at the end. I'd say there was a problem....
8. Snapped clutch cable.
9. Ran out of petrol on four occasions, thinking it was "over-heating" the first few times.
10. ....and the small matter of the brakes stopped working (see point 2).

1 comment:

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