Passion & Dedication


The cow finally loses it

I have been watching the cow with much interest over the past few months. I must admit I still do have a few unanswered questions, but there is one thing that does stand out with this sacred beast. It is so chilled. There is absolutely nothing that manages to fluster a cow. From quietly walking through the manic traffic of Bombay or crossing an intergalactic 6 lane freeway with trucks and busses flying past hooters blaring the chilled beast will still just wall along the freeway grazing on the odd plastic bag or carton. There are even those down south who just walk into shops, especially bakeries and just help themselves to a bread roll as the shop keeper goes ballistic trying to chase the cow out. No, not until he has had his roll, he stands firm.

Mother Teresa

I had run into this little coastal town about 100km below Bangalore. My hip was really giving me hell so we decided to call a rest day and let me just rest up and see what we could do to get the problem sorted for the final push to the southern tip. Finding a place to stay, the next was the most important, food. I can never get enough to eat. It was getting late so we did not have any real chance to find anything specific it was the first sigh of food and we pulled in.

Ram the river flapper

For once it was an earlier day; there were a few hours of sunlight that I could spend relaxing in instead of the normal rush. Arrive in camp, a quick bucket wash. Catch up on my posts and pictures. Help with dinner and then collapse in my tent. This time we were also camped next to a river, but more importantly a clean river which meant a swim was in order. There is nothing better than to dive into an ice cold river.

Into the central jungle

All I could hear was the distant spluttering  of the diesel engine of the life boat as it slowly glided away into the distance. I turned and looked up at the hills ahead of me; all I could see was a carpet of different shades of green interwoven with the contours of the hills. The spur of the lake that I had been dropped in just had a trickle of water running down this muddy brown claw that was extended out under the green carpet of the jungle. On the edge of the river there was a faint game track that became bigger the closer it got to the forests. I followed this path, this was the only way that I could make any progress through this terrain that lay ahead.

The Lake Captain

There was only one way that I was able to cross this massive expanse of water, that was to hire a local skipper with a boat to ferry me across. After a bit of searching Nick and I came across a guy who had an old ocean going life boat that was being used as a water taxi, powered by an old Lister diesel engine. After a bit of the normal haggling we set a time and price for the next morning. An early start just as the sun came up was essential as I had a lot of really rugged terrain to cover on the other side of the lake.

Proud to be Indian

There is so much said about India and this seems to come from various corners, let it be politics, business and socially a lot also seems to be from a negative perspective .I know as an individual, if you are constantly being portrayed in a negative light, eventually one starts to feel and think that way. You tend to think; wait maybe there is something wrong with me. I am not capable of doing this or will I be able to compete with those around me. In the end it tends to stifle the very creative and energetic drive that you need to be competitive, it eats away at the core that drives one, that simple thing called self-belief.

The Great inland lake

Finally I had come off the freeways and back onto the smaller rural roads. Once again there was the pleasure of heading back into the mountains. From the city of Pune it had been a slow climb up and up onto the Deacon plateau, as with every up, eventually there must be the down. The mountains in this area are really rugged but covered with this beautiful soft green coating of dense forest. From a distance they looked like rolling hills carpeted with wash of vibrant soft greens, but once you are in it, it’s a dense entangled mass of trees, creepers and thorny undergrowth. Steep acsents and decent dropping and rising hundreds of meters over rugged rock that look like graduals of instant coffee.

The rivers weep

From the high peaks in the Himalayas, and down to the foothills of the mountains criss-crossing the landscape of Kashmir, as the ice and snow slowly melts it quietly trickles down the valleys, building with each meter that the water travels from tiny little droplets into rivulets that grow into streams and finally converge into massive foaming rivers that are the life blood, the veins, of life in India. In some areas these rivers are worshipped, and ultimately are the Gods that sustain and breathe the life into the soil, that provides life to the bread basket that feeds this massive nation.

Tunnel run

It was in the heart of Kashmir that I came across my first road tunnel. At the best of times they are a scary thing. Long dark and dangerous. Because of massive security I could not get permission from the military to run through the tunnel. There was only one option left open to me. I had to go over the top. Over 2000m up a mountain and a 5 hour hike. It was now about at the halfway mark that I hit the next one. Here I also hit a problem with access, but I was not going to take the long route so eventually I found a way to sneak past the security and make a dash through the tunnel. A scary run and promised to myself I would not do such a stupid thing again.