The first order of business the next day was to get rid of our rickshaws before something else happened to them. We got together with the boys, taking our vehicles through the extremely narrow passageways of the town fort, down to the bottom of the hill, and over to the other side of town, where the official finish line was.
It was a bit underwhelming. The official finish had been on the 24th of September, and here it was on the 26th and most people had already taken off. The finish line itself had even been taken down, although the Finisher’s Board was still hanging on the side of the hotel. We let the hotel know we had arrived so that they could contact The Adventurists’s delegate there, Matt, and we went to sign our names on the wall. Seems that we were indeed quite a bit late–not counting the teams that didn’t make it or quit, we were the fifth to the last to finish (out of about 68 teams). Seems most had arrived in town on the 22nd-23rd–guess they didn’t take the same scenic route we had. That’s not to say that they other teams didn’t have the same amount of problems though–in the comments section next to where you signed your team’s name and finish date there was an area to write your thoughts and comments, and it was filled with some pretty amusing anecdotes indeed:
- Stuck in roadblock caused by mob. Befriended mob. Mob lifted us over roadblock while cheering us on.
- Stopped by machete-wielding Maoist insurgent group in the dead of night while in the Himalayas.
- Day One Hit Count: One Person, One Barrier, One Ditch.
- Driving into a dark tunnel led to being invited to a huge 2,000 guest funeral!
- Rolled the rickshaw in Bikaner’s main roundabout during rush hour.
- Armed police raid at dawn, including guns to the face.
- Evil Bihar bandits guided us to a hotel and welded our rickshaw back together. How did we thank them? By running them over.
- Nearly arrested three times for indecent exposure in one day!
- Lost both teams members and drove solo 1,500KM.
- Broke down over 100 times (followed by profanity).
- Hit no cows…until reaching Jaisalmer.
- Attempted high speed robbery by bandits in Bihar.
- Received a lemon. On fire one hour into the rally. Total breakdowns: over 20.
- Pissed the bed (twice). Flipped rickshaw. Given a baby.
- Nine crashes, no deaths (human).
…guess we didn’t have it so hard after all! Matt came outside and welcomed us to the finish, whereafter we shared a few congratulatory gin and tonics and then hopped into the hotel pool for a quick swim.
We posed for some pictures with our ‘shaws before handing the keys over. We had finally finished–hallejulah.