Day 24 – Goodbye Highway 17, Hello 1,000km!

Day 24 – 2 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Manipal to Mangalore

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1,008km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Let’s start with something really positive – 1,000km done. Yippee.

Now let’s look at something a little less positive – NH17 – my nemesis. I have now been on this wretched road for four whole days. At the very least I should be allowed to wear a special badge which says ‘I survived NH17’. At times today it appeared that things were looking up. NH17 became a proper dual carriage way. So I only had to look ahead to dodge the oncoming traffic. It may not have been the most scenic road in India but at least I was relatively safe. Correct? No – certainly not. Motorbikes, auto-rikshaws, cars, SUVs and even lorries were heading the wrong way down the dual carriage way – in other words, tucked in close to the curb to avoid the oncoming traffic and along the same bit of road that I was walking along. The complete disregard for pedestrian safety is staggering. As I hope Deb will confirm, I don’t swear very often but on NH17 I swore a lot.

How about this for friendliness, thoughtfulness and dedication over and above the course of duty. Two friends of Kumar joined me yesterday – Captain (Poorna) and his wife Brinda. They had driven 9 hours from Bangalore, walked with me on NH17 for (appropriately) 17km and then drove 9 hours back to Bangalore. Thank you Captain and Brinda. I am left speechless by your kindness.

I hope you enjoyed Sachin’s blog yesterday – the poor chap had fretted for about 48 hours over it and he finally pushed ‘send’ at 3pm today.

Yesterday morning we were joined by two Labradors from the resort. As we proceeded down the road we just assumed that at some stage they would just turn around and return home. After 3km it was clear that they would not. We suffered quite a delay forcing both the dogs into one of the cars so that we could drive them back – I am sure they would still be with us now otherwise.

Finally we managed to get a picture of me on a Royal Enfield Bullet. How do you think I look Deb?

Yesterday saw perhaps my most extreme sleeping venue to date. Having found nowhere outside the restaurant, we were ushered to an upstairs annexe which acted as the sleeping quarters for the restaurant waiters and kitchen staff. Atul snapped me sleeping there as you will see below. One of the waiters was even sleeping in the corner. Even getting into the annexe was problematic as I had to pull myself up on some knotted rope while climbing something akin to a ladder. We even had a little trauma before lunch that day as a passerby was desperate to take me to hospital as he listened to my screams during my pre-meal physio session.

Despite nearly 40km on NH17, today finished on a high note. Sachin was able to find a small village where he spent some time volunteering with the National Service Scheme. The village was perched between a magnificent beach (Sasi Hathelu) and a wide river (Nandini). I hope we have captured some nice pictures for you. Sadly this will be our last beach on the walkathon.

It was nice to complete day 24. 24 is a significant number in our family – Deb’s, Molly’s and my birthday all fall on the 24th as did our engagement and our wedding anniversary. Some concoction of the boys birth dates also get us to 24.

Ben, Dina and Allen, I am imagining that cappuccino outside the Pantheon in Rome to keep me going.

In the same way that I have been learning Hindi the sweet Vijay has been learning a bit of English. We managed to record him describing the route in simple terms – we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as he enjoyed recording it.

Thanks to Jose not only for his lovely comments but also again for his wonderful work on the blog which goes up like clockwork each evening (UK time).

We need your comments all the more as we dare to believe that we might make it. Looking forward to Ed’s arrival on Wednesday.

Love to you all from Mangalore (Sachin is a happy boy as not only has he done his blog but he is now in his home town).

Chris xx

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