Day 27 – Ed Turns Red or is it White?

Day 27- 5 Feb 2015 – 42km – Cumulative total 1134km

Travelled from Mudigere to Hassan

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.

Today was an excellent day for three reasons: (i) Ed was with me; (ii) the route was wonderful; and (iii) significantly, it was Atul’s 39th birthday – he kept that very quiet until this morning. So, a very very happy birthday to Atul and yet again all of my thanks for your selfless support. I know you will be missing your wife and son and they you and I’m sorry about that – hopefully I will have a chance to thank your wife personally at some stage.

Kumar delivered big time today with one of the nicest routes so far taking us through single lane roads high in the Western Ghats with stunning views as we walked through km after km of coffee plantations – I was in ‘cappuccino heaven’ with the sweet smell of ripe coffee beans. India is the 5th biggest producer of coffee in the world. The other main crop being grown alongside the coffee was pepper which seemed to grow in a parasitic fashion in vines wrapped around palm trees.

 

I have mentioned previously about my ‘extreme’ children and Ed’s comment today typified that perfectly – “it’s good to be out here in India with you Dad to recharge my batteries as I had pushed myself too far on the exercise front in Exeter recently.” Only Ed would regard travelling for 24 hours to walk/jog 5 marathons under the Indian sun as a form of relaxation.

I mentioned yesterday that Ed was finding the eating routine and the food on offer a little bit challenging. For his evening meal last night he fancied chicken, rice and vegetables (as soon as we arrived back at the hotel) and then a masala omelette when the rest of us ate. As soon as we got back to the hotel Sachin gave detailed instructions on Ed’s requirements – (i) boiled boneless chicken; (ii) a large plateful of mixed vegetables; (iii) a five egg omelette but with three of the eggs being just egg whites. Sachin was confident he had given clear instructions which had been understood but I knew this was always going to end in tears. Slightly to our surprise and very much to Ed’s excitement the food arrived in our room while Ed was typing yesterday’s blog. This involved the largest plate of rice Ed had ever seen plus a few scraps of chicken full of serrated bone. The vegetables arrived 45 minutes later and when we went down to the restaurant to eat as a team, Ed’s omelette was served on five different plates representing the different elements of the omelette that had been ordered.

Through one of Kumar’s contacts we had lunch today in the Planters Club in Habalu which was a club for the coffee plantation owners. The manager had a quiet word with Atul to explain that Ed and I were in breach of their dress code but luckily Atul was able to persuade them that we were on a charity mission and that it was therefore appropriate for this club rule to be waved just this once. One of the guest rooms proved to be, by some margin, the best post lunch nap venue of the trip – sleeping on a bed rather than on a dusty, noisy floor was something of a dream scenario (Ed even joined me on an adjacent bed).

The roads were relatively free of traffic today subject only to lorries carrying the most extraordinary amount of hay which clearly required some artisan skill to stack. Their wide loads meant that even when we cowered into the hedgerow we were still in danger of being taken out by the hay.

We now know why Ed was so badly burnt yesterday when he double checked the ‘factor 30’ cream he had been given by the team. Instead of sun cream it turned out to be ‘skin whitening’ cream which is as popular in India as tanning lotion is in the West. Sadly, the product had no sun protection ingredient at all.

Having tried almost every avenue possible, we have not been able to book the Raas in Jodhpur – it seems that the whole of Jodhpur is booked-out as a result of a significant music festival and a major wedding. Having got over this major disappointment, Deb and Molly will now be joining me in Bangalore for a few days post the walk. On reflection, this may well turn out to be a more sensible option on the basis that Deb can fly direct to Bangalore rather than struggling to get to Jodhpur with a tired Molly. There will be another time to visit the Raas.

We plan to finish the 30 marathons at the ITC Gardenia in Bangalore so if any of you out there are based in or near Bangalore and would like to welcome us at the finish please come and say hi when we hopefully arrive around 6pm.

Please keep all your wonderful comments coming as they are such a treat for me and the team. I can’t believe how kind you have all been in not only reading these blogs but also posting comments for the strange man and his team walking through India.

I have persuaded Ed to write a short guest blog tomorrow and he is looking forward to that as much as Atul and Sachin did (winter in Exeter suddenly sounds quite attractive).

Love to you all from me, Ed and the rest of the team in Hassan.

Chris xx

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