Engine on: 10:10
Crossfit the finish line, engine off and Elton's keys returned: 13:30
KM travelled: 69
Challenges: finding a gap in the heavy rain to load up Elton and make tracks out of Cherrapunji
The final day of the Richshaw Run was upon us. On waking, it was strange to think that in just a few hours we would be parting ways with Elton, given the sheer number of hours we'd spent driving him over the last two weeks.
The night had brought a lot of rain to Cherrapunji, and it was still bucketing down in the morning. We had to wait until there was a gap in the heaviest part of the rain, and then drove Elton right up to the shelter directly in front of the hotel entry to load our gear up.
Matty drove the first 30 odd kilometres down from Cherrapunji and then I drove the last part of the drive and had the glory of driving across the finish line. Actually, being fair we had drawn cards to see who would drive over the start line (which ended up being Matty beating my 5 with a queen) so then I got the finish line. There wasn't too much trouble to find the finish line in the carpark next to the local polo stadium (I still don't know if actual polo is played there or if it is just called that). Over the finish line we went at 1:30pm - took a couple of pictures and then filled in some forms to report that yes we thought the event was well run and that no, we hadn't really had any problems at all with Elton. The only damage was that two of four roof rack welds had snapped the day prior on the bad alternative road we had taken to Cherrapunji, even though we didn't even have bags on the roof. We both mused that we would have actually liked to have one or two proper breakdowns, but without these, the challenges were still aplenty anyway!
It felt strange to walk away from Elton once all was said and done. We headed back to the B&B and both felt like the last two weeks was catching up all at once. The afternoon was spent napping ahead of the finishing party that night.
Back to the finish line area and we were loaded onto several buses to make our way about 12km out of town for the finishing party. We arrived at the venue to find white line -covered wedding style seats and a stage ready for a band. The band turned out to be an Indian country and western band. They were quite good but the music wasn't, I would say, too well suited to the event and we concluded it felt like being at an aunt's wedding or some such. The band was followed by the presenting of various prizes by the organisers - e.g. Best photo of each day, best manouvre, etc, with the prize being a swig of rum out of a bamboo cup and getting to keep the cup. We heard about the escapades of other teams and counted ourselves lucky to have not had some of the experiences of other teams (mainly those who had crashed as it sounds pretty terrifying and in all cases involved trucks). After the speeches were finished, the DJ came out and everyone let loose on the dance floor. I was lucky to avoid the explosion of red and green paint with the timing of a bathroom break and when I returned almost everyone was riddled with paint (in considering myself "lucky", I was thinking of my clothes rather than the fun-ness of dancing around riddled in paint and throwing splotches at others...