Islands’ Men Ready For Indian Rickshaw Challenge

rickshaw run 2013Eight men will be packing their bags and heading to India this week for what could be one of the toughest challenges of their lives.

James Druce and Will Ash were all Tresco residents when they completed the Mongol Rally in 2010.

Now they’ll embark on a 3,500 km trip across Northern India in rickshaws, joined by more islanders, including Jake Newton, Pete Marshall and Simon Whitehead.

They’re setting out from Shillong in Eastern India on Sunday and will hopefully arrive in the western city of Jaisalmer two weeks later. That’s the same distance as Scilly to Moscow.

But James thinks this trip could be even tougher than their last one.

He says during the Mongol Rally, they at least had the safety of a car. This time they’ll be exposed to the elements in a vehicle that doesn’t travel much faster than a golf buggy.

From Radio Scilly

James Druce tells Radio Scilly about the challenge ahead in India

They’ll be contending with what have been described as some of the most dangerous roads on the planet.

And they’ll travel through areas with political problems and criminal gangs, with just a map and no GPS to guide them.

But it’s the dreaded ‘Delhi belly’ from eating local food that’s worrying James the most.

The men hope to equal their 2010 fundraising total of £15,000, which will be going to Cancer Research UK.

James said they’re well on their way, thanks to the “fantastic” generosity of locals and visitors to the islands.

They’ve already raised money through an art sale, an Indian night at Tresco’s Flying Boat Club and charity quizzes in the New Inn.

James is hoping to write a daily blog during the journey and you’ll be able to follow the progress of the rickshaws on a special map, as well as donate to the charity, on their website.