Anglo Pacific has been supporting bereaved children's charity, Winston's Wish, for six years. However, Sales Consultant Chris Field recently went the extra fundraising mile (3,000 in fact) with a Rickshaw Run across India.
Anglo Pacific has been supporting bereaved children's charity, Winston's Wish, for six years, raising tens of thousands of pounds. However, Sales Consultant Chris Field recently went the extra fundraising mile (3,000 in fact) with a Rickshaw Run across India.
Setting off on 2 April, Chris, and pals Matt and (another) Chris from New Zealand, joined 74 more dilapidated rickshaws at the Kochi, Kerala, start line in southwest India, before setting off for an eventful fortnight-long 'race' to the finish in Shillong, Merghalaya, northeast India. With no set route and no back-up, the wholly unsuitable 7hp three-wheeler (top speed 55kph - downhill) was sure to get lost and break down, but Chris and co couldn't pass up the chance to see the real India and raise money for Winston's Wish and rainforest charity Cool Earth in the process.
27-year-old Chris comments, "I wanted to experience India, somewhere I have never been, but not in the traditional way a traveller might. I didn't fancy taking trains, planes and a Lonely Planet guide, exploring the same areas westerners always frequent, but instead visit small villages that'd maybe never even seen a westerner in a decade. The opportunity to drive the most unsuitable vehicle across what are widely regarded as the world's most dangerous roads was also immensely appealing. The whole experience was terrifyingly amazing and utterly exhausting. India is a truly amazing country that you just can't compare to anywhere else, I would do it again in a heartbeat."
The trio's endeavours earned them a 'Best Tale on the Road' Award from the organisers at the finish line. Halfway across India, they managed to reach, unaware and undetected at first, the frontline of an army versus bandits standoff. 76 people had been killed in the previous two weeks and the British lads were surrounded by gun- and grenade-wielding soldiers whilst taking a toilet stop in some bushes.
"We were marched back to the rickshaw, arms behind our heads," says Chris, "and forced to make a 200km detour. This detour took us to a rather industrial city on the east coast, but we managed to stumble across a cheap-as-chips five star resort complete with infinity swimming pool and complimentary champagne. We filled our boots. What a difference a day makes..."
This wasn't their only run in with authority. They were pulled over for many reasons, had their bags searched on suspicion of money laundering, and a number of police demanded 'payment' for various 'misdemeanours'. One insisted that charity do-gooders were required to wear a charity uniform (?!) by law, but accepted 200 rupees (Ј2) to drop any charges. Meanwhile, the rickshaw's reliability was decidedly 'un-'.
Chris finishes, "We had around 20 breakdowns, from the engine snapping clean off its mount to wires melting in the heat - it regularly hit over 47єC. When the engine mount went, a local fixed it with a bit of rubbish he found by the side of the road to last us until the next day. The Indians are very resourceful and always happy to help, even when neither of us spoke each other's language. The most frustrating breakdown happened after we pushed the rickshaw up 20km of steep mountain roads to stunning Darjeeling, only for the brakes to completely fail on the way down. But we were always treated like royalty, mobbed like Justin Bieber must be every time we stopped for water or fuel, I have never waved so much in my life."
Chris, Chris and Matt's endeavours raised an incredible Ј1,208.04 for charity at last count, split Ј611.61 for Winston's Wish and Ј596.43 for Cool Earth. Anglo Pacific employees contributed generously to the two causes and the Directors were especially forgiving inletting Chris have the time off.
Contact Anglo Pacific on 020 8965 1234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.anglopacific.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngloPacific Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngloPacific
About Anglo Pacific: As the UK's largest independent international removals company, Anglo Pacific handles around 20,000 baggage shipments and overseas removals annually. A known market leader for Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and South Africa, Anglo Pacific has been established for more than 35 years and has an unrivalled reputation for friendly, professional and reliable container shipping services. What's more, as a fully bonded member of the British Association of Removers, clients' belongings could not be in safer hands.
About Winston's Wish: Winston's Wish was conceived by Founder Julie Stokes when she visited North America on a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Inspired by the services she saw there, Julie returned to the UK and set up Winston's Wish in 1992. It is Winston's "wish" that every bereaved child should receive the help that they need to cope with the death of someone important in their lives - whether the person was ill for sometime or death totally unexpected. The Charity creates an atmosphere where children can share their thoughts and feelings and meet others.
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