I just came across this bizarre, but interesting bit of news on the internet. Where most of us whine about the sorrows of travelling on rough terrain in sorry local transport, here’s a novel idea that transforms it into an adventure anyone would wish to join.
Take a look:
Tralliance Corporation, the .travel Registry, is sponsoring the latest travel adventure in the name of charity, The Rickshaw Run – a 2,000-mile trek across India’s toughest terrain in the world’s most unsuitable vehicle, the auto-rickshaw.
Based on the success of this year’s Mongol Rally, an 8,000-mile charity race from London to Mongolia, the League of Adventurists and .travel, the top-level Internet domain created exclusively for the travel and tourism industry, have once again teamed up to bring travelers a memorable charity event.
Beginning in Cochin in Southern India on December 28, 2006 with a game of cricket, 34 teams from seven countries will embark on the two-week journey through India’s mountains and jungles, encountering everything from searing heat and mud to mechanical failure along the way – all in an effort to cross the finish line in Darjeeling for a spot of afternoon tea.
“These auto-rickshaws are uncomfortable, loud, smelly and totally unsuitable in every way imaginable,” says event organizer Tom Morgan. “They’re the perfect vehicle to tackle a monstrous 2000-mile adventure over wild terrain and dirt tracks. Each rickshaw is only 150cc and is sure to break down on us at every possible and inconvenient point. Think of them as a motorized mule.”
Throughout the course of the Rickshaw Run, the teams will travel through very remote areas with no support system of any kind. While there is no specific route, drivers have the option to cross a number of prearranged checkpoints. The knackered, bruised and dirty teams that manage to cross the finish line are expected to arrive for a celebratory cup of tea in Darjeeling after roughly two weeks. ”The Rickshaw Run is going to be incredible fun,” explains Morgan. “It’s a great adventure, but also a great opportunity to contribute to a worthwhile cause and help out some of the poorer members of the communities we’ll be visiting.”
“We are proud to be the title sponsor for this amazing event and worthwhile cause,” expressed Andruff. “As part of an initiative that promotes a new age of how travel information will be found and with a goal to galvanize the global travel community under its exclusive space on the Internet, we believe .travel provides the perfect ally for the League of Adventurists and their Rickshaw Run.”
Like the Mongol Rally, the Rickshaw Run also aims to make a significant contribution to charity. Each team must raise a minimum of about $1,300 to cover the cost of purchasing their auto-rickshaw, as well as any necessary repairs. At the end of the race, all vehicles will be donated in an effort to combat the injustices of excessive hire charges and exorbitant loans common to poor auto-rickshaw drivers. The process is being coordinated by a local NGO, monitored by Mercy Corps UK.
Established to lift the tourism industry out of the anonymity of the ‘.com’ web, .travel empowers the broad spectrum of bona fide travel-related businesses and organizations to better promote their products and services within their own industry specific space on the Internet. Travel entities that wish to purchase a .travel domain name can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 001-954-769-5999.