One of the most beautiful and varied roads on the route, teams flagged off from the tropical setting of the Hotel Ashhok and got their first taste of outrageous road conditions bounding up and across dusty dirt roads before hitting the lush tropical farm lands filled with coffee and pepper tree farms. Almost as soon as the rickshaws began to slowly climb up into and then down the Western Ghats the monsoon clouds burst open, filling the roads with puddles filled with red earth that varied from moderate pot holes to small lakes. All on a slim 2 lane national highway with large trucks zooming up and down in both directions.
It’s no surprise then, that teams began experiencing crazy mechanical problems. Ironically the mechanic’s support van was also taking a beating with organizers and mechanics working overtime to get everything running smoothly. Despite the chaos the overwhelming beauty of the landscape and the regular breaks of sunshine dazzled everyone. Waterfalls poured from almost every rock formation and rushed into raging rivers and huge flooded plains.
Thankfully teams had learned their lessons about timing and pace and reached the BASE hotel in time for a presentation and buffet with the local Round Table group in Mangalore for a presentation, drinks and dancing.