Final Stretch to Mumbai: The Deccan Odyssey Comes to a Close
It’s been a roller-coaster, or rather a rickshaw, of a ride on this year’s Deccan Odyssey. While the event is over, our participants are sure to go home with epic memories from riding their trusty shaws through heavy rains to epic rock-carved temples, and countless adventures and silliness.
Our teams were challenged to make it up from Kolhapur to Pune today, but not without a healthy dose of challenges sprinkled on the way. Everyone decided to head out early at 8am to tackle the long road, but no one had anticipated just how big Pune is nor how much traffic plagued the city! Team Kameraki took a detour up to some scenic waterfalls on the way, which got them to the base hotel at a whopping late 8pm, but it seemed no one expected the Pune traffic to bung up the plans, so they were not the only late comers.
Other teams took part in the challenges, and Team Packman had an interesting day. They went to the Bapat English language schools to speak to the owner of the school to see if they could understand the curriculum. They also went to a sweet shop in Sadashiv Peth to stock up on some of the famous Bakarwadi on the way to Pune.
Our teams had one leg to go stretching from Pune to Aurangabad, before the rest day. Competition began to get heated as all teams took the time to find all the places listed in the challenges. The Cavalry Tank Museum of the Armoured Corps Centre and School in Ahmednagar was perhaps the most talked about of the lot. We found Soviet and Nazi tanks on display here, making it quite a surreal stop off in the heart of South India.
Another highlight was the Taj Mahal replica Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad (which was actually designed by the son of the original architect).
Today our teams got to chill out a bit, but no one wasted the opportunity to visit the incredible rock-carved temples in nearby Ellora. They may not have got any challenges for the day, but these UNESCO World Heritage Site caves certainly left an impression on our Rickshaw Challenge Deccan Odyssey teams.
Things got spiritual on Day 8 as our teams made a beeline for the holy town of Nasik. Every 12 years, this town, which also featured in the Ramayana, hosts one of the biggest religious celebrations in the world Kumbh Mela. While 2015 will be the year the next event takes place, our teams missed out by a couple of months, but the Rickshaw Challenge still made the most of the visit.
The highlight of the day was visiting the Nashik Sula vineyard, one of India’s prime wineries. Some of the teams had so much fun, three out of the five decided to party more there. Team Packman opted to be all spiritual and went to visit the bathing ghat, while Kameraki called it a day and stayed back at the hotel.
The final day and our teams reached Mumbai! There were no challenges set, simply the task to make it there in time for flag down and the small awards ceremony.
On the way, our teams enjoyed some scenic views, before reaching the hotel. Team Packman took the trophy as the Ultimate Champion of the Rickshaw Challenge Deccan Odyssey 2015. The Wicked Vikings took home the Bonkers Award, but in our opinion every team won as they all shared their favourite moments from the Deccan Odyssey, some even saying it was the “best vacation they ever had”. A big win we say!