The CEMS Blog

The official blog of Chennai Event Management Services

Africa bound: CEMS is going to the Sahara September 26, 2009

Filed under: CEMS — c @ 1:49 pm
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Chennai Event Management Services offers some exciting expeditions. From the bright colors and bold flavors of South India to the scenic backdrops and mysterious landscapes of Eastern Europe, adventure tourists from around the world are given the opportunity to explore these continents like few ever have. Now, for the first time, CEMS is proud to bring you a new opportunity on a new continent, the Trans Sahara Rally.


Africa has long been the location of fascination for many people worldwide. The continent possesses a depth, history, and innate nature that most modern civilizations have lost, or never had. It is among the last remaining areas of Earth where the wild and untamed are authentic, uncontrolled, and free. There are innumerable opportunities for exploration in Africa, and between Tunis, Tunisia and Grand Popo, Benin, those opportunities can be yours to take advantage of.

The nature of the Trans Sahara Rally is different from most CEMS events. It is termed as a “minimal assistance for maximum effect” event, wherein we will provide the all necessary preparation information and advice throughout the event, but otherwise, you’re on your own to explore. This is not a tour and there are no strict rules. You choose what you drive. You choose your speed. You choose what supplies to bring. This is an adventure of your own making and we guarantee it will be unforgettable.

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For 18 days between March 14th and March 31st, your journey through northern Africa will expose you to landscapes unlike any you’ll find elsewhere on Earth. You will meet people who will make impressions on you like few ever have. You will find yourself accomplishing challenges you never dreamed you’d encounter, and never imagined you’d survive. The Trans Sahara Rally is not for the faint of heart. It is an adventure in the truest sense of the word, an escape that will take your spirit and soul to a place no tropical island, no romantic castle, or no cup of tea will ever be able to take you. It is the ultimate holiday.

If the Trans Sahara Rally is something you are interested in, take advantage of our early bird registration by signing up before October 30th to receive up to 20% off your registration fee. Registration must be completed and paid in full to receive the discount and will be open until February 28th, but now is the time to sign up! Come experience the wild and untamed. Come discover the meaning of adventure. Come enjoy the most memorable journey of your life. Africa awaits…

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The Real India: Experience the subcontinent from the driver’s seat of an autorickshaw September 24, 2009

Filed under: CEMS — c @ 1:39 pm

This article was recently published at No doubt, the Rickshaw Challenge provides the opportunity to see India for what it is, which is exactly what you make of it.

Anybody who has ever traveled to India will likely tell you that the subcontinent is a land of vivid contrasts, of opposite extremes co-existing, and a complete assault to the senses. True that India’s massive population of over 1 billion people has given the country an uncomfortable reputation, but within the villages of the tropical countryside and along the streets of the busy cities lies the true essence of India, the sensually assaulting culture and contrasting character that make India among the most exotic and intriguing places on Earth to visit.

And what better way to explore the country than by the driver’s seat of Asia’s most beloved vehicle, the autorickshaw?

Andrew Treeby of team Crud Bug, photo  by Chelsea KotThe Rickshaw Challenge, a series of autorickshaw events created, produced, and managed by Chennai Event Management Services, provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience to adventure tourists around the globe. The idea for participants is to learn how to fuel and drive an autorickshaw, then personally drive that autorickshaw from one point in India to another, along the way completing a series of challenges worth points that determine a winner at the end.

Currently, the Rickshaw Challenge events include the Malabar Rampage, the Tech Raid, the original Classic Run, and the popular Mumbai Xpress. Each of these events has unique routes of varied lengths, all beginning in Chennai, butEdit Mekler of team Historic Racing, photo by Gabor Nemeth each exploring a different aspect, theme, or characteristic of the diverse states and regions of India. The Mumbai Xpress, for example, is a 1,900 kilometer adventure that takes participants across Tamil Nadu into the state of Karnataka, up the west coast of India into Goa, and further through the Western Ghats to Maharashtra, the richest state in India with Mumbai as its capital. Along the route, which takes 12 days to complete by autorickshaw, participants compete to accomplish a set of “challenges” that range from scavenger hunts and cultural observations (photograph yourself with a cow in the road) to geocaching and communicating with local people (to find a Nissen Hut in Karnataka). But it’s not just the Mumbai Xpress that contains challenges like this. As if driving these distances in an autorickshaw is not challenging enough in itself, each of the routes of the Rickshaw Challenge contain daily adventures based on the topography, history, culture, or Photo op, photo by team Crud Bugreputation of a particular location. By the flag down point on the final day, each of the participants are able to say with certainty that they have experienced India, that they have actually been there, and that they wish they didn’t have to go back home.

Accommodation along the route can be organized with Chennai Event Management Services and range from hilltop stations hidden by monsoon rains and local hostels with no air conditioning to the five-star J.W. Marriott of Mumbai. Even the accommodations are considered to be part of the daily challenge sometimes. Regardless of where you rest you head, the experience of India as a participant of the Rickshaw Challenge is real and off the beaten track.

Furthermore, the Rickshaw Challenge contributes back to India. By working with Round Table India, a non-profit organization designed to provideMatt Bass donates colored pencils to RT-Bangalore, photo by Chelsea Koteducational opportunities for underprivileged children, Rickshaw Challenge participants do more than observe India. They get involved. Round Table India provides personal tours of their projects, especially those built under their “Freedom Through Education” initiative, which has set the foundation, built the facilities, and provided the resources necessary for India children to receive an education. Many past participants have initiated fund raising efforts before travelling to India while others have committed to efforts back home in order to support the cause. One team of Mumbai Xpress participants from Australia, for example, purchased their autorickshaw after the completion of the event with the intention of providing rides in Australia to residents for a small fee. This fee, in turn, will be donated to Round Table India to provide for children who would otherwise continue to live out their lives in slum conditions with extremely limited opportunities.

This is the real India. This is the land of contrasts, where schools are built near slums, where the bright color of saris captures the eye as much as the dirty streets, where the monsoon rains and seasonal droughts are patterns of life. This is the land of sensual assaults, where the spice is so authentic, the chai so bittersweet, the noise so constant, the silence so deafening, the smells so bold. Anybody who has ever been to India will tell you, it’s unlike anywhere else in the world. They’re right.

And each event of the Rickshaw Challenge guarantees an experience that is just like India itself: raw, breathtaking, and unforgettable.