Taking a different approach to the Malabar Rampage is Team 003, The Rickshawallas. On this Malabar Rampage they have raised more than £4,000 in charitable aid for Round Table India, and are augmenting that figure by saving on the rally hotel package – deciding instead to rough it and improvise.
Team Interviews : Charlie ( Team 003 – Rickshawallas) April 12, 2010
Armed only with a 2005 copy of Lonely Planet to give them a general idea of what a place is like, at the end of a long day on the road they do not rest but instead head into town and start hunting for any local hotels or hostels that have availability and the lowest prices possible. After as much as 180km on the road and through the heat, this is not an option for the faint of heart!
Led by Charlie, the team has so far managed to find a place (eventually) every night that would put them up for around 800 to 1000 rupees. The accommodation is often rough and sparse to say the least, but they have seen more of what goes on in the town, the real hustles and bustle, than they could have otherwise. Charlie and his teammates feel that the air-conditioned luxury that the listed hotels provided by the Malabar Rampage insulate them too much from the local flavours and experience by provide exactly the relaxing retreat and space they were designed for. Team 003 is right in the heartbeat of the local communities, and say that they can see, hear and smell the real character of each town, finding out what each towns own cuisine is like, what are the predominant races, religions, and customs. They say that they occasionally get just a flicker of regret after a really long and hard day when they have to go scouting for accommodation, but after a shower or at least a wash-up they are ready to hit the town!
Their experience with the locals has been just as glowing as the other teams report, if not even better. The entire team was flagged down by the side of the road by a friendly old man who took them all back to his own home to meet his wife and children (who spoke perfect English) and made us all coffee and tea, and told us all about their customs and culture before sending us back on our route rested and refreshed.
Charlie’s tips for anyone thinking of trying this approach to the Malabar Rampage is to bring anti-bite, and lots of it, maybe your own sheets, your own washing gear, and a small essentials backpack. Their advice for the road: chill out completely, get there when you get there. This isn’t bad advice wherever you are.