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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Passage to India

slow train

If you read this blog, chances are good that you’ll already know Nottingham folk as an enterprising, inspiring bunch. Well, I hate to reinforce that stereotype (actually, I don’t hate it at all!) because here is another incredible tale of Nottingham tenacity, determination and lunacy.

Do you know the tuk-tuk? Half moped, half taxi, the tuk-tuk is a symbol of India, and great fun for the occasional journey across town, if you’re not especially safety conscious, and if you’re not that into comfortable travel. Having said that, how about long-distance travel in one? Down to London? Further – maybe down to Folkstone? Aw, heck, let’s just drive it to New Delhi! That’s what I can only imagine the conversation must have been like between these four friends. Sanjay, Mukesh, Kelham and Johnny are four Nottingham residents who, following Kelham’s father’s death through cancer, decided to drive this serious mission all the way to India to raise awareness and money for charity.

And so the Slow Train to India project was born. Across England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and finally into India! Personally, you might just be able to convince me to make the trip in a luxury air-conditioned car, but they do say that genius and madness are closely aligned. The tuk-tuk, christened the Flying  Rani, has so far covered over 5,000 miles in pursuit of the goal, and should be reaching the coast of India almost as I type. They’ve faced temperatures of up to 50 degrees, mountainous deserts and hills, the agony of Iranian customs and a few personal crises along the way:

I have a splitting headache at the moment and suspect my BP is sky high. I think the vast scale of the trip is starting to take it toil and I am beginning to think I just want to be with my family now, enough is enough. But  I have to be strong and want to complete the trip. Rani is doing well and there is not much more to go…

So, with a week left to go on the trip, there’s still plenty of time to check out the blog and donate to loads of good causes… Here’s hoping Flying Rani and the team make it back okay! Follow their progress on twitter and Facebook, and check out some previous press coverage here.