Day 30 – 30 Days and 1,260km Later…

Day 30 - 5

Day 30 – 8 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Mahadevpura to ITC Gardenia, Bangalore

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1,260km

My name is Chris and I’m walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

I have just taken the last steps of my 1,260km journey.

Day 30 - 3

As I close my eyes, I have fleeting memories of sweeping coasts, coffee plantations, coconut trees, rivers meeting the sea, villagers going about their morning business, NH17, warm smiles, being reunited with music long ago played, a bucket and a jug, the first chai of the day and warm hospitality. [Read more…]

Day 29 – I Can Finally Start To Believe

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Day 29 – 6 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Bellur Cross to Mahadevpura

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1218km

My name is Chris and I’m walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Well, day 29 done and I am finally prepared to allow myself to believe that I can do it. Thinking I had cracked it at any stage earlier was not something I allowed myself to do – my psychology doesn’t work in that way.

Day 29 - 2

Pawan asked in his recent comment why I had chosen to do this walkathon. I am sure there are a whole bunch of deep seated psychological reasons including some rather unattractive ones like needing to prove myself and seeking appreciation and approval but the main reason I am clear about is that I recognise I have been extremely fortunate during my life (the times when misfortune has descended, and there have been some very low points, have normally been self inflicted) so it was only right that I should try and do something positive. When I am in one of my more reflective moods and teaching at various law schools in India I will often remind the students that we are all given very different but special gifts and it is important that we should try and use these wisely. I have tried to use some of the gifts that I been have given in the planning, training for and execution of this walk.

This morning we met a group of Indians coming the other way who were on a ‘pad yatra’. They were led by a man called Sai Baba who explained that they were walking 300km from Bangalore to Dharmasthala. They didn’t seem particilarly interested in what we were up to until we told them I was ‘Chris Baba’ and were walking from Mumbai to Bangalore. My goodness that resulted in ‘respect’. See below for a photo of our meeting. [Read more…]

Day 28 – My Insight on the Walk After Three Days

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Day 28- 6 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Hassan to Bellur Cross

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1176km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

I managed to convince Ed to write a guest blog so I will be handing over to him. You should get the Day 29 blog tomorrow morning UK time and I will produce one more blog for my final day which you will receive later on in the day.

Chris 

Hi,

Guest blogger number 4 here. As promised in yesterday’s blog I, Ed Parsons, son of Chris ‘the walker’ Parsons have been handed the laptop to give insight into 30×30. Before I start I just want to say ‘walking is what we do’ not writing blogs but here goes.

My journey into India started off on the 24th January 2015. It was like any other winters day in Exeter. I was cycling to my 9am lecture when buzz buzz goes my phone (I pull over) and answer. It was Sam, my eldest brother, – although we speak on facebook fairly regularly a call was unusual so I was interested in what he had to say. It turns out he was calling to ask what I was up to in the next week or so and whether I wanted to go to India to walk with Dad. So it was set. Me and Sam were going to India. Unfortunately Sam doesn’t follow through with his promises and realised he couldn’t handle any marathons so he bailed on Dad. It was left to me to provide the support for Dad from the Parsons boys. This is loosely based on the truth  – unfortunately with the timing of getting visas Sam was no longer able to get time off from his Uni studies – I guess summing up the difference between a first year sport science degree and 5th year medicine degree.

At this point I must give lots of thanks to everyone who helped get the visa to me so quickly including the self-called ‘tangoed dwarf’ who handed over my passport to me at the airport.

On the plane I was inadvertently being acclimatised on the food front. Dinner I was told was a choice between lamb, chicken or an Indian vegetarian curry. Those who know me would know I would always choose the first two with the latter as a last resort. By the time the food got to me the last resort became just that and so I was left picking at a very unappetising vegetarian curry, not the best start but I ate the rice and settled down for the night being assured by the very apologetic air hostess that I would get my first choice at breakfast. The midweek flight to Bangalore turns out to not be too popular and so there were many free seats at the back – so I slept across three seats. An hour before landing I was awoken by the air hostess saying we were an hour from Bangalore and breakfast was being served. She then muttered the words I didn’t want to hear – “Sorry sir, all we have left is the Indian vegetarian option the passengers at the front had first pick as some missed out on their first choice during dinner service.”

So safe to say I landed in Bangalore very hungry but as I was soon to be with Dad the excitement was pulling me through. I got a taxi from the airport, thanks to the kind Kumar and his friends. A quick word of advice at this point. If you are ever asked by a driver if you like music the answer should be no as I found the opposite response resulting in Bollywood dance music being played at full blast for the remaining 5 hour journey with me trying to catch some much needed z’s before joining Dad for the best part of 5 marathons.

day_28_-_5 [Read more…]

Day 27 – Ed Turns Red or is it White?

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Day 27- 5 Feb 2015 – 42km – Cumulative total 1134km

Travelled from Mudigere to Hassan

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Today was an excellent day for three reasons: (i) Ed was with me; (ii) the route was wonderful; and (iii) significantly, it was Atul’s 39th birthday – he kept that very quiet until this morning. So, a very very happy birthday to Atul and yet again all of my thanks for your selfless support. I know you will be missing your wife and son and they you and I’m sorry about that – hopefully I will have a chance to thank your wife personally at some stage.

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day_27_-_9 [Read more…]

Day 26 – Giving Ed a Big Hug and a Kiss

Day 26 - 9

Day 26- 4 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Mudigere to Mudigere

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1092km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Day 26 - 9

As you can imagine, the major highlight of my day was Ed arriving. To my amazement he was on the road with me by about 11.30am after 3 hours from Exeter to London, his 10 hour flight from London to Bangalore, his 4 and half hour drive from Bangalore to Mudigere, and half an hour with Vijay to find me on the road. You can imagine my joy as I gave him a big hug and a kiss high in the Western Ghats. I am extremely grateful to everyone who made Ed’s arrival possible and not least my star secretary Angie and Cookie who helped secure his visa urgently. Angie even travelled to Heathrow by tube to hand Ed his passport with his gleaming new visa personally. No time for a rest, Ed was able to join me for 25km and has had his first experience of the Indian roads and traffic but, more significantly, the Indian sun. As Vijay keeps saying Ed is very ‘lal’ (‘red’). Will be going for the factor 50 tomorrow.

Day 26 - 6

Day 26 - 7 [Read more…]

Day 25 – Heading East & Waiting for Ed

Day 25 - 1

Day 25 – 3 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Mangalore to Mudigere

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1,050km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Having conquered NH17 as we arrived into Mangalore last night you can imagine my horror as we set off this morning and joined NH48. Please read the previous four blogs and simply replace NH17 with NH48 and you will get a sense of my horror on this road. Thank goodness after about 20km, we picked up a much smaller road which, while still very busy with traffic at least had lovely views.

Day 25 - 1

On the NH73 which wasn’t as busy!

For the first time since leaving Mumbai we were now heading East rather than South and by the end of the day we had been climbing steadily into the Western Ghats so that we are now at 700m. [Read more…]

Day 24 – Goodbye Highway 17, Hello 1,000km!

Day 24 - 2

Day 24 – 2 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Manipal to Mangalore

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1,008km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Let’s start with something really positive – 1,000km done. Yippee.

Now let’s look at something a little less positive – NH17 – my nemesis. I have now been on this wretched road for four whole days. At the very least I should be allowed to wear a special badge which says ‘I survived NH17’. At times today it appeared that things were looking up. NH17 became a proper dual carriage way. So I only had to look ahead to dodge the oncoming traffic. It may not have been the most scenic road in India but at least I was relatively safe. Correct? No – certainly not. Motorbikes, auto-rikshaws, cars, SUVs and even lorries were heading the wrong way down the dual carriage way – in other words, tucked in close to the curb to avoid the oncoming traffic and along the same bit of road that I was walking along. The complete disregard for pedestrian safety is staggering. As I hope Deb will confirm, I don’t swear very often but on NH17 I swore a lot.

How about this for friendliness, thoughtfulness and dedication over and above the course of duty. Two friends of Kumar joined me yesterday – Captain (Poorna) and his wife Brinda. They had driven 9 hours from Bangalore, walked with me on NH17 for (appropriately) 17km and then drove 9 hours back to Bangalore. Thank you Captain and Brinda. I am left speechless by your kindness.

I hope you enjoyed Sachin’s blog yesterday – the poor chap had fretted for about 48 hours over it and he finally pushed ‘send’ at 3pm today.

Yesterday morning we were joined by two Labradors from the resort. As we proceeded down the road we just assumed that at some stage they would just turn around and return home. After 3km it was clear that they would not. We suffered quite a delay forcing both the dogs into one of the cars so that we could drive them back – I am sure they would still be with us now otherwise.

Finally we managed to get a picture of me on a Royal Enfield Bullet. How do you think I look Deb?

Day 24 - 2 Day 24 - 3 [Read more…]

Day 23 – Meet Sachin ‘magic hands’ Mali

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Day 23 – 1 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Baindoor to Manipal

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 966km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Hi,

As promised here is Sachin with his ‘guest’ blog and I will update you on both days tomorrow.

Chris xx

I am Sachin Mali,

Firstly I would like to say that writing this blog is punishment given to me by Chris for giving him so much pain. I offered to walk the remaining marathons as writing isn’t my cup of tea, but here I am.

I am the youngest of 2 sons and my older brother is an engineer in Bangalore. I am basically Mangalorean, my parents are from Mangalore and I have been living in Bangalore for 4 years.

I work for Apollo Hospitals in Bangalore as a full time Clinical Sports Physiotherapist. Apart from that I do part-time Fitness Coaching and Physical Therapy for the Elite Tennis players at Topseed Tennis Academy.

When my Head of Department announced there was going to be a marathon from Mumbai to Bangalore I grabbed the opportunity before anybody else could raise their interest. And I immediately started working on it. I am a Sports Physio and I have done research on long distance fitness so I was very excited to be a part of the team for this walk.

Well Chris!!! He is an actor, comedian, dancer, teacher, advisor, angry young man and of course, a Walker! He is an awesome human being. When I first met him, he looked very ordinary standing there in his suit, but he was very well prepared. He had a list of almost 15-20 pre-written questions and he started firing them at me.

Day 23 - 6 [Read more…]

Day 22 – Two Days of Hell on Highway 17!

Day 22 - 1

Day 22 – 31 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Murudeshwar to Baindur

Distance 42km – Cumulative total 924km

My name is Chris and I’m Walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Today there was not too much joy in my heart. The little man has gone but having had a second hard day on the National Highway 17 (NH 17) I am struggling even without the little guy whispering in my ear. Over the last two or three days the humidity has increased as well so its feels even hotter and I am sweating profusely. I have even taken to wearing a small wet towel under my hat as I traipse along the dusty road. It also doesn’t help that they are in the process of widening the NH 17 and the resulting dust gets whipped up by the speeding lorries and blown into my eyes and mouth. In short, the last two days have been a real slog not helped by my right knee playing up and my left foot swelling. Sachin gave me some good advice at the end of the day to help me through these tougher times: “This is what you do, this was always going to be a big challenge, this is what you have trained for”.

Day 22 - 9

Day 22 - 1 [Read more…]