Day 22 – Two Days of Hell on Highway 17!

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…]

Day 21 – Navigating the Dangerous Highway 17

Day 21- 30 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Gokarna to Murudeshwar

Distance 42km – Cumulative total 882km

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.

So that’s 3 weeks on the road completed and I am feeling and looking pretty rugged or, perhaps, I mean pretty rough. If you could see me getting out of bed or setting off after one of my physio sessions or simply getting up out of a chair you would be surprised if I could walk ten metres let alone 42km but somehow, thanks in large part to Sachin and my training, my body finally gets into the groove and all the pain merges into a general blur and I can hit the road again.

After about 30km today we had to send an SOS to Kumar – the national highway 17 was just too dangerous to walk down and we needed some smaller roads to restore my sanity. The problem is not the vehicles coming towards me which I can relatively easily avoid but the real issue is the ones coming from behind which may be overtaking not one but two vehicles so that by the time they reach me they are three abreast. The challenge faced by Kumar is that the national highway 17 is like a long fish spine with all of the side roads being the shorter fish bones leading to dead ends. Not sure where we will get to on this front tomorrow.

Day 21 - 14

Naveen Beach Resort where we stayed for the night

Other than the route, I was feeling pretty good after a decent night’s sleep and especially after aaloo palak (spinach and potato) for lunch. [Read more…]

Day 20 – A Very Tiring Day But Only 10 Left To Go

Day 20 – 29 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Karwar to Gokarna

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 840km

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 20 completed. 10 days remaining. Can I start to believe?

Not sure? Today was tough, very tough and I think by the time I arrived at the hotel this evening I was as tired as I have ever been. The first 30km today was spent trudging along a straight and busy road with nothing much to commend it. I probably waved at 500 truck and bus drivers partly out of friendliness and partly out of a desire to make sure they had seen me. I am afraid the many stray dogs I have seen run over are a constant reminder of how dangerous the roads can be. Even the great Kumar can’t magic-up idyllic country lanes if they don’t exist.  The last 10km off the main road was lovely but by that stage I was too exhausted to enjoy it properly. Some of the interesting scenes included villagers threshing wheat by hand and a number of salt lakes (a reminder of the famous protest walk undertaken by the iconic Mahatama Gandhi in the first half of the twentieth century).

Day 20 -1

Day 20 - 3 [Read more…]

Day 19 – How I was Seduced by Chris

Day 19- 28 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Patnem to Karwar

Distance 42km – Cumulative total 798km

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 is another guest blog and this time by Atul who will tell you a little bit about himself as well as providing an insight on the walk from his point of view. For those of you who are new to the blog, Atul has been accompanying me on the walk as part of the support team since Day 1. Normal service resumes tomorrow with my blog post and will include some information on today’s walk.

Chris. xx

Hi,

I am writing as Chris is very keen for me to share my experiences during the walk so far. We have gone through quite a few ups and downs these past 19 days of the walk. Chris and our team, I must say are fantastic.

With Atul and Sachin

By now most of you (I guess) who are following this blog and eagerly awaiting for the next one to come out, like following a ‘soap opera’, must have a good idea about me after seeing a few of the photographs, especially the one which was taken by Sachin of me sleeping in the car. And for those who are reading it for the first time you can look at some photographs in this blog. To introduce myself though virtually – my name is Atul Palta and I work for the Loomba Foundation as Manager of Operations, a post I have held for the past 9 years (I hope you will not ask me to walk 9 marathons with Chris by declaring that!). I feel privileged to work for the Loomba Foundation and it gives me huge satisfaction and peace of mind to see the transformation of the lives of poor widows in India. [Read more…]

Day 18 – A Taste of Luxury in Beautiful Goa

Day 18 – 27 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Colva to Patnem

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 756km

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.

Another twelve hours on the road just completed – some of the most beautiful tropical jungle views we have seen as we climbed high away from the coast but blimey it was hot – Goa was trying to suffocate me with her breath. I sweated buckets but kept well hydrated.

Day 18 - 8__1422468728_82.71.8.107

Goa is unlike anything else I have seen in India: instead of temples and mosques there are churches; instead sarees and lungis they wear western clothes; instead of traditional rural homes they have colonial style bungalows; instead of Tendulkar’s there might be Gonzales’; instead of a ‘namskar’ greeting they might say ‘hello’. Perhaps the Portuguese colonial hand was heavier than the British one – I’ll leave my Indian friends to answer that question. [Read more…]

Day 17 – The Sunshine that Gets me Through the Day

Day 17 – 26 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Candolim to Colva

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 714km

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 had clearly done a lot of planning in connection with the walk and had given a lot of thought to what it would be like and how I could deal with it both from a physical and from a psychological perspective. As part of all of this I had not thought for one moment about all of the wonderful comments that might be made on the blog and the significance these would play in getting me through each day. I can’t tell you how important they are and I can completely understand how sportsmen must feel when they are being cheered on with such affection. I have been really touched by all of your comments. It is so easy to put some sunshine in other people’s lives but a lesson we often forget. Roy sent an especially meaningful comment today and I said a prayer for his wife, Roy and all of their family.

Roy’s comment:

Chris as you know my family have been on a journey for the last 15 months. We don’t have a map and we are not sure of the final destination. However, like you we have had moments of pain, moments of doubt and moments when our hope was really tested. But like you, we are focused on the good in life, we are often carried for the last few miles each day by the energy of a friend or even a stranger. Thankfully we are better, stronger and tighter for the tests of the day. We have also been reminded by other families on this same journey that it has been our strength which kept them hopeful at their worst time.

And so Chris, please never forget that through this journey of yours, through the pain and tough moments, it is you who inspire us and others who we tell of your epic journey. Through your inspiration, you help us to hold onto to something today and get through tomorrow. You will never know the light you have brought into some many people’s lives when they may have felt enveloped in darkness. Thank you, from my family, thank you from all those who’s voices you won’t hear. Thank you Chris.

It was super to walk with David for two days – he was exceptionally good company – Jonathan and Nicole he is a credit to you. I was thinking that you might like to enter him in a ‘Chatathon’ competition, my money would be on him winning even at a professional level. He also very kindly wrote yesterday’s blog which I hope you enjoyed. This meant that Atul and I were able to escape our usual hour together. David mentioned that he had heavily censored his blog – all I can say is I would hate to have seen the uncensored version. Sorry David but even the ‘mild’ version you drafted was censored further by me on reflection (as you will have seen I deleted an entire section).

Day 17 - 2__1422384313_82.71.8.107 Day 17 - 3__1422384337_82.71.8.107 [Read more…]

Day 16 – Tired of Routine? Turn your Smile into a Fortune!

Day 16 – 24 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Candolim to Candolim

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 672km

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.

For today’s blog I’m handing over to David as explained in the video and normal service will resume tomorrow.

Chris. xx

[Read more…]

Day 15 – “You are Exhausted and Near to Breaking Point”

Day 15 – 24 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Malwan to Candolim

Distance 42km – Cumulative total 630km

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, that is 15 days done – halfway there. I have very mixed feelings about this – half elation at 50% done and half concern at the thought of doing it all again.

Sadly, the little man was on my shoulder again this morning whispering in my ear “Chris, you are exhausted and near to breaking point, you need to take a day off, you are pushing yourself too hard”. Both Sachin and my eldest son Sam had mentioned their concern about my lack of sleep. During sleep the body repairs itself and mine needs lots of repair given what I am doing to it. The little man became quite focussed on this this morning hence my negative thoughts.

However the day turned out to be far more positive. As I mentioned yesterday, I was joined by David Scott and he was just the change in routine and tonic I needed. We chatted all day. I am extremely grateful to David for flying down from Delhi to walk with me. He brought the same excitement and enthusiasm I had during the first 10 days and this was infectious. He took lots of photos and we have shared quite a few here. He also got to witness a ‘Code Red’ which was above and beyond the call of duty.

Day 15 - 7__1422191404_82.71.8.107 [Read more…]

Day 14 – Daydreaming About Lying Down Under a Tree

Day 14 – 23 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Malwan to Malwan

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 588km

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.

Some of the simplest pleasures are the best. The first chai of the day at 5km, collapsing into a delicious sleep after lunch, doing a short celebratory Bollywood dance with the team as my GPS watch clicks over 42km for the day and sitting on my little stool ladling hot water over my head. The stunning views remain the icing on the cake.

Day 14 - 14 [Read more…]

Day 13 – India was not my Friend Initially but she Re-Embraced me Later

Day 13 – 22 Jan 2015 – Travelled from Vijaydurg to Malwan

Distance 42km – Cumulative total 546km

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.

If today’s blog had been written after 25km just before lunch it would have read something along the following lines: ‘Today, for the very first time, was not fun. I am very, very tired and need to go to bed. Goodnight, Chris’

This morning was really tough and India was not my friend. She burnt me with her sun, her roads were long and never ending, her hills steep and her people not smiling. She did not seem to want me to be here and I was almost happy to oblige. But it’s amazing what a plate of spinach, potato and chapatti shovelled into my mouth with little or no etiquette can do for the body. There was a complete silence from the team as I ate lunch clearly worried that I was nearing breaking point. Sachin even allowed me to have a half an hour nap after lunch to allow my body to recover. I probably over did it yesterday (no surprises there, Deb?) – with lots of power walking with Sachin and also a little too much running. Thankfully business as usual resumed in the afternoon (almost) and India seemed to re-embrace me.

I was going to start this blog with a ‘Yippee, I’ve done it – the challenge is over’ and then make some joke about the 30 marathons being a typo by my trustee PA, Angie, for 13 marathons in 13 days. But somehow this seemed inappropriate given my exhaustion.

A massive omission from my list of black artists of yesterday was Tracy Chapman as Sam, Ben and Ed will no doubt have picked up. In particular her song ‘The Promise’ is, in my humble opinion, exceptional and the definitive love song. It carries a special affection in the Parsons’ household, does it not boys? If you have the time and inclination do take a listen and let me know what you think.

Day 13 - 15 [Read more…]