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

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

Yesterday saw perhaps my most extreme sleeping venue to date. Having found nowhere outside the restaurant, we were ushered to an upstairs annexe which acted as the sleeping quarters for the restaurant waiters and kitchen staff. Atul snapped me sleeping there as you will see below. One of the waiters was even sleeping in the corner. Even getting into the annexe was problematic as I had to pull myself up on some knotted rope while climbing something akin to a ladder. We even had a little trauma before lunch that day as a passerby was desperate to take me to hospital as he listened to my screams during my pre-meal physio session.

Day 24 - 8 Day 24 - 9

Despite nearly 40km on NH17, today finished on a high note. Sachin was able to find a small village where he spent some time volunteering with the National Service Scheme. The village was perched between a magnificent beach (Sasi Hathelu) and a wide river (Nandini). I hope we have captured some nice pictures for you. Sadly this will be our last beach on the walkathon.

It was nice to complete day 24. 24 is a significant number in our family – Deb’s, Molly’s and my birthday all fall on the 24th as did our engagement and our wedding anniversary. Some concoction of the boys birth dates also get us to 24.

Ben, Dina and Allen, I am imagining that cappuccino outside the Pantheon in Rome to keep me going.

In the same way that I have been learning Hindi the sweet Vijay has been learning a bit of English. We managed to record him describing the route in simple terms – we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as he enjoyed recording it.

In ‘Bhojpuri’ his mother tongue:



Thanks to Jose not only for his lovely comments but also again for his wonderful work on the blog which goes up like clockwork each evening (UK time).

We need your comments all the more as we dare to believe that we might make it. Looking forward to Ed’s arrival on Wednesday.

Love to you all from Mangalore (Sachin is a happy boy as not only has he done his blog but he is now in his home town).

Chris xx

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Day 24 - 1 Day 24 - 7 Day 24 - 10 Day 24 - 11

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  1. Well done Chris and Team Baba for breaking the 1000km barrier! You’re almost there!

    By the way, I worked out today that the distance you are doing is the same as walking from your house in Kent to John O’ Groats, via Southend. Not a lot of people know that.

    While you were walking in the warmth early on Saturday morning (3 a.m. UK time), we were clearing an inch of snow off the runway. I thought of you and tried to imagine how different the scene was.

    Enjoy your last few days as Forrest Baba.


  2. Jose Jimenez says:

    Well done Chris for reaching an amazing landmark.

    You are building quite a fanbase here and I wonder what we will do for our fix after the 30 days are over. Can you give your next challenge some thought over these next few days? I am joking of course and I wouldn’t want your wife to throttle me either.

    Keep riding that wave. :-)

  3. Chris

    so sorry not been writing comments. have been following the blogs. Feel embarrassed to say that I have struggled as am busy! the fact that you’re walking 42k’s a day boots that excuse way into touch.! It must be incredible to have got this far and know that the end is nigh! it’s going to be an amazing thing for all of you who have done it. keep going, keep well and bloody well done.

    awesome work


  4. Alan Montgomery says:

    Goodbye highway 17! So pleased Chris that u are have got so far. The Enfield, crew cut and goatee is a very good look that I am sure debs wil be thrilled with. We talk about your journey every day and the blogs are a real highlight. I wish I could be there to experience some of it!. Eat up that remaining road – based on what you have done so far I am sure you will!

  5. Another day and still going strong, well done to each and every one of you and how good of Captain and his wife Brinda to join you. I bet you are mighty happy to leave that ghastly highway behind!
    Dad is later to bed this eve as he was watching a great prog on the Wales highlights of 2005 and you well know who we will be cheering for as Wales play England on friday evening.
    Fortunately he appears to be okay (your Dad) after a fall in the bathroom today, not much damage to himself but the shower door is broken.
    Very much hope that Ed will be with you on wednesday and NO competing – you have done more than enough to prove how determined you can be, just enjoy his company.
    Lovely photos and hope Sachin has recovered after his blog?
    Love to you all. xxxxxxxx

  6. ‘Success can be measured by how high you bounce when you hit bottom’ (Patton) – seems rather apt as you have been bouncing sky high! – now you are nearly there!….. Also Sachin’s blog was great – funny and interesting – please tell him. x

  7. Timothy Endicott says:

    A good day!

    And you’re looking fine, Chris, but isn’t it time for a haircut?


  8. Mithun Thanks says:

    Hi Chris!

    While I know it would have seemed an eternity getting here, you are pretty much on the home stretch now! 6 days more, the significance of “24” would be given a tough fight by the rounded number “30”! Keep going! Eat up the non NH-17 that is left as you get through Mangalore en route to Bangalore! The Royal Enfield has just overtaken Harley in terms of the unit sales! So very appropriate that you are on one of it, with your own model of endorsement!  Enjoyed Sachin’s blog quite a bit, not the least because of the different perspective it offered.

    So, for these last 6 days again, the war cry from all of us would be “GO TEAM BABA!”

  9. One can swear by the 1008 names of the Lord that you are now truly a Baba!
    I am sure you can now give a presentation at the next Road Transportation Conference on to do about the chaotic road traffic scene on Indian roads!

  10. Akshay JAitly says:

    Great going Chris, not all the far to go now! A truly remarkable achievement. I hope some of the nutrition chats worked!

    All the very best,

  11. Vriksh hon bhale khade,
    Hon ghane, hoh bade,
    Ek patra chhah bhi
    Maang mat! Maang mat! Maang mat!
    Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

    Tu na thakega kabhi,
    Tu na thamega kabhi,
    Tu na mudega kabhi,
    Kar shapath! Kar shapath! Kar shapath!
    Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

    Yeh mahaan drishya hai,
    Chal raha Chris hai
    Ashru, swed, rakt se
    Lath-path, lath-path, lath-path,
    Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

  12. Pawan Kumar says:

    Dear Chris .

    Once there was a person who used to say that he misplaces and loses his pen very often. He was worried about carelessness habit. He told that he will use only very cheap pens so that he need not worry about losing them. One of his friend suggested to him to buy the costliest pen he could afford and see what happens. He did that and purchased a 22 caret Cross pen. After nearly six months his friend met him and asked him if he continues to misplace his pen. He said that he is very careful about his costly pen and he is surprised how he has changed.

    The friend explained to him that the value of the pen made the difference and there was nothing wrong with him as a person. That is what happens in our life. We are careful about the things which value most:-

    If we value our health, we will be careful about what and how we eat.

    If we value our friends, we will treat them with respect.

    If we value money, we will be careful while spending.

    If we value our time, we will not waste it.

    If we value relationship we will not break it.

    Carefulness is a basic trait all of us have; we know when to be careful! Carelessness only shows what we don’t value.

    Dear Chris you gave importance to the charity, compromising with your health, your time which you could have spent with your wife, celebration of birthday of your son/father, attending retirement event, or enjoying with your friends.

    It really makes you different from others and a ‘Winner’ as winners don’t do different things, they do the things differently. We’re deeply indebted to you & Unsung Hero(s) for this walk for a noble cause.

  13. clive barnard says:

    Fantastic performance Chris and the rest of the team!!!!!!!

    Good job you are not walking in Greece; they are no longer producing Humus or Taramasalata. It is because of the double dip recession.

  14. Pratap Singh says:

    Hi Chris,

    Congrats on completion of 1000 km. I salute you for your extraordinary courage & determination. Even the blisters on your feet could not deter you from proceeding on your mission as per schedule. Wonderful job. Wish you all the best.

  15. sally hartley says:

    To Chris and the Team – what an amazing journey to date! Keep going and above all keep safe.

    Good luck to you all for the next few days!

  16. Brian Hanlon says:

    Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.
    Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.
    Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.
    Impossible is potential.
    Impossible is temporary.
    Impossible is nothing.

    Just. Keep. Walking.

  17. Sarah Glashan says:

    Hi Chris,
    I cannot begin to put into words how proud we are of your achievement. 6 days to go and it will all be over. WOW what a thought.
    As everyone else, we are completely hooked on your blogs and look forward to 9.00pm each day!
    We are all as excited as you to know that ED will be with you very soon. What a tremendous lift that will be for you and the Team.
    Keep your chin up, keep smiling, keep going, keep walking and most of all KEEP SAFE.
    I agree fully

  18. Margaret and Robin says:

    Chris and Team

    An Epic Walk In India. January 2015

    Part Two

    Who then is this man with a beard,
    Who of snakes is clearly not feared
    And who sleeps anywhere on a mat?
    Who wears the same shirts
    And calls Red Alerts
    And whose hair is shaved off ‘neath his hat?

    Well, Chris Parsons of course is the name
    Of this man who has won such fame,
    Achieved with his Team’s dedication;
    Their hard slog be praised
    For the money they’ve raised
    For the work of the Loomba Foundation.

    At last,through dust and heat,
    Aching limbs and swollen feet,
    The final stretch comes round;
    With companions again on the way,
    And friends Blogs to cheer the day,
    New resources of strength are found.

    Now the marathons soon will be done,
    The thirty long days will have run
    And the end of the challenge is near;
    Whilst Bangalore waits
    With crowds at her gates
    To welcome our Man with loud cheers!

    Love to you all. Margaret and Robin

  19. Louise Gilmour says:

    Looking lean and mean! You are SO nearly there .. full of admiration … keep going xx

  20. Chris & team, awesome job indeed. I am based in Bengaluru and would love to join Chris briefly (for an hour or so) ideally this friday morning. Would you guys know where you will be this friday morning (say by 630 am) to enable me to join?

  21. Christine Fairchild says:

    Dear Chris and Team….
    Your progress is positively staggering, your commitment remarkable and your reports keep me gasping for breath and for more! It has been an incredible journey, Chris and such a treat to be able to share it with you each step along the way. May the remaining kms be as manageable as possible, may the traffic stay on the proper side of the road and may the friendly dogs outnumber their opposites. I love the notion that you’ve had these various guardian angels accompanying you along the way (some of the four-legged variety, some two-legged ones!). AMAZING!! Wishing you all the very best from your cheering section in Oxford! Christine

  22. Raj Loomba says:

    Dear Chris,

    At first I thought you were a mad man to commit to walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore but at the same time I was proud that you were going to support widows and their children in India which is of course very close to my heart.

    I cannot really think of any words to appreciate your hard work, determination and efforts to fulfill your dream which is now in sight. Your achievements on this walk to date are simply amazing. The two years spent on training while missing out on family time is a huge testament to the type of person you are. Raising around $300,000 for widows is commendable and we all appreciate and celebrate your efforts.

    I’m grateful to the almighty God that you have kept well during your incredible journey since 10th January 2015 and, there are now only 4 to 5 days left. Reaching 1,000km is an achievement and I’m glad to hear that you will be joined by your son Ed on the last leg of your journey. Veena and I will come to Bangalore to give you a very warm welcome on your arrival and I’m looking forward to seeing Debbie and Molly. You are a part of the Loomba Foundation and we can’t thank you enough. See you soon.


  23. Arghya Sengupta says:


    I really don’t know what to say except that you’re a superstar. Your walk has inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and do what I believe in with a passion I never thought I had. Thank you.


  24. Inspirational watching your progress and determination as well as the love and support you have been given. I think Pawan Kumar’s message is one for all of us to consider and live by. Sending you all the best from here and hope both to meet you one day (and see Debbie again)……………and read the book about this adventure.

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