We made it!

We made it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 30 –Walk from Vellore to Rannipet

This morning Mum and Kate have kindly offered to look after Gus today to enable Bec to come and join in the walk. Maggie, Ally and Maxy decide a rest day is a good idea today after a big effort yesterday. Indy, Kate, Poppa and I start the walk. The walk out of Vellore today is basically a highway walk and not a lot exciting to report. We walk for a couple of hours without a break and are looking for a spot to stop for a drink when Raju pulls up with Bec for a swap off the bench for Kate. We are excited to see that Ally and Maggie have decided to walk the last 10+km with us of their own volition.

Today was the first day where we struggled to find a rest stop. We walk along for an additional 2 hours along a hot and dusty major highway in the hot sun. Not a lot of fun. The kids are pretty good today as they spend time talking about things they are looking forward to when they get home including rearranging their rooms, this keeps them busy for a long time. A couple more hours into the walk and now approaching nearly 4 hours without a stop we are starting to feel a little fatigued. Popsy and I decide to walk down a side lane to see if we can locate a shop. Fortunately we find a temple and nearby a couple of small shops that allow us to stock up on cold water and a packet of chips for the kids. Day 30 and the first day we have struggled to find refreshments on the walk, perhaps a sign of things to come, we will be better prepared tomorrow. The last half an hour after the drink was not too bad although for the first time my feet are starting to feel sore and Indy had a few leg pains, we pushed on and found Raju waiting for us at the edge of the town of Rannipet. Poppa grills Raju about where the town actually is to which Raju says it is here, Poppa continues to push and Raju gestures that it is over the bridge that stands in front of us. Indy is very keen just to get on the bus but wouldn’t let Poppa and I finish the walk without her. It is clear Popsy would like to finish the walk and with obvious frustration Indy steps off the van and huffs and puffs up the road. Maggie and Ally jump in the van, happy with their effort and near enough is definitely good enough. It turns out that we only had another 500 metres to walk across the bridge and Raju was waiting there for us. Poppa felt good though about finishing the walk, Indy perhaps not so much.

We head back to the hotel and Kate, Mum, Gus and Maxy have had a good day, Mum is sitting typing her blog and Gussy is asleep, a little earlier than usual. We order up some lunch and Gus wakes up just in time for his French fries and fruit salad. The girls have their usual. I head down to the lobby to check a few quick emails and on the way back see Kate heading out with all of the big kids. I can hear Gus screaming from the lobby as Kate looks and me and suggests Bec might need a hand. I head up and the little man is in the middle of a major meltdown, 30 days on the road and the toll is starting to show. It takes a good few minutes for him to settle down, we are not used to seeing him so loud when he has his meltdown. It is a long time since he has been at home and it is pretty tough for a kid like Gus to be couped up in a hotel room some days. He is definitely an action man. We have a cup of tea and a book and he seems to settle down pretty well. Nanna and Poppa come over and Gus takes a great deal of enjoyment shaving poppa’s hair with the electric razor. Kate and the kids come home with a few small purchases and Bec and I take Gus out for a quick walk to the shops to buy a few supplies. Gus has it in his head that chewing gum is really cool now, something I am sure he got off Maxy, so he is on a mission and takes great delight when he finds some. We hear word that a film crew will join us for tomorrows walk leg so we have a quick get together to talk about what this might look like and ask the kids a few questions to help them to think about how they might respond tomorrow. As always we encourage the kids to be natural and honest and say whatever they want, their experience is their experience. The kids get themselves whipped up into a frenzy, each in good spirits trying to out do the other with their responses, so much so that Maggie ended up on her feet incorporating a bit of a sing and dance routine in her response.

The kids order up their chicken tikka, fries and naan bread whilst Bec and I decide just to have a cup of tea tonight. We get into bed early as usual, the days are long here and a good night’s sleep is important. After last night we are ready for bed. There is a knock on the door, it is Kate coming to tell us that as she was in the lobby checking in on her facebook (the lobby is the only place you can get a wifi signal) she noticed the glass elevator was stuck mid floors. There was an alarm sounding and sure enough it was Max looking very sheepish as he had pressed the STOP button. The temptation to experiment was too strong and he succumbed only to find out that the stop button was not a temporary action but a permanent stop with an alarm blaring. As staff came running from everywhere to get Max out of the lift, Kate just put her head down and typed a little note about the incident on her facebook. Max was at last released and he put his head down, not to look at Kate and ran up the stairs up to bed. Just another end to our day in India.

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