Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The last push...

The End

My last day of my old life. The chrysalis is starting to tear and I’m vulnerable to the elements and predators as I spread my wings for the first time.

This day is surely my most dangerous – Taliban, wild dogs, stone throwing kids, crazy truck drivers, pan fueled nut jobs – they pale into insignificance as I enter the wildlife park on my bike. Containing the highest number of Asiatic elephants rampaging through the jungle destroying everything in their paths and containing the largest number of Tigers of any other park.

As I’m coming down a hill I halt suddenly as elephants are spotted. What to do – wait and be easy prey for the tigers or risk being crushed to death beneath tonnes of elephant. I decide to go for it – a motorcyclist says “go past on the right and go fast!!”

I’m here and hence safe but man I think that 1hr was risking it a bit too much!!

As I continue I am joined by cyclist and motorcyclists, our number is increasing as is the number of flower wreaths round my neck – it’s starting to get heavy. With 1km to go I see in the distance a huge crowd gathered. Adults children men and women all dressed so colourfully and bearing banners. As I get closer I see they are wishing someone a happy birthday and congratulations. A little closer and I can make out my logo ‘Velo Love’ in the hands of every child. They’re here for me and the tears begin to flow.

Cheers, claps, drums rolls, singing, dancing – it’s a carnival as I walk my bike towards the school with a 6 yr old on the seat and hundreds of people from the village and the school following behind.

Singing and speeches follow, tears follow that. Not just from me but from the teachers, the pupils, the media crowd that have gathered. I think something very special happened today in this little Adivasi village. Wow – I cut a cake, again bearing the ‘love’ logo and now I’ve lost it. My head in my hands as they sing happy birthday in English with their beautiful accents and then sing again in Tamil.

For the second time in India my life has changed forever.


  1. Well Done Dan !!!
    It was worth it !!!!!

  2. Wow, I'm in tears reading your post. Beautiful Dan. You've touched so many hearts. x

  3. Nice one fella, congrats on making it there in one piece!

  4. Wow, What a feat - BIG BIG well done (and belated Birthday greetings :))
    Rachel J

  5. Only found out about your awesome adventure when it was nearly over. Thanks to this blog though I have spent the last couple of days catching up with it. It's pretty legendary stuff Dan. Well done and congratulations on surviving it. I would call it the adventure of a lifetime but I'm guessing with you involved that title is premature! Good luck topping it though!

    Jon F.

  6. Heard via SJB's The Lamb that you'd made it! The way you described it made me feel as if I was really seeing your arrival in the village. What an amazing thing you've done.
    All the best, The Wallman Family, Hampton Wick

  7. Well done Dan we've been dropping in and out of your adventures over the last 6 months enjoying a vicarious adventure around the globe without leaving the comfort of our living room. Jude wants me to say well done and that it's been hard going without you at SJB.(Not sure quite what he means by that)But he's missed you thats for sure. How do you fancy a Year 5 class of avid bog snorklers and park runners when you get back ? Congratulations !! Jude and all the Hollis family

  8. Congratulations Dan!! James and I have just burst into the Chembakolli song. Relieved and delighted that you have arrived safely. Amazing achievement Dan! Love and hugs the Farmerys xxxxxx

  9. 成功的秘訣在於:當機會來臨時,你已準備妥當 ....................................................