The piston noise from the Walkmobile door opening disturbed my sleep abruptly at 1am. It was Shelin (who I’ve mentioned earlier).
We had been expecting two courier packages sent from the UK but were long overdue. One of the packages contained walking shoes for Bobby and the other contained various walking equipment including specialist socks and safety accessories.
Shelin had driven to Kanyakumari (our walk start point) picked up our parcels from the courier office and then proceeded to drive to our stop location.
It was such a pleasant surprise. Furthermore, due to torrential rain and thunderstorms on the way back, she didn’t arrive home until 5am. Shelin, we thank you!
The morning started in earnest with a brisk pace due to the fact Bobby had on more appropriate footwear and by our first stop I was very happy with our time.
We directed the Walkmobile to park off the road under the shade of a big tree. No sooner had its wheel touched the dirt, one side of the bus began to sink into the sandy soil and the wheels were stuck fast. The more the wheels spun, the more the bus tilted until it was at the verge of toppling over.
It transpired that two weeks earlier a trench had been dug in the sandy soil for a new pipe running along the side of the road. the fact that it had not been compacted when filled, coupled with heavy rainfall had meant the trench had given way under the weight. Our driver (Rahim) walked back into town and returned 30mins later with a tractor which tried and failed to move the Walkmobile.
We then called for a JCB which was 7km away. When it eventually turned up, men from the local village clubbed together and started excavating soil from beneath the wheels on one side to level the vehicle off as it was now in danger of rolling into a telegraph pole and onto its side. 90mins had passed and Bobby decided to walk on alone while we dug the bus out. After another 90 mins and four attempts, the Walkmobile was freed and we raced to catch up with Bobby.
We managed to find a good petrol station for the night and freshwater meant we could have a well deserved shower.