We woke up fresh and alert after last night’s shower and sleep.
There was some light rain in the air during the morning session which helped cool us down and we managed two and a half hours before needing a rest.
Ahead was the large bustling town of Ramnad (Ramanathapuram). It had a bypass road which would have much less traffic but the route would be 2km longer and we needed to reach Chennai by Nov 28th so every km counted. I routed us through the town and regularly checked our route on the way.
The driver’s assistant was jumping on and off the Walkmobile sourcing needed supplies whilst the driver shielded us from the heavy traffic that tried to cut sharply around when overtaking our large, slow moving vehicle.
Around 1km outside of town we decided to rest and the first thing I do is mark our stop time on our GPS route tracking app. My phone was not in my pocket!
Although I had just set foot on the Walkmobile, I searched inside but to no avail. I told everyone to wait while I retraced my steps walking a 3km round trip back into town. Once I returned I grabbed the assistant and we walked back 2km to the only shop I had asked extended directions at, even though I knew I had left that shop with my phone in my hand.
It became apparent that my phone had been taken by a pickpocket possibly when a group of young lads were in between the Walkmobile and us when we were nearing the edge of town.
I went back to our stop point and made a judgement call. The next major town was possibly two weeks away and the phone tracked everything. I told Bobby to carry on while I went into town with the idea of buying a replacement iPhone and sim.
The assistant and I got a auto rickshaw into town and found the only mobile phone store they had. They could only provide me with an iPhone 6S which would take 3 hours to bus in from the neighbouring city of Madhurai. I knew it was my only option and phoned the driver to let Bobby know.
There we sat until 6pm and the new phone finally arrived at a cost of £700. I immediately told the store to connect me to their WiFi and proceeded to restore the new phone with the daily backup I had been previously making of my old phone in case of a crisis such as this. It took 45 minutes but the new phone had all the data minus the current day.
We jumped in an auto rickshaw and drove the 10km to where Bobby had stopped for the night in the driveway of the International Public School (IPS). Staff and teachers had been leaving for the night and were talking to Bobby while the security guards brought out large buckets of water.
There was no privacy but we didn’t care. A large sheet of plastic was laid on the ground where Bobby and I showered under the starry sky … in our boxers of course!