JUNE - SEPTEMBER 2015
To summarise 7 weeks briefly, Oli Broadhead and I walked 1200km across the width of India during the monsoon season. We passed through a multitude of different environments such as arid plains, agricultural land, cities, mountains, rainforest, and salt marshes. We didn't have anywhere to sleep most nights so we had to improvise make-shift shelters or make the best of anywhere we could find - we 'camped' in a range of different places: hotels, graveyards, scaffolding, abandoned buildings, under old cremation platforms, locals houses fields, on top of bus shelters etc. The more unconventional the place, usually the safer it was. In a built up environment like India without anywhere reasonable to sleep you have to be adaptable. The priority was to avoid the risks of snakes & scorpions, big cats, unfriendly folk and to keep dry. On the journey we had problems with the blistering heat and recent animal attacks stopped us passing through a section of the river we wanted to trek through - therefore we opted for a 200km detour.
The objective of this expedition was to trek across India following a holy river, in this instance we followed the Kaveri river - why? Because we could walk this distance in <8 weeks (the length of our summer holiday). The Kaveri starts in the mountainous rainforest of Karnataka descending into the agricultural plains until it finishes in the hot arid plains of Tamil Nadu, eventually reaching the Bay of Bengal. In total the river extends for 800km meandering eastwards.
Aged 19, this was my first trip outside of Europe, and I wanted something that would really throw me in the deep end at a low budget. Oli and I planned virtually nothing for this trip. We wanted to discover the non-touristic side of India without any prior-planning. We both yearned for a real adventure so we could wake up in the morning not knowing what to expect - every day was entirely different to the previous one - this anticipation was the exciting part of our trip. In total the trip cost £700 including flights. We spent 80p a day per person.
THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
MICRO-LECTURES (With IBG)
At 19 years old, Oli and I presented our Indian adventure at the Royal Geographic Society in London. It was fantastic to share stories with these inspirational adventurers who spoke about their own journeys.