This post is part of a new L’appel Du Vide feature, Misadventure Monday. In each segment, I’ll ask one of my favorite travel bloggers to share one of their Travel Misadventures. This Monday, Audrey from ”That Backpacker” shares with us the story of some bad rickshaw luck on the streets of India.
Tell me a little about yourself and your current/ next trip:
I am a Canadian girl who was raised in South America and has an insatiable desire to explore the world. Even though I consider myself to be a city girl, I love exploring Latin America’s rural side, driving down rugged dirt roads, and chatting away with locals. As far as upcoming travels go; I’m days away from setting off to South Korea, where I will be teaching English to what I hope are very well behaved students! It’s bound to be an entertaining experience.
Describe your travel style:
I am a backpacker at heart, but you probably knew that much from my blog title. I like to travel slowly and prefer settling into a city rather than passing through it. I also like to visit the ‘touristy spots’, because let’s face it, they’re touristy for good reasons. And I never turn down the opportunity to see a city with locals; they have the best insight and have shown me places I never would have found on my own.
What’s been your best/worst travel misadventure? Tell me about where you were, who you were with, and what happened:
My worst misadventure to date would have to be the time I cheated death thrice in one night in India. Sounds a bit over dramatic, right?
I was in Pune for a friend’s wedding, and a few nights before the ceremony, a large group of us decided to go out and celebrate the upcoming big day. Our mode of transportation: the rickshaw. Little did I know it would be a danger-fueled 30 minute ride.
We split into groups of three and my rickshaw was one of the first to depart. We had barely covered a few streets when the driver turned around and informed us that his brakes had stopped working. I was horrified, but thankfully, we were going slow enough that he was able to glide the vehicle to a stop. One crisis averted.
I then got into a second rickshaw with my two companions. We were back en route to the party and it was bound to be a good night. It was a smooth ride and we were joking in the back, until the driver hit a pot hole in the middle of the road, which sent the vehicle’s front wheel flying off – literally. There were sparks, screeching metal, and swerving maneuvers followed by the rickshaw nearly tipping over. Everything happened in slow motion and within seconds it came to a halt. We were alive and without a single scratch. Passing drivers stopped to help carry the damaged rickshaw off the road, and the police soon arrived.
It sounds like a tall tale to say that things could get any worse, but they did. You see, we still had to get to this party, so we boarded a third rickshaw… Our hearts were still racing when a large coach bus made a sharp unexpected turn, and came within centimeters of wiping us off the road. I could not believe the events unfolding before me.
I can’t say I felt much like celebrating that night, but I was certainly grateful to be alive.
What were the negative or positive outcomes of your misadventure?
Coming out unscathed from what could have been three nasty accidents was indeed miraculous. I felt bad about the second rickshaw being badly damaged, but it was a small price to pay for the driver and us to come out of it unharmed.
What did you learn from this misadventure that you can share with other travelers?
If you think your driver is going a bit too fast down a rough road in the middle of the night, it’s probably a good idea to ask him to slow down… Aside from that, you really have very little control over drivers around you, mechanical problems, and unpredictable roads. Say a little prayer and best of luck out there!
Thanks Audrey for sharing!