Chhata to Baghola 66.1km
The power during the concert as the storm hit. It’d been a long day, but finding shelter in the rain, in the dark, while eating cake was bliss.
That morning was another border crossing. Like all the ones before, it’d been a rather chaotic transition. There were close to fifty boys who were running with Pat from 7am when we crossed into Haryana, and they nearly caused a major accident.
The road towards Delhi from the border was narrow and busy. It felt like a small city the entire way through. The boys accompanying Pat were overly enthusiastic and didn’t so much try to run as they did charge forward like they were going into battle. They let out loud war cries and spilled out across the road. Even with Josh, Katie, and Kevin and the ministry of tourism staff herding the crowd, the boys were stubborn and defiant.
Eventually the police were able to stop most of them. Even then, in our rear view mirror we could see the boys waving their flags and slowly close the distance towards us – but Pat picked up his pace and one by one, they disappeared back into the traffic.
It’d been raining overnight and ahead of us were thunder clouds. By midday the clouds would dissipate, but it left wide puddles along the side for Pat to navigate around. The traffic had steadily become busier, which forced our convoy off onto the service roads whenever possible lest we leave a kilometre long line of frustrated motorists behind us.
The team had to stop 13km before the Delhi border, if Pat was to do his full 80km he would have finished in the northern district of the capital. A 6.30pm press conference was planned at our accommodation at Raja Nahar Singh Mahal, an old fort built in 1850. For half an hour, almost no-one showed up.
“In Australia, it seems you show up on time or 30 minutes early,” said one of the people hosting the conference.
“But in India it is normal to be 30 minutes late.” He didn’t get much of a response from the room and began to laugh nervously. Pat and the crew shot him a reassuring smile.
We didn’t particularly mind – by this point we were doing press conferences and functions every single day as we inched closer to Delhi. A night off was welcomed, but a cultural show with a dozen dancers and musicians were ready to play their hearts out and so we stayed. Suddenly it began to thunder and rain again; we were ushered off to the side under a narrow piece of shelter and given dinner – spring rolls, steamed vegetables and a large slice of black forest cake.
The rain became too much for the dancers and the show quickly wrapped up.
Suddenly the power went out throughout the entire fort and it was pitch-black. We laughed and accepted the refreshing reminder that mother nature is the one truly running the show.