Closing the books on India....with one week to go!

Friday April 25 –  Belated edition

(Okay, I found a beer somewhere in this hostile liqour environment, slept a solid seven and recovered from my frustrated angst and miraculously recreated last nights disappeared blog.)

Good evening from Dubai. It has been an interesting day.

We began with breakfast with a giant Buddha head in Delhi and end tonight with a creek side dinner here in United Arab Emirates (UAE). In between, stuff happened…as it is prone to do traveling around the world over 23-days.

We have a few travel casualties, a few bruised egos, a few road-weary travelers and a few breathless adventurers.

Wild Tigers were seen...

In India, just organizing simple things takes time and usually more than a few people—when sometimes one would suffice if they just followed through. There are rules and regulations (no matter that no one seems to pay attention to any on the roads) and no place more so than at airports. What do they say about foolish consistency?

Alternative modes of mass transpo...takes 2 hours--not 7!

Anyway, we made it out and landed 3 ½ short hours later in Dubailand. A few folks are sadly suffering, more than a little under the weather succumbing to various heat and food and India-related maladies. It happens to everyone at some time when traveling. Their only solace right now is that this too shall pass…but none too soon to those afflicted.

That said, the travel world championship continues, and following the peer reviews, we have our difficult Par 7 Indian leg results to reveal.

Deals made...

The India leg was a true test of our competitors Travel IQ…that intersection where experience, instincts, acquired travel knowledge and intell garnered from the debriefing of other fellow travelers meets real world application. Situational awareness is critical and adapting to new environments key. Some teams did really well, some not so good.  Frankly, some made some rookie mistakes and India clearly separated those that could from those that wish they could.

Forts conquered...

I was amazed what some teams attempted and equally amazed what some teams achieved. I was surprised and also relieved that everyone made it back after four days of getting India all over them. It was not easy. So congrats to all the teams, and especially congrats to the five top placing teams.

In fifth place, working oh so hard and having the bruises to prove it are Team Heckarewee (Leslie & Dan) who earned 1,445 points. Feel better guys.

In fourth place, and completing the most Indian scavenges (but not the most bonus scavenges) were our defending champs The Ogopogos (Gerry & Phil) who accumulated 2,115 points. Get better Gerry!

In third place, impressing the heck out of me time and time again with their tireless tenacity were Sister Act Two (Emily & Rainey Jr.) who amassed 2,125 points. Great job guys and thank you for helping out with all the media interviews yesterday.

In second place, the tried and true savvy veterans working smartly on their second Global Scavenger Hunt campaign, the Retired Traveling Chicks (Kim & Maria) earning 2,200 points.

And a stunning surprise, earning the most Bonus Scavenge points ever (2,500 super special Road Official Wedding Points) on top of your 80 earned points...and winning the Indian leg going away were the back of the pack team The Wanderers (April & Travis), who’s getting married in India venture truly surprised everyone.  Congrats April & Travis…


I kid

It is truly fitting that the winners of the event’s most difficult leg ever in over a decade of competition that has taking event competitors to over 60 nations of the world, are our three time former champs Lawyers without Borders (Zoe & Rainey). Amazing work guys earning 2,575 challenging points…you have truly mastered getting around India.

The Current 2014 Event Standings (AI—After India):

And now Dubai…an easy, plush, soft Par 2. From 5PM Friday until 9PM Saturday night…28 hours what could happen?

More about Dubai later….and I have a lot to say too!


Please friend/like/follow us on Facebook...we will attempt to add Twitter insight (in 140 characters or less!?) and YouTube-like vines (6 second clips) if possible along the way.  I will also be writing periodic Huffington Post pieces along the way as well. So stay tuned.

Finally, remember that The Global Scavenger Hunt has always been about more than traveling around the world competing for The World's Greatest Travelers crown in the world travel championship... it is about helping others help themselves through the GreatEscape Foundation. This year, to celebrate our event's 10th anniversary, our goal is to fund 10 schools in places that really need them. Co-ed elementary schools at that. So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week and make a small one-time $25 online donation during the course of the 2014 event, we know a lot of kids needing an education that would thank you. Thank you all, because we all know that every little bit helps out a lot. (FYI: All individual donation names will be put in a hat and on May 3rd we will select a winner for a special fun prize—it will be worth much more than your $25+ donation!). Thank you!

 

Live from Dubai

Hello all. It is Friday night here about 11PM (1:30AM) for us traveler.

I want to apologize for a technical glitch that has just made me lose over an hour of writing and my entire post this evening. (Thank you #$@#! Microsoft .word!! Thank you #$@* anonymous hotel connection!) Sadly, after a long day transitioning from Delhi to Dubai and dealling with a lot of team drama, I simply do not have it in me to re-write what I wrote or post what was posted--and somehow lost. Accept my apologies...please.

That said, congrats to Zoe and Rainey (Team Lawyers with Borders) for winning the brutal India leg in going away championship style. Here is the current 2914 event leader board standings.

I hope I can somehow reccover ehat was written and repost tomorrow. Until then...good night.

Cheers,

The India Leg has concluded...next?

Thursday April 24 –  

India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.” ― Shashi Tharoor

Wow! That is all that can be said about our last four amazing, jaw-dropping, life-changing days here in India. Teams have returned from traveling hundreds of kilometers (some smartly and some not so smartly) attempting to complete over 125 challenging scavenges. They are humbled, ass-kicked and utterly amazed by India. A few are indeed dealing with Delhi Belly--get well soon!

 I don't know who said this, but it is our events measuring stick that: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away." (Anonymous?) Spades of deep breaths here in India…

All the teams checked wide-eyed and wobbly at the designated 6PM deadline here in Delhi at the LeeLa Palace New Delhi. Congrats went out to the newlyweds and peer review assignments were mad and press interviews conducted.

Teams have 14 hours to recuperate until we catch an 11AM flight to…

Brief asides:

-Not a good sign when the hotel room you just checked into has an amenity that are bright orange…ear-plugs!

-My sense is that travelers probably think too much about India while in India...maybe because they time spend so much time in traffic jams and that makes one reflect so?

-India is so special they have six seasons: spring, summer monsoon, summer, autumn, winter and winter monsoon.

-I was told today that India has in fact never invaded any country in its long history...Hmmm, I seem to remember something about the Bloody Birth of Bangladesh (aka East Pakistan) in 1971?

-Like fruits and vegetable? Little know fact, the wholesale market at Azadpur is Asia's largest market. Almost 3,000 trucks bring in fruits and vegetables here daily to over 30,000 vendors…

-Why do I see mangos everywhere…but nowhere to eat—especially at my hotel?

-Delhi is a BIG city, but rather schizoid I think…a labyrinth of teeming narrow streets and alleys in “Old” Delhi completely contrasts with the imperial city of “New” Delhi of tree-lined roads and fountains?

-Hard to dispute when a driver agrees on a price and takes the cheapest way their…his priority is money not time; whereas the tourist cares about getting there quickly…be damn the cost. That old time vs. money equation we have mastered in the West…or have we?

-Telling my son today about my first tablet I got when I was six—he’s 8 and wants one--it was an Etch a Sketch!

-Why do old Volvo’s, the picture of liberal environmental and safety considerations have the carbon foot print the size of Donald Trump's ego?

-I realized today that I simple miss film photography…I know digital is convenient, but looking at scrolling digital pictures on my computer today was not good...it seemed to hypnotize me into a type of stasis of nostalgia--of both horror and regret too—of  the past. Don’t know if that is a good thing?

-If India every rebrands, it could be called Kramastan?

Okay, thank you for indulging me…we are off to Dubai. Only one traveler has been there before. Should be interesting.

More later, I mean earlier….

The Current 2014 Event Standings (BI—before India):

Please friend/like/follow us on Facebook...we will attempt to add Twitter insight (in 140 characters or less!?) and YouTube-like vines (6 second clips) if possible along the way.  I will also be writing periodic Huffington Post pieces along the way as well. So stay tuned.

Finally, remember that The Global Scavenger Hunt has always been about more than traveling around the world competing for The World's Greatest Travelers crown in the world travel championship... it is about helping others help themselves through the GreatEscape Foundation. This year, to celebrate our event's 10th anniversary, our goal is to fund 10 schools in places that really need them. Co-ed elementary schools at that. So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week and make a small one-time $25 online donation during the course of the 2014 event, we know a lot of kids needing an education that would thank you. Thank you all, because we all know that every little bit helps out a lot. (FYI: All individual donation names will be put in a hat and on May 3rd we will select a winner for a special fun prize—it will be worth much more than your $25+ donation!). Thank you!

 

Ladies & Gentlemen we have a wedding!

Congratulations to Mr.& Mrs. Travis & April Knight...

We Are Still Here...in India

Wednesday April 23 – The 2014 Event’s Half-Way Point!

We have made the turn and are officially on the back nine. I know this because I just did my laundry in the shower, meaning that I was out of suitable clean clothes. ..

Hello all, we have not disappeared from the face of the earth, although that is not hard to do here in India. We have ALL been very busy getting to and fro and site-doing. A few teams were spotted enroute to Ranthambore National Park, a few were spotted at the always magnificent Taj Mahal, a few on trains, and a few taking a foodie excursion here in Delhi. We were in Jaipur…but we saw no teams there.

We will know more tomorrow evening at 6:00PM when hopefully everyone checks in ending the India leg of the 2014 travel adventure competition.

 Presently, I know a few folks that are mighty grateful for winning the random genetic geography lottery that is life... (BTW: Did you know that over sixty percent of a person’s lifetime income is determined by where a person was born?)

So, a few photos to tide you over…
 


Water Palace in Jaipur.


Lotus Temple in Delhi


Not what you think...


Moneky in flower market


Taj...the side building!


Taj friendly face


Iman teaching at Jama Mosque...


Full?


Beauties at Amber Fort...


Not the Rickshaw ralley...

More tomorrow.