Two RFDS supporters have raised just over $4,500 by undertaking a wild trip across India in a motorised rickshaw.
Agricultural consultant David Brown and business owner Peter Cain paired up for the odyssey from Shillong in the far north east down to Jaisalmer in Rajastan.
“It was by far one of the biggest adventures I’ve done,” said David, who has visited more than 30 countries.
“India is just massive, and teeming with people. The roads are pretty crazy … giant potholes and truck drivers coming towards you on the wrong side.
“Physically, it was relatively uncomfortable. We did pretty big hours. When we clocked up 250 km in a day, we’d be starting at 5.30 in the morning and going to six or seven at night. But the constant stimulation helped.
“You’d be uncomfortable as hell then you would see something that would totally take your mind off it. It was pretty cool.”
The pair chose to support the RFDS as well as a charity in India.
David said the family business was Reola station, about 120 km north of White Cliffs in north-west New South Wales. The 178,000 ha property boasts one of the biggest wool sheds in the world, accommodating the shearing of 3000 sheep and the pressing of 95 bales of wool a day.
“We’ve relied heavily on the RFDS over the years,” David said.
“I’ve been a patient with them a number of times and we’ve gone to RFDS clinics.
“We’re not accident-prone by any stretch but we operate a family property and whenever there is a problem, either with family or the people we employ, it’s good to have the RFDS to call on.
“And I was a pretty regular RFDS patient as a kid. I fell out of a tree once and got a big stick stuck in my leg. The RFDS came and stitched me up on the airstrip at our neighbour’s property.
“In another incident I got a nasty gash in my leg again. We’d been working with goats and one of them stuck me with its horn.
“It sounds a bit silly but it was a three inch cut in my leg. It warranted a trip to Broken Hill with the RFDS.”
David said he and Peter had many adventures during their India trip, which lasted just over 10 days. The rickshaw suffered “heaps” of mechanical problems.
“There was always someone along the way who could fix it for a handful of notes. If they can’t help out then they know 10,000 friends who can.”
In one Indian town an impromptu tour by a local teacher ended up with Peter addressing a school assembly of several thousand children.
The pair aptly called their trip “Fifty Shades of Curry” and by starting before their Australian departure, Peter managed to eat 50 curries in 50 days.
“Over there, of course, you have curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” David said.
For their next adventure, David and Peter are considering a rickshaw run in Indonesia.
If you have an idea for a great way to raise funds for the RFDS or if you’d like some inspiration please call our Sydney office on (02) 9941 8888.