A while ago I wrote a post with the headline reading - Create Your Own Adventure, Srinagar to Kanyakumari is cancelled. It wasn't click bait, far from it. It was the truth. Terrorists had planted a suicide bomber amongst a convoy of police transportation along the Srinagar highway which killed forty people. The whole city was in conflict and the place was on lockdown. It put a massive spanner in the works and I had no choice but to move the starting point 474km away over to Leh in Ladakh.
Create Your Own Adventure - Leh to Kanyakumari is NOT Happening
Upon arrival to my guest house in Leh, I spoke with the owner and told him of my plans. He looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face.
"Not possible Sir.”
“What’s not possible?" I asked.
"The Manali Highway is still closed, Sir.”
"You must be joking?" I responded.
"No Sir, heavy snowfall this year, route not possible. Besides, only crazy man would walk alone across the valleys. But I think you crazy man Sir, for even thinking to do it."
As you can appreciate this has left me with a huge fucking problem.
He went on to say, I should enjoy my time in Leh and fly back to Delhi and start from there. But, he was missing the point entirely. Starting from Delhi doesn’t constitute walking the entire length of India and that was the whole point. Walking “most” of India doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Houston we have a problem
This whole trip has cost a small fortune, not to mention obligations to sponsors and partner companies. Then there are my charity obligations to CALM. I couldn’t face letting everyone down and even more so, myself.
There is only one solution...
Srinagar to Kanyakumari is back on.
However, to say I am a little apprehensive would be an understatement. There is still a lot of shit going down in the area, especially in the villages outside the main city, the exact places I’ll be passing through. And, to make matters even worse, I’ll be heading there the day after the general elections, which is bound to cause tension in the area.
I am nervous and apprehensive, I’ll openly admit that. As much as I am a risk taker, thrill seeker, and adventurer, I still value my life. That said, conflict and terrorism can happen anywhere. Only a few weeks ago there were the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. There are muggings, stabbings, and murders that go on in London.
The fact is , no one is guaranteed safe passage in the world we live in.
That said, it still puts a spanner in the works because I had planned all the logistics from Leh and half of the gear I have with me is designed for the mountainous regions of Ladakh - footwear, apparel and medication. But, I always knew India could present a challenge which is one of the very reasons I chose the country.
I always knew flexibility was going to be the key to my success
I have come this far and nothing is going to stop me now. I’ll head to Srinagar in the morning (7th May) and plan the logistics. All that stands in my way is a 12-hour bus ride to Srinagar and the 2,783 miles it will take me to walk to Kanyakumari.