Arrived here from Kenya at 2am... so it wasn't as intense as our last arrival in India! The number of people trying to con us/rip us off had quadrupled though!!We'd spent 45 minutes with the guy at customs because there was something wrong with our Yellow Fever certificates!! We never found out what it was, but we were ok!!
Had booked our first night here with STA about 3 months ago... and of course the hotel had no idea who we were/ why we were at their reception at 3:30am... so we had a big argument for an hour and half, which culminated in us grabbing the key to a room, legging it up the stairs and slamming the door shut, protesting our innocence from the refuge of a locked room!
Everything was ok in the morning, as they had spent the night calling various different STA's in time zones that were awake so someone could log into the system and confirm the booking!! Needless to say we checked out, and swapped hotels for one of the Lonely Planet budget recommendations!
Met a couple of Aussie girls (Cressida & Susan) at our Seashore Hotel - who introduced us to the local restaurants that hadn't given them the runs! Then spent the time doing usual tourist stuff: India Gateway; Fort area; ghats and markets.
Went to a good bar in the evenning (Leopald's), had a few too many beers, nothnig wrong there, but it meant we weere lost in the docks! A rather unsavoury place to be, full of characters you'd expect to see in this kind of area of India at this time of night! Mums (yes both of you!) don't worry about our "personnal safety" Becky is bigger than all of these people, and james is a beefcake so we are fine!
We've read that there are a few scams here. Like a shoe shiner lobbing paint on your shoe, then miraculously appearing in front of you, and charging an extortionate amount to clean it off! We have been keeping out wits about us (except for that 'drunken slip' on the 2nd night) but both were shocked, especilally James, when a bloke fingered his ear as we were walking through one of the markets - apparently to clean it!!
This weekend was a festival of modern art, so there is a carnival atmosphere and vibrant colours all round the city, especially in the markets near our hotel.
We were meant to be going to Mt Abu tomorrow night, but after 3 hours queuing for train tickets we were told there is only availability tonight (in 4 hours) or 2 days - so off we go tonight - see you in Mt Abu