Lets take this gig global!!
Well first off- happy valentines to you all and to all those single ladies out there...you dont know what you're missing! haha! Spare a thought for me when you're all having romantic dinners or nights in as I will be sat at Mumbai airport all night! I do have steve as a shoulder to cry on tho! ha. We had an awesome last couple of days in Arambol venturing over the haedlands and up the cliff to check out some spectacular views of the Indian ocean and watch the paragliders taking off and had a dip in the (supposedly) natural tropical spring lake which was nice although a little busy. The only downside was for Fi as she suffered the first case of Delhi belly type symptoms on Saturday night! Luckily it appears to just have been a violent 24 hr thing as she is much better now. However, after an amazing week of pure relaxation and beachlife this surfside prophet had to move on and we have made it to the crazieness of Mumbai safe and sound (just about!). We were planning on catching the train but when we went to book they were all completely full so the only option was the bus. A bit of a downer on a 15 hr trip! We got a taxi to Mapusa early Monday morning and arrived too early in fact so had to kill an hour or so. Me and steve-o found a nice little bakery which he made the most of! the muffins were particularly good but as with most things in India they also had some, lets say 'unique' choices aswell. Anyone for a chicken croissant for breakfast? or how about a veg doughnut?!! haha. Things brightened up tho when the bus finally arrived (10:45am) and it turned out that we were travelling in style, luxury all the way!! We had a notorious Volvo bus which are 1st class in Indian terms. We had seen them at stations before and were always like "man, I wish we were catching that one!" as our piece of junk pulled up! and now was our chance! The air con was belting and the seats proper comfy which folded back almost fully into a bed! We were travelling with the upper class indians aswell. You can tell by th way they dress and its a safe bet to say that in India, the fatter you are, the wealthier you are! and there were defo a few which had put away one too many panneer tikka masalas for my liking!! So as you can imagine the 15 hr journey was pretty nice and we didnt have the usual worry about our bags in the back either as we had our very own security guard to watch over them at stops!! Quality! However, things went t*** up once we arrived in Mumbai, well it wasnt even Mumbai central but rather a north east suburb called Thana. We decided to head to a hotel near the airport as an indian man was going that way too so we could share a taxi with him. First we had to get a rickshaw about 500 yards away (for a ridiculous 50 rupees) then two of his taxi mates pulled and to cut a long story short, didnt have a clue where they were going so took us on a wild goose chase for about an hour! Th eIndian guy obviously got fed up as he got out after 20 mins to get a rickshaw and when we asked him for some money it turns out that he only gave the driver 50 rup- cheeky cheeky monkey!! When we finally got somewhere it was the wrong hotel,. the Regency instead of the Residency and this was well out of our price range! By this point we were pretty pissed of so decided to sack off the taxis only to find out that thew charge for each one (metered) was 740 rup! Outrageous! and when we tried to argue our point suddenly they couldnt speak any english and just played dumb!! Man, I was so close to knocking one of them out! But being the polite brits we paid up with gritted teeth and got a rickshaw to another hotel we had passed on the way which was listed in our bible. This was now full but the legend on reception rang around and found us a room at another place! We finally got our heads down in a pokey double room with me and Fi on the floor at 5am this morning! Was not a happy camper to say the least! So for the first real time in India, we were taking for a complete ride last night (literally!) and even tho it was only about 20 quid between us it was still really annoying and frustrating- so unfortunately our opinion of Mumbai has been atrnished somewhat and right now I cant wait to get the hell out of here! Not India itself (I love it on the whole) but more just this situation and Mumbai. Roll on Singapore! Our flight is at midnight tonight and we have two days there to get stuck in. Really looking forward to it although part of me wishes that we could continue round India as we feel we have only scratched the surface of this vast and extra0rdinary country but something tells me that I'll be feeling that alot over the next few months as we contiue our whistlestop tour of the globe! Well I best go as this is turning into a biggun. Hopefully the next time you hear from me will be in (a sunny) Singapore safe and well! All the best Dan