We passed through Mumbai alive!!!
After leaving Jaisalmer I headed to Jodhpur where I was met a day later by Cait and Sean. Having 36hrs alone was really nice in a way but any longer would've got lonely. I met a nice Waldorf student, Freya, from Frankfurt though:-)
Jodhpur is the blue City. It's quite a colourful blue. It's got a lovely market and a good omelette stall but otherwise it's not that exciting. The fort however is marvelous. I think it's the only place I've ever visited which has never been taken by force! Quite impressive.
After staying longer than we had originally planned in Jodhpur due to Sean being ill we headed for Udaipur. It is an incredibly picturesque City especially at night when it's all lit up. The lake Palace floats in the middle of the City while the Monsoon Palace looks like it is floating in the sky above the city. It is were part of James Bond Octop**** was filmed which they're very proud of. We watched it one night in the rooftop restaurant of our Hotel. Unfortunately we couldn't find a palace hotel so that tradition has now come to an end.
On the last day I went horse riding on the famous Marwari horse of Rajasthan. We went through Udaipur's countryside, past little villages and up on to a ridge with breathtaking views. We watched a funeral procession of women going down to the lake to bathe as they are not a part of the cremation ceremony. Our guide was a German lady called Ute who owned the farm along with her Indian husband. As the other 3 riders arrived an hour late I sat and chatted to her (in german:-) while we sipped chai. It's so interesting talking to someone who actually pretty much understands the Indian as well as the Western culture. After the ride we had some more chai and then I headed back brimming with happiness to have dinner and say good bye to Cait before me and Sean headed to Mumbai.
Cait left for Bundi all by herself, very brave, while Sean and I got the bumpiest sleeper coach ever to Mumbai. At 7am I was woken up by a text from Mum to inform me that there was a terrorist attack in the City we'd just entered. The bus arrived at it's destination 2 hours late and we were warned not to go to the center as gun men were firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Luckily for us I'd got in contact with Nidhi, through Couch surfing, who said we could stay at her apartment that was in the north of the City. We got a cab to her place but as we were late she'd already left for work. She'd left the keys with her security guard so we let ourselves in to our first couch surfing experience! It was a good one. Nidhi was a great host and showed us the safe bits of Mumbai. The rest of the time we sat in the apartment watched the live news and replied to texts asking if we were still alive. It was all kind of exciting and horrifying. It did mean we didn't get to see any of Mumbai's sights and as the train stations weren't safe we had to get another 13h night bus to Goa.
The ride to Goa wasn't so bumpy but as I had diarrhoea it was still unpleasant. Sean looked after me the first night and then got ill himself. He had a fever, diarrhoea, headache, chills the lot. He thought he had Malaria but I checked in my Medicine book and the symptoms only show up after a week so that ruled that out. He's feeling a lot better now but is still hotel room bound. Luckily we have a TV so he can watch football and motor racing all day and Ugly Betty at night:-) I haven't eaten properly since Mumbai so it's been quite a tiring time for both of us.
Goa really doesn't feel much like India. We're in Panjim which has a huge Christian church and still has a lot of is Portuguese remains. I haven't seen much else of it though as I haven't been up to much:-(
Hopefully I'll be able to book a train now which will take me to Kerela tomorrow. I decided to stay an extra night here to give us both a chance to recover but I really must be on my way now. Sean doesn't know what he'll do next. Probably hang round Goa a wee bit longer and then head for Hampi. I would be quite nervous traveling by myself but I'm being met in Kerela by Binoy - a yoga instructer who works with Elise in Mcleod. I met him briefly and he said I should get in touch if I was going to Kerela. I have and he wrote me a really caring e-mail which soothed my nerves. I'll hopefully be there for about 5 days and then meet up with Sean again before we travel north again. We'll see.
Well I hope you're all enjoying Advent! I saw my first indication of Christmas yesterday. A wee shop next to the church had Christmas cards! Otherwise there's nothing.. very weird.
That's enough for now, I must get to the train station before it closes. I'll be in touch again soon!