Ian & Claire's Adventure
We sadly left Sue and Hong Kong and ventured out into the unknown. 8hrs later we arrived in Mumbai, got flustered and bamboozled by some guys in the tourist office then a while later we found ourselves hurtling through crowded streets in a taxi, past people living in shacks and under buses by the road side. It was a religios time and there were people sitting in rows watching guys preaching to them about the koran. Our driver was a good bloke, he taught us a little Hindi and told us about the place as we drove toward Colaba. We arrived at our hostel, it was miles out of the place we wnated to be but it was late so we ordered our first curry by room service, it was pretty good and so cheap, then we hit the sack. We woke, if you can call it that after very little sleep, ordered some very dry toast with the rasperry sauce you get on 99 ice creams and went off in search of a hotel closer to the action. We found one, it was very shabby but quite a lot cheaper and closer to the gate of india where most of the amenities are. We then went to the gate of india, a huge arch built by the brits where all the boats are. Mumbai is full of huge fabulous stone architecture, there is an enormous hotel call the taj mahal which was built by an indian guy who was refused entry into the sheritan so he said sod you I'll build my own. We went and booked a trip over to Elephant island which is Mumbais big tourist attraction. The boat trip took 1 1/2 hrs and was sooooo slow, we even had to be towed for the last part. We got there and wandered up through hundreds of stalls selling handicrafts. We had our lunch, a vege curry and 4 chapattis and 2 sprites for one pound!. We then had to climb up to the caves, we were greeted by lots of monkeys. We went in and it was amazing, huge temples built into caves with great big budhist statues everywhere. It was obviously the place that couples and families go for the day, it was packed. Pretty amazing stuff. Luckily the return trip wasnt as long. That night we discovered Leopolds, a huge old restaurant that has been going since the 1871, quite expensive for indian standards(75p for a curry) but safe and great curries and fruit juices. Its the main place for backpackers and better off indians and other tourists go. On valentines day we had breakfast at leopolds and then went to the station to book the train to Goa and leave our big bags. We then headed out to one of the big fabric markets, which was a real experience, we found ourselves learning about wholesale prices in one shop, still way more than we'll pay to make profit but beautiful beadspreads etc. We then pottered about in Colaba, got blessed by a religious guy and went for our valentines curry. Tonight we go to Goa on the sleeper train, fingers crossed its not too awful.