Well, we finally made it to our hotel in Mumbai, Friday morning 6am local time...exhausted and about 20 hours late. Our original flight for Wednesday night had been cancelled due to snow, unbeknown to me and Ros as we enjoyed a glass of wine in the bar! After indescribable chaos in Heathrow, then being in the right place at the right time, we managed to get rebooked for the next morning.
So first impressions of Mumbai - manic, crazy, noisy and the contrast between the rich and poor is unbelievable. Expensive high-rise flats and hotels literally tower over the slums and people sleeping in the road. But everyone is very friendly and the people always greet us with genuine, beaming smiles. We have been easing ourselves into the Indian cuisine by trying various little dishes.
Yesterday we took a boat trip over to Elephanta Island and visited the five caves there (trying to avoid the packs of dogs and monkeys in our path on the way)! We had a drink in the Taj Majal Palace Hotel which was major insight into how the other half live. We tried to sneak into the swimming pool but we couldn't think of a room number quick enough! We experienced the chaos of an Indian supermarket - we got told off for taking photos of the Tandoori Chicken Nuggets and then spent 20 minutes at the till trying to buy a toothbrush. We wandered through the street market on Colaba Causeway and strolled down the seafront taking it all in. We ended up in Leopalds Cafe for dinner (a favourite of the author of Shantaram) and saw the bullet hole still in the wall from the November 2008 terrorist attacks. We can't believe that it was just over a year ago that it all happened.
Today we walked along Chowpatty Beach and went to a beautiful park where we were lucky enough to be invited to watch performances by groups of children who were practising their English. We then had to vote in each category using coloured pieces of paper - just like Ready Steady Cook! We wandered round the park and felt like celebrities as hoards of people wanted to have their photo taken with us!
Tonight we're heading to Goa on an overnight bus aiming to visit a few places of interest and spend a lot of time chilling out on the beach! Hope you're all doing ok in snowy England and Cadiz. Lots of love Vicky and Ros xx