Out of the city and onto the beach

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

When we look back on Mumbai in years to come, it will without a doubt equal Jetlag...at its finest, we tossed and turned each night we were there, ate at ridiculous hours or not at all and somehow managed to drag our bodies around the city on our last day, if the truth beknown we actually had to check out at noon, lazed in our rooms till then, then heaved ourselves into the nearest cafe for some coffee, lemon tea - known locally as chai and omlettes!

Mumbai was a pretty city, the harbourfront was really nice to walk along, avoiding or/and ignoring the numerous touts and hawkers that sit along there. We walked along to the huge arch, Mumbais logo The Gateway of India. We wandered around this huge arch for a while, the detail was beautiful, then went into the very clean and very green gardens, we attempted sit sit down and chill out for a while, but we kept getting accosted by Indian families wanting photographs with us, so soon after we arrived we swiftly left.

We walked to Colaba Causeway and ventured into the big and bustling Leopolds Cafe, described in our Lonely Planet guide as the travellers favourite haunt in Mumbai, we ate some food, had a few drinks and swifly moved on!

We visited the huge magnificent Taj Mahal Hotel located on the waterfront, we took a lift to the topfloor, intending to get a drink in their rooftop restaurant, we just glanced at the menu and in no time we were on our way back down 19floors in the lift...it was soooooooooooo expensive!

Soon enough it was time to go to the train station, we jumped in a cab, who drove us to CST (the main train station) and we entered the chaotic world of Indian train stations. To be honest it wasnt that bad, there were a lot of other westerners heading down the coast to Goa, and after a little delay of the train, it came into platform 15, we joined in the free for all, located our beds and joined the cockroaches, smell of pee and poo, heat and others on the train!
The 12 hour journey soon turned into 14 and a half hour journey, the train stopped and started through the night, lights were on and off, sellers, beggers,and anyone else who quite fancied popping on the train for a quick look did so.

We were glad when our train pulled into Magdaon train station. We walked out into the rural area of Goa, were told that the buses were on strike and that we would need to take a taxi to Palolem - our destination, luckily there were loads of other backpackers and we all split into 2 groups and piled into the taxis for the journey further south.

When we arrived into Palolem it was sheer bliss, the beach was long and sandy, the sea lapped on the shore, there were streams of wooden huts and people touting their business. We must have walked up the beach looking in various huts for what seemed like forever...it was probably only about 45 mins! Eventually we found what we were looking for, a hut, with a bathroom, overlooking the beach...all for 2quid each a night!!!

Last night we wandered along the beach and stopped at one of the beach shack for some dinner, we sat at a table on the sand, we ate Indian food and drank some beer, before retiring back to our hut where we sat on our own little balcony doing the same.
Its really chilled out here, it just beautiful, we feel like we could stay here forever instead of trasping round the rest of the country! But we wont....we promise!

Oh, when we were in Mumbai, we met up with one of the guys we travelled with in Africa, he has just come down from the north and gave us loads of tips and information, funnily enough he was also on the same train down here with us, he is staying in Palolem, but in a different group of huts...no doubt we will all meet up for a few drinks again before we leave.

Thats all for now, love and hugs to you all............

Ali and Matt
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