Sep 05, 2010
Aug 21, 2011
Where I stayed
. The funny little man certainly knew his way around Mumbai but he also undoubtedly had selective hearing. He took us places that he wanted to go at times but we saw so much of the city (from the comfort of an AC cab) and visited places we would simply have not found otherwise. The house of Ghandi was wonderful, the highlight for me was his letter to Hitler suggesting that he may reconsider going to war with the world. We went to the open air city laundry, a whole community living and working around lines and lines of washing. There we met three scruffy little kids who were just too sparky not to give some pocket money to. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that this trip is actually not about where we go or what we see, it is about the people we meet and I will always remember the cheeky grin on little Heather’s face. We saw other great sights, a huge cricket stadium in construction, Chowpatty beach, a Jain temple. It was great hopping in and out of the little taxi (Alan scraped the door on curbs and walls each time we got out but the taxi man, like all Indians we have met, refused to show any sign of frustration ). We even found time to do some shopping for silk rugs and take a ride on a horse and silver carriage., real tourist stuff. At 6pm, when the Taxi driver insisted we go back home, he definitely had somewhere he wanted to be, we made the long drive out to catch the sunset at Juhu Beach, strolling along between performing monkeys and flying cricket balls. Indian beaches always burst into life in the evening and this one was no exception. Back to the Gick’s hotel and then off to an excellent restaurant in the Juhu Beach Boutique Hotel. A wonderful day, and pretty good I must say to be out of the saddle.
In the early morning calm we rushed to the station to book tickets to Jaipur, only to realise we needed passports to do so. Not a problem, breakfast filled in the time until Alan and Tricia joined us to go through the booking process. Polly did all the hard work, struggling to interpret the counter salesman and also becoming quite bemused by a fellow European traveller who seemed so desperate to buy her ticket she had to hug on to Polly through the whole process until told to stand down. The tickets were disturbingly cheap – 11 pounds for all of them for what we were told would be a 22 hour journey. We are therefore pretty worried about what the conditions will be like in sleeper non-ac, but fingers crossed it's not too bad! The man did say they were cheaper as Alan and Tricia were VERY old. Tricia was quite offended until Pols explained that she had had to supply their ages and also that shortened life expectancy in India probably accounts for his use of very! Mission accomplished we piled into the AC taxi which Alan and Tricia had hired for the day