In the beginning....
Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
54Trip End Oct 10, 2007
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lets see.....left heathrow feeling suitably miserable, leaving everyone is horrible, like you wouldnt believe....but i was sat in the departure lounge with no major feelings of i cant do this...so i got on the plane and within minutes i made my first new friend......brian.....a friendly, world travelled retired man who was off to tibet. so i tells him what im doing and he put out his hand and we shook hands and he was like thats an amazing thing your doing there. whereas i was still wondering if its the stupidest thing iv ever done. but we chatted he suggested hostels.watched some films and slept a bit, but the best thing bout the whole flight was getting upto 125 000 pounds on who wants to be a millionaire....honestly im just great.
so we arrive in Mumbai and walk out of the nicely air conditioned airport into the ridicuhumid india air, we go get a prepaid taxi into the city centre which took bout 45mins and cost 350 rupees...(bout 4.50),on the way we came past half built sky scrapers, really busy streets, heavily littered and polluted, but most shocking was the shanty towns, one of them is the biggest in asia, whenever the car stopped kids come upto the taxi and beg for money and water and actually cling onto the car as its pulling off.....its really unbelievable. we then got the train to southern mumbai where we parted ways and i started walking down a road and it suddenly hits....SHIT im on my own in india.....so i head to one of the places brian had suggested instead of a hotel i had originally thought about, turn up outside a beaten up building (as most are).......before carrying on the exchange rate is about 75 rupees to the pound so....well you get the picture....a meal is about 50 rupees,70/80p, bottle of water 12Rs,6p? and my accomodation at the red shield salvation army inn is 150 Rs for board and breakfast....yes 2 whole pounds.....i am sharing with upto 15 other lads mind....but theyre all sound...ones i have spoke to, not the guy whos 40 odd years old who im told has lost his passport and visa and therefore dealt with it by getting monged off his tits on god knows what....but he hasnt given anyone any trouble. i was unsure whether to stay in this place after i was told there were no single rooms left and i would be in a dorm with 16 beds, i went upto have a look and drunk dude was the first person i saw. i was turning round to leave when i met toby..a german dude who'd been over india for 6 weeks..i chatted to him and he invited me to come for a wander with him to the beach on the other side of town, is recommended in lonely planet as a place to watch the sunset. we bumped into his other friends who he had split from and so now there was 5 of us. after eating we went to a street market but didnt get very far, i bought a cheap watch for 1.50 which i hope will last me for my time in india and then toby got chatting to some indian lads and we went for a beer with them...we paid because when the bill came nandan and richard....(indian indeed) had no money...which we expected so we only had a pitcher....then went to the hostel where tobys friends were staying chilled there for a bit and then i went back to the hostel suitable shattered and boiling cos its humid heat all the day and night. that was just my first day.
Day 2 - we all went with new guy enrique...a spaniard who arrived through the night to elephanta island and saw some cheeky monkeys but mainly for the incredible cave sculptings of the god shiva.....really were impressive...the view of the city from the boat was impressive too, we mooched upto the highest point and saw some anti-ship guns..(they were bloody massive!!) we didnt even know they were there....and the view was amazing too, looking over the oil refinery plants...india imports a lot of oil, its the currently the fastest economically growing country in the world i saw 8 tankers at least...big tankers.
As we came back they were shooting a bollywood film...mumbai is the hollywood of india...many film studios apparently, so we watched that for a minute got bored, went and ate and said bye to our german friends, who flew home at 1am and that is all for now.
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bye for now