Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mumbai

A luxurious AC sleeper-bus brought us into Mumbai and soon after checking in we met two more Aussies. Aussie number 2 wanted to spend the day bar hopping rather than temple bashing, so we (Kat, Imy and Luke) headed to Elephanta Island without him. We caught the boat from the Gateway to India, which is one of Mumbai's less slummy attractions.

Twinnies at the Gateway to India

 

Unfortunately, Kat was slightly misinformed about the length of time it would take to get to Elephanta, and the 30 minute boat trip was in fact a 2 hour voyage but we got there in the end! After a "not very spicy" and slightly dodgy curry we headed up the mountain to marvel at the incredible caves. In true Indian style, the best was not saved until last and the first cave we went to was amazing! The others were also cool, but the first one had massive sculptures that offered some great photo opportunities and some inappropriate giggles.


Cave 1


Rubbing Ganesh's belly for luck


The monkey below is nothing more than a common thief. He is named Abu and has a severe coke habit. Be warned, he will attack blonde Russians to feed his addiction.

Cheeky monkey


After a good few hours on the Island of lost souls, we headed back to Mumbai for some food. Being the lazy crew that we are, our exploration took us to the corner of the street, just down from our hotel...then the fun really began. Even though we both ate vegetarian meals, something didn't agree with either of us and we both got pretty ill for the next 24 hours (and for once we actually mean sick out of our mouths).

A wasted day in our hotel was followed by an attempt to be active around the slums of Mumbai. It was really eye opening to see the society and systems that seem to work so well for them. The slums aren't just dirty shacks, they are a network of businesses and families. The kids were all so happy and funny, insisting that Imy joined in with their game of cricket. When she proved that she could handle a bat, they kept running over with upgraded bats to test her skills.

The world's third biggest slum


Slum cricket
 

Following our experience from the night before we decided that it was time...for a McDONALDS!!!! After all we have earned it.

This is Michael, he is 25 years old and from Melbourne, (currently single for any interested ladies).


Enjoys a glass of red wine and cozy nights in


This is Maria, she is 21 years old and from Iceland, (she's 1 of only 320,000 Icelanders - a rare gem).


An avid fan of antiques

On our final day in Mumbai we hit up the Gandhi museum with Mike and Maz. It was fascinating to see how few possessions he owned and to learn of all the incredible movements he inspired. We followed this with another cultural trip to Macci D's. McDonald's is a safe zone. We had time for a stroll up Colaba Causeway, which ended with us witnessing a full on row between an Indian woman and a taxi driver. It made very entertaining viewing. 


Just follow my lead


Next stop: Udaipur. The only thing standing between us and our final leg of India is a 16-hour non A/C night bus. Yum.



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