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Megs and Kev hit India
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Bollywood here we come!

Mumbai, India

Caught the plane from Delhi and arrived in Mumbai (Bombay) this afternoon. The most noticeable thing is the heat - it's 33 degrees and feels blimmen muggy. Finally some sun!

It's a huge city - but definitely seems more orderly than Delhi. The streets are lined with Shacks and Shantytowns though and there is washing everyhere. I think every conceivable space has been used for living in.

There is heaps of building going on, with skyscrapers popping up everywhere - we imagine this will be a very different place in ten years time!

There are old colonial buildings everywhere, weith lots of different architecture - but mainly art-deco. We passed cricket grounds and race courses on the long trip (1.5 hours) to our hotel - it seems a city of major extremes.

Our hotel room is tiny and has no windows (even though it's called Harbourview!). It is on the harbour though and very close to India Gate - which is where you can get spotted for Bollywood movies! After a bit of an orientation walk-about we had dinner in the roof-top restaurant at our hotel.

20 Feb

Headed back down to India Gate and got a ferry across to Elephanta Island. It's quite a long trip (about 1 hour) and you get to check out all the massive boats in the harbour as well as see just how expansive Mumbai is. The coastline seems to go on forever, with highrises popping up all along.

ELephanta Island has all these caves with giant carvings and pillars in them dating back about 1200 years. Noone knows who carved them, but they're pretty impressive. So are the scary monkey's that live there. Kev was holding a coke when he walked in and suddenly this monkey dived at him and tryed to take it out of his hand! A guard then told us that they quite like coke and chips! One of the caves was full of monkey's and while Kev was taking photo's of them they surrounded him - the look of terror on his face when he looked around was priceless.

After that we had to go back to the hotel for a lie-down - and to escape the heat! It's extreme. Went to this famous bar near by (Leopolds) which has been here since the 1800's. After a stroll around India Gate at night (taking in the performance going on) we thought it would be fun to have a wee drink at Taj Palace - the flashest hotel in town. Ordered drinks before checking out a menu and enjoyed a lovely rum and coke for Megan and whiskey and coke for Kev. Then had a heart-attack when they brought out the bill - 2777 Rupees!! This is about $90 - for two drinks!! Has to be done though and we decided that if we averaged out all our drinks from the day, it might just work out to normal NZ prices....nearly.....HAHA!

21 Feb

Had a lazy morning, didn't leave our cave (hotel room) until gone 11o'clock. Went to the market which took us ages as we went down the wrong road. By the time we found it we were to hot and thirsty to look around, but it seemed to be a local market for local people.

Went for a big walk around town looking at all the old buildings form the Victorian days, some of them are really big and look amazing, and are in better condition then the buildings built in the 60's/70's.

Our walking trip ended at Churchgate train station where we got a train to Chowpatty beach. We went for second class tickets as it was only two stops, for the bargin price of 4 rupees (about 12 cents) each!! The first class ones were alot more expensive at 41 rupees, rip off! The train has no glass in the windows only bars and there is no doors, the train is so packed people are hanging out of the doors! First class is the same but not as crowded. They also have women only carriages, so Megan was the only women in the carriage we got on!

Spent some time at Chowpatty beach watching the locals hang out, the women are dressed in their full sari's! Lots of stalls selling food and lots of people selling stuff on the beach as well. Got a local bus back to our hotel which cost 5 rupees each, can't believe how cheap public transport is.

Went to the movies but this time watched a hollywood movie 'Music and Lyrics' with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. You have to stand for the national athem at the start and they still throw in an intermission break!

Its about 35c during the day and 25c at night here so too hot to walk around so looking forward to relaxing on the beaches of GOA tomorrow!

permalink written by  megankevin on February 19, 2007 from Mumbai, India
from the travel blog: India
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Beach time

Goa, India

Got a plane from Mumbai to Goa and arrived here in the afternoon.

Had 5 relaxing days - and have just been too lazy and relaxed to let you know what we've been up to!

It turns out that we were defintely scammed by 'John' and his mate in Delhi - as when we arrived at our hotel at Colva Beach Megan literally cried. It was like a prison, but worse! the promised pool was a strange yellowy-green colour and there were bars on the windows. Not bad if you'd paid next to nothing - it's just that we'd paid about $100 a night!! The mattress was as thin as anything and there were heaps of bugs.

After some urgent phone calls to Delhi, Kev negotiated to get our money back for the 2nd & 3rd nights we'd booked and a reduction in the rate for the first night - well done Kev!

The Beach at Colva was actaully ok, and the sunset was just incredible - a big pink ball right in the middle of the horizon. We had a couple of drinks and some nice fresh fish, before heading back to the hell-hole.

Woke up in the morning feeling so tired and shitty and itchy, that we didn't even bother with a shower - just grabbed our free breakfast and caught the next local bus out of there!

We caught the bus to a major Goan town - Margao - which took about 40 mins and then another one down to Palolem, in Southern Goa. All up the trip took about 2 hours and only cost about 56 rupees for both of us!!

Palolem is much more like it!! the beach is huge and all along are beach huts and restaurants and bars. We are staying at Jessia's Coco Huts - right on the beach! very basic, but also very cheap at about $10 a night.

Hot sun, warm sea, blue sky, golden beach, cheap beer, yummy seafood, friendly people, heaps of dolphins, lots of palm trees, cool coco huts, plenty of bars, beautiful sunsets, nutty dogs, cheap beer, romantic candle lit dinners on the beach, heaps of locals selling random stuff....

These are our thoughts on Palolem.

Kev is black and Megan is pinkish white!

Kev just checked the football results and is now depressed!! Looking like we won't need Sky Sports anymore!

permalink written by  megankevin on February 22, 2007 from Goa, India
from the travel blog: India
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