I’m writing this from the comfort of my bed on the 0111 Konkan Express from Mumbai to Goa. We’re staying in class 1A, which is air conditioned and has reasonably private cabins with either two or three beds. So far the train journey has been ok, bar the usual train station scammers that you normally encounter – trying to extract money for every little thing!
Today was a good day. We checked out of the hotel at midday, and made our way to the India Gate, at which point we boarded a “Deluxe” boat to Elephanta Island. The boat was not particularly luxurious, but there was a lovely breeze blowing across the sea and the hour long boat ride was pleasant. Elephanta Island was excellent – the attractions there are the ancient Hindu temples, which mainly contain depictions of Shiva and Parvarti in huge and awe inspiring carvings, pulled right out from the rock of the island. Although the island was amazing, there was a small climb to the top, and by the time we reached the temple I was completely drenched in sweat! One Indian guy got a photo with me, although I’m not sure whether that was because I’m a tourist, or because my sweaty t-shirt was photo-worthy!
Our visit to Mumbai has now come to an end, but I have to say I really enjoyed this first stop of our trip. I noticed some surprising things about Mumbai – one of which being that there seemed to be hardly any flies! This could be due to an effort to clean up the city, as there is also very little rubbish in the city centre and tourist areas. Similarly, there are hardly any dogs, cows, or open sewers, so I guess that the flies don’t have too much to eat! Furthermore, there are no rickshaws, a mode of transport I always used in my last trip to the north of India – there only seem to be taxis in the centre.
All in all, Mumbai has been brilliant – I just hope the rest of our trip is as good (or better)! Off to Goa now – time to see what the Monsoon is all about.