01.12.2010 - 07.12.2010 32 °C
Its hard to know where to start summing up our first week away but here goes...
You've already heard a bit about Mumbai. The highlights included our night in Bandra, the amazing food, Victoria Terminus, taxi rides and friendly people, leopolds (although we couldn't afford to eat there the beer was good!) and generally finding our way around this bustling place. We tried to go and see a bollywood movie but it turned out just to be a comedy about a guy who worshipped barack obama with no subtitles so we left at the interval which was handy as Pauline had started to nod off! Later that evening we were scouted on the street (quite common apparently, but I like to think they saw star quality) to appear as western extras in an actual Bollywood production being made now. We had to turn them down due to all the other offers we had (pre-blanned bus ride to Pune)!
The day after we went to Elephanta Island (9km out of Mumbai harbour) where they have a lot of Hindu gods statues carved into the rock faces. On the way back our boat's engine blew and we had to get towed back - this was all the more stressful as Pauline was convinced one shifty guy on the boat was a terrorist (think he was just dying for the loo!). Later we walked to Chowpatty Beach and had some Pani Puri ( dough balls filled with what tasted like sea water) and nearly both threw up on the spot in front a few thousand indians tucking into a Maharastran delicacy).
On Monday, we travelled by Bus to Pune which we thought might be more chilled out but with at least 4 million people of its own proved otherwise. If anything the traffic is more crazy because they favour the moped over any four wheels. Here we met our host Nisha who had kindly offered to put us up for the week.
Tuesday we met Nisha's friend Naina who gave us advice on travelling round India and also invited us to her cousin's wedding the same day! We spent the morning visiting some beautiful temples and then upon our return to Nisha's house were provided with traditional Indian wedding clothes (the traveller combats weren't going to cut it apparently). We then went to the grooms apartment complex where I was further kitted out with the Pagdi turban and Pauline a Bindi (decorative marking on the forehead). We then followed the procession into the five star hotel and were witness to the whole ceremony including the lavish food. We couldn't believe the hospitality and welcoming we had from a party of total strangers! This it seems is what India is all about.
We are having trouble uploading photos but we'll try to put some on facebook in the meantime. Heading to Goa on Friday on an overnight sleeper bus, bit of chillaxing on the beach should be lovely.
More stats to follow in the next mini - update.
Mill & Po xx