5th – 7th March 2016
Tuesday afternoon we left Udaipur by coach and arrived in Ahemebad about 7 hours later. We had about 3 hours to kill in the train station before we boarded our sleeper train to Mumbai so we grabbed some food and then sat in one of the air conned waiting rooms. At 10 our train arrived so we got on and sorted all our bags and beds out. There was 6 beds to a carridge, 3 on one side and 3 on the other. I got the top bunk. It was small but surprisingly comfy AND clean which was all I wanted! I stayed awake until about 2 reading my book and then fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we arrived in Mumbai at 7.30 (my tour guide had to wake me up I was dead to the world). A lot of people didn’t get much sleep but I slept like a baby!
We arrived in Mumbai around 7.30am and made our way to the hotel. We couldn’t check in as it was so early so we just dumped our bags and headed out to explore Mumbai. We hired taxis to take us around as its so big and there’s so much to see.
If your imagining Mumbai anything like the film slumdog millionaire then stopppppp right there… The film is based on what Mumbai used to be like many years ago but now it has developed a lot and a lot has changed! Anything new that comes into India like cars and electronics first come to Mumbai so it is a pretty developed city!
The taxi pulled over at quite a few stops including the hanging gardens, the highest lookout point over Mumbai and the Arabian Sea, The Gandhi Museum, The tower of silence; a circular raised structure, still to this day used by Zoroastrians to hang the dead and let the birds eat the body and Dhobi Ghat; a well know open air laundromat in Mumbai. I’m really glad we did the taxi tour as Mumbai is way to big to explore everything by foot and it only cost 500 rupees which is around £5.
We came back to the hotel and checked into our room and were finally able to have a shower!!! (At this point I was still in the same clothes from the day before, before getting the 7 hour bus and sleeper train!) We all met up again at 2ish and got a taxi to see the Gateway of India and then to get a boat over to elephanata island.
The boat over cost 180 rupees and was supposed to take 45 minutes… 1.5 hours later and we arrived at Elephanta Island (nothing in India does what it says it’s going to do). To get up to the caves we had to walk up ALOT of steps, it was realllllly hot AND to top it all off there was monkeys everywhere and they were NOT friendly!! To be honest I found the caves a bit disappointing and not very interesting but I’m glad I can say I have been. Again the boat coming back took 1.5 hours but on the way back we got the most incredible view of the Mumbai skyline and the sun started to set – it was beautiful.
We got off the boat at the gateway of India and our group was literally surrounded by Indians taking pictures of us. They weren’t even subtle about it they had their flashes on and everything! A guy then came up to us to tell us we were the biggest group of white people he and most people had ever seen in Mumbai…. Also that seeing us was like ‘winning an Oscar, meeting a Kardashian or meeting the Royal family’ it was so weird!!!
We went and met our tour guide for dinner at a really nice restaurant, one that most people go too if they are in Mumbai and I had a veggie burger with chips it was sooo good. I went back to the hotel afterwards to sort my bag out ready to leave for the airport in the morning for our flight to Goa!