I’m in India!
Two planes and 16 hours after leaving Africa, I took my first step in India. Flying in was amazing – one minute we’re flying over the sea, the next we pass high rise buildings enshrouded in mist (or is that smog?), fly over a huge slum area and Bam! there’s the runway. It took quite a while to get through passport control and pick up my bag but then as soon as I entered the arrivals lounge, I found my taxi driver waiting for me. There’s something comforting about seeing your name written on a board when you don’t know anyone.
I’m currently staying at a hotel in Khar West, Mumbai. The area is about an hour away from central Mumbai but given that I’m only here for a few days it’s perfect. I sat in a stunned silence as we drove from the airport to the hotel, and I think I was far more shocked by the poverty I witnessed during that 30 minute journey than I was when I first entered Kenya. The driving is insane – there are absolutely no road rules by the looks of things and everyone makes their own lane. Somehow we arrived unscathed. I spent a few hours sorting out a flight to Goa, which I will be catching tomorrow, as well as my accommodation. Mumbai is a little too hectic for me at the moment; All I really want to do is find a chill-out area by a beach somewhere and watch the world go by.
Ventured into central Mumbai today, which involved having to catch my first train. This was a daunting task for me considering I hate getting on the things even back in the U.K./Ireland but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Slightly confused by the transvestites who clap twice, touch you on the head then ask for money though. I spent the day walking around the Colaba and Fort areas, making sure I saw the main touristy sites: Gateway to India, University of Mumbai, High Court and Victoria Terminus. I also spent some time at the street market on Colaba Causeway and the Fort one too – Love! I could have spent all my money there but was good and just bought one outfit. Maybe I’ll fit in a little bit more now!
Very excited about Vagator tomorrow. I can almost smell the sea and taste the cold beer…
P.S. There are a few catch-up posts of the last few weeks in Africa to follow!