Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mental weekend in Mumbai - Saturday

This post might sound like a week in Mumbai but it is only a normal Saturday. The next morning we had quick breakfast in the hotel and headed to have a look at Gateway of India and took the ferry to the Elephant Island where we visited the caves and took dozen photos of monkeys. Aly’s attempt to kneel and take a picture of a cute baby monkey ended up with an angry monkey-mom that groaned loud and grabbed Aly’s dress (luckily nothing more).

We then took the ferry back to Gateway to India where we had no seats, had to pay 10 Rupees more to climb to the seats-less roof terrace where we actually found a nice surface to sit on and get some sun.

With serious hunger we walked for 40 minutes following Lonley Planet’s stupid recommendation to dine at the National Hindu Hotel which was an extraordinary experience. We walked into the dodgiest place ever. It was filthy and was actually a working men 25 rupees (50 cents) eat as much as you can place. We were looked at BIG time. I don’t think anyone was expecting a bunch of white tourists walking in. I think that there are not enough words to describe it, so I took a video. As you might assumed, I wasn’t very busy with the food ;) Don’t miss it.

I will say one more thing, which is crucial for the rest of my (our) trip in India in the coming weeks. I AM STRONGER THAN EVER. Places I would never ever eat now seem to be an award winning restaurants and I hold a better understanding of how dirty a place can be.

From one experience to another, we managed to convince a cab driver to take all of us 6 to our next sightseeing. Which make it 7 in one tiny car (video), without air conditioning but with very adventurous mood.

Our next stop was Haji Ali’s mosque which was really beautiful. You can see below:

From there, as if we haven’t done enough for the day, we continued to Banganga Hill where we bumped into a funeral, found Banganga water tank, dozen of temples and some locals to interact with. From there we took a short cab ride to Chowpatty beach where we had a coffee and watched the sun set.

All satisfied but exhausted we took a cab back to the hotel to get some rest and get ready for dinner in Leopard’s which is very known, not very posh but yet food was OKish. If you happen to be there ask your Burger well-done. At this point our dear Agent felt sick so headed back to the hotel. And the rest of us just move on to the next adventure – Poly Esther club with 1500 rupees cover for a couple (got vouchers for drinks). I was surprised to find many Indians and not too many expats. But we still had good fun. Time to get to bed. Finally.

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