January 05, 2013
So I've been stuck with very limited internet the past few days due to extremely expensive internet.
For some reason it seems that the more expensive the hotel, the more they charge for internet... go figure.
Mumbai! Our second day consisted of a trip to Elephantia island - a small island about an hour boat ride from Mumbai proper. It's known for a few cave temples cut out of the rock a short walk from the pier. The trip out was rather interesting. Mumbai is swaithed in smog most of the time, and out on the boat you couldn't see more than a couple of kilometers into the distance. There is a huge number of boats just sitting in the harbour, and they would appear out of the smog and fade into the distance...
The caves themselves where personally underwhelming. Perhaps due to comparing them to Egypt... also despite signage saying there was a free tour guide, we couldn't find one, and we didn't feel like taking one of the random touts up on their offer :P
The lunch we had after the caves was awesome though. Just a random little restaurant, but awesome food.
On getting back we did a small walking tour from the Lonely planet book, just seeing some of the local architecture. Saw a few museums and galleries which we resolved to come back to the next day.
After arriving back at the hotel, we decided to go to Jura beach - reasonably nearby to our hotel, and found a random asian restaurant, just off the beach. Very westernized and comparatively expensive, but was still quite nice. The beach itself was absolutely packed.
It felt kind of awesome to be able to actually direct the taxi home afterwards.
The next day we headed in to check out the modern art gallery. It was showing an exhibition of the artist Ramkinkar Baij, apparently the father of Indian modern art - there was a wide variety of paintings and sculptures. Having the entire gallery showing all one artist was quite interesting to be able to follow the progression of his art.
We then crossed the road to the museum. The presenter of the audio guide at the museum had a very sly sense of humour. Hightlight was the hindu sculpture collection. There was also an ancient egypt visiting exhibition, but having been to egypt we skipped through it pretty quickly.
We then caught a quick taxi ride to Haji Ali mosque - a mosque built on a rock which is only accessible by a causeway at low tide. It was extremely crowded, almost entirely with locals. We didn't enter the mosque itself, as most of it was under construction at the time anyway.
We then attempted to get a taxi to the Mumbai Hard Rock Cafe - as Kylie attempts to go to one in every country she visits. The driver, after saying he knew what we meant, then proceeded to drive around in circles for the next 20 minutes, before eventually asking someone who did know. It was rather empty, but the staff there were awesome. It seemed the staff outnumbered the patrons about 3-1.
The next morning, we grabbed breakfast at the little cafe pointed out to us on the first day, which was unfortunately shut. Was sad we only just found it open on the last day we had in Mumbai, because it was actually awesome! But our ride to Pune turned up (organized by Vanessa, Kylie's friend about to get married) and off we went!