It seems so long ago now. We took the dogs back to Sonia on the morning of 4th November, and in the afternoon set out for the airport. We had already checked in on-line, and as a result of flying to Heathrow from Edinburgh beat the crowds for reserving seats on the evening London-Mumbai leg. We risked going for seats near an emergency exit and it worked out - no seats in front of us.
It was a bit of a shock to the system stepping out into 35C and high humidity at around midday local time on the 5th. We were met at the airport and transferred to our first hotel, the Godwin, off of Colaba Causeway after a 2 hour drive from the airport - thankfully in an air-con car.
Our room was a lot nicer than I had expected for a 3* hotel - very large with a sitting area as well as a large bathroom.
We ventured out after freshening up to change some money, running the gauntlet of all the market stalls along the causeway and getting our bearings for bars and restaurants, stopping at Leopold Cafe on the way back for a beer. We had another little wander down to the harbour and the Gateway of India.
In the evening we ate at the Ming Palace, which was a reasonably priced Chinese.
The next morning after breakfast (cornflakes, toast and coffee became our staples here) we decided to do 'the Queen's Necklace' walk. However, we hadn't appreciated how far it was to get from our hotel near Mumbai harbour across to Back Bay on the opposite side of Colaba.
After almost getting there - we could see the water - we came to a dead end and had to backtrack. By the time we got to Marine Drive my feet were already suffering in the heat, so we changed plans and headed back towards Fort, stopping for a coffee.
We had not realised quite how cricket mad India was. Everywhere we went we saw kids playing on wasteground and on the numerous roads under construction. Even the news was cricket first, second and third before any other headlines...
In the late afternoon we went shopping at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE), which was recommended in our guide book as the first place to go for arts and crafts. It had sections from all the states, and unlike in most stores you are left to wander freely - I hate being followed around the moment you show any interest in anything...
We had booked a full day city tour for the Wednesday. First stop was back at the Gateway of India where we bumped into most of the NZ team - Howard, Jeff, Joanne and Lynne - also on a city tour.
We met them again later in the day at Mani Bhavan, a small museum housed in the building where Gandhi stayed when he was in Mumbai.
Bombay University - library ->
<- Victoria Terminus
One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the Dhobi Ghats. The sheer scale of this is hard to imagine...
We also had a visit to a Jain temple, which was very interesting.
We ended the day at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum (formerly the Prince of Wales museum). We would have happily spent more time in here if it was not for the fact that there was no air-con and very few fans, and we soon began to wilt at the end of a long day...
The following morning I had intended to go haggling along the causeway stalls, but my tummy had started playing up. I contented myself doing a little studying and reading one of the books I had bought at the airport, until we transferred to the Taj President hotel at midday - the location for the WSC.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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