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Published: December 6th 2009
So to start off I will say, yes we made it to Goa for my birthday, after 3 days of traveling, not washing and no sleep we got here!
Bombay was interesting! On the train on the way there me and Russ had top sleeper bunks which was above a lady with a small boy of about 2 who cried pretty much the entire 12 hours, with the occasional break to sleep which the silence was then filled by mister nutcase next to me who played music on his phone pretty much alllll night very loudly, I really can't say it enough but Indians are flipping nutcases!
When we got to Bombay we were nakered so the first thing we did was try and get straight on a train to Goa. The first train station we got off at didn't have trains to Goa and we were told to go to the bombay central statiog. Here a man told us that there wasn't any trains from here and we had to go to the old english built station,called the Victoria or something, which is massive grand and beautiful and looks out of place in this stinky concrete place!
On the way
this man who happens to also be a taxi driver as well as "our helpfull friend" tells us that all the trains will be booked and its best to get a coach. So he takes us to this travel place, we book a pretty expensive but not too bad sleeper coach to leave at 5pm that evening ( its is 7am by the way at this moment) and then we ask him to drop us off in Colaba, which is the sea front harbour area of Bombay, right down the most south. He charges us 500 rupees ( bout 7 quid ) and we are so tired that we don't really think and just pay him, we later realise after getting another taxi that this journey should of cost maybe 150 rupees maximum, and that the one we first got between the two stations was also about quadruple the price..these buggers really know how to get you when your down!
So we find a patch on the floor and decide to take it in turn to sleep, we are then told by a policeman with a nice big gun that we cannot sleep here...ARE YOU FRIGGING JOKING!!!!! There are people
sleeping everywhere on every street on every corner all day all night and we are two clean, respectable..ish looking people and we cannot have a nap!
Anyway so it turns out this is where the bombs went off last year at pretty much this time, and we later go to Leopolds cafe and there are bullet marks in the windows which have been kept as a mark of respect to those killed in the terror attack. This Leopolds cafe is mentioned a lot in the book Shantaram, and if you have read it you will see why its super cool that we actually went there and ate breakky!
Anyway we passed the day by sitting under trees reading and walking to cafes to eat and strolling along the water front,sweating like you would not believe!
It was sooooo hot and sticky and carrying around our backpacks wasn't too fun, so we sat down on a quite street and poured water over our heads to try to cool down and wash a little, we are approuched by a guy who tells us we will b in trouble if we play cards ( some kind of law around these parts i think!)
and then tries to get us to come to his hotel and pay for a room for a few hours to wash and sleep, tempting but a waste of money! Then suddenly we are surrounded by about 15 men who stand in a semi circle around us real close not speaking but just staring, this enfuriats me and i tell them to F*** off and stop staring and to stop being such weirdos, this as always just makes them giggle, look away then return to staring. Standing up and actually shooing them, worked a little and a few walked off but in the end leaving was the only deterant!
We got our coach at 5pm..the drivers we furiously puffing on hash pipes as always..very reassuring before a 14 hour drive, and men were climbing up ladders to get stuff on the roof of the coach with the biggest bundles on their heads that I swear took 3 men to lift onto his head in the first place, its bizaar!
We had the sleeper that went from left to right at the back of the coach so it was pretty long, good for legroom but as we soon discovered being at
the back is NOT fun. We had a hilarious, then almost hellish 14 hours of actually taking off from the bed every time we went over a bump and let me tell you these roads are not flat! No sleep, still no shower and seriously pissed off lis and russ arrive in Goa at 8am on My birthday...thank frikking god!
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