Once again alone in Mumbai and another long sleeper train, this time to Delhi !! (Short post)

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May 13th 2013
Published: May 13th 2013
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Days 238 – 242 (Sat 4th - Tues 7thMay) Mumbai

So the day had come for my Dad to head back home to the Isle of Man. He left around 10am to go catch his flight. I’d like to think he had a good time here, I know he enjoyed the cricket but I am pretty sure he hated India. He definitely won’t be here again but neither will I. Was tempted to go get on a flight myself but I still have 9 days in the country. I have a couple friends to meet in Delhi next week plus the Taj Mahal to see otherwise I’d have gone to the airport and gone back to South East Asia myself. I moved accommodations to a sort of hostel. I was in the dorm room at the top of the place and it was absolutely boiling in there, even with 3 fans. They have like mesh windows instead of glass so the humidity and heat just seeped in all day so the room never cooled once. I headed out to the cricket ground and enquired about tickets for the next 2 games. Both sold out which was a pain as I hate negotiating with people outside the ground. A few people approached me and offered tickets for 3 to 4 times face value. I decided it wasn’t worth it and headed back to my hostel.

I pretty much spent the rest of the next 3 days in the same routine. I got little sleep during the night due to humidity so was sleeping better from sunrise until about lunch time, then I’d head out, walk around South Mumbai for 2-3 hours. I was normally shattered after this so then spent a little bit of time in the hostel on the computer. In the evenings I went about 2 doors down the road to a place called Cafe Universal and sat there eating, drinking kingfisher and watching the cricket on the tv.

My dorm room was just me and a middle aged India bloke who on the first night told me his name 3 times and asked me mine twice. I tried to avoid him after this as he was clearly crackers.

It seems there is very little to actually do in South Mumbai and as I was so uncomfortable with the humidity I was not in the mood to get a taxi around town to go see things I had no interest in.

One of the days I wandered all the way up Marine Drive to Chowpatty beach. This is not a particularly nice beach. It’s advertised on the city tours etc as a place to go but it’s littered with homeless people and plastic bottles, the sand is not nice either and I would not swim in the sea here as it looks incredibly polluted. The same applied for the beach in Chennai. Normally if I had nothing to do and was by the sea I’d be happy, spend a couple hours swimming about each day and doing some good exercise but you really can’t do that here unless you don’t really fancy staying healthy.

I had booked a train months ago for Wednesday to Delhi. Having done the Chennai-Mumbai trip on sleeper class I tried to book a new train to Delhi in 2AC class which is far nicer however 4 times the price, if not more. I got put on the waitlist for a trip to Delhi on Tuesday but as it got nearer I came down in the waitlist but not enough to make the train so I knew I’d have to wait an extra day in Mumbai and go cattle class, fantastic. I also had to pay for the extra ticket beforehand even though not confirmed which is daft. I know have to claim it back which can take up to 90 days apparently. Not impressed with that either.

Days 243 – 245 (Wed 8th – Fri 10th May) Delhi

A day I have not been looking forward to since I travelled from Chennai. I knew after not enjoying my last sleeper overnight trip this wouldn’t be any better. I had until nearly 5pm to linger around waiting to leave, hence why I’d tried booking an earlier train in a nicer class. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so Plan B. I got to the station, got myself fed and then headed onto the train. This time I had a side upper sleeper which meant from the get go it was a bed which was good and I wasn’t waiting on other people to be able to lie down. The negative being it’s right next to the aisle where people constantly walk up and down and grab your bed for balance, The bed is that small that most the time the people are grabbing your arm, shoulder, knee, or any bit hanging off the side as it doesn’t fit an average male that’s for sure. I am also very conscious about security on these trains. I didn’t like my big bag being under the bottom bunk as I couldn’t see it, but I kept my small bag with all my electronics with me, put my towel over it and used it as a sort of pillow. The 21 hours went as slowly as I imagined they would, but I arrived in Delhi around 2pm and got to my hostel by 3pm. I used the chance of star fishing on my bed straight away and had a kip, drifting in and out until night time. My friends Amy and Louise (met in Chiang Mai Christmas Eve) were arriving the same night and were coming to the same hostel for the night. I just hung around until they got here. I got a phone call from reception and went to meet them. We spent a few hours having a catch up and just chatting about everything since we travelled together for 3 weeks in December and January. It was nice to see them both as they were both heading off to Europe, Louise tomorrow and Amy the day after, so I won’t see them for a long time.

On Friday, Louise left at around 5am so said farewell to her before going back to sleep for a few hours. After this myself and Amy hung out for the day. I haven’t liked India in general and Amy didn’t like Delhi so we just went to a coffee shop, grabbed some food then pretty much chilled out for the rest of the day. Early nights as we both had to be up early in the morning.

Short post but I’ve done very little. Tomorrow I will go to Agra for the Taj Mahal so finally some sightseeing and being a tourist.

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