Blogs from Maharashtra, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai May 9th 2019

India is somewhere neither of us has been to before, so are very interested to see it. We have done a fair bit of homework for this as we want to get to see as much as possible. The ship docked at about 4.00am in the morning, and by 7.30am, we were all allowed to start leaving the ship. The ship is docked a long way from the port entrance, so there are loads of shuttle buses to take everyone to the entrance. No need to book these though as there are so many of them. The journey to the entrance took about 10 minutes. Once off the buses, they checked our visas again and we were in Mumbai. It was absolute chaos. For about 20 minutes, we walked through man after man asking us if ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai April 6th 2019

This is it. We're off! Its an early start with a 6am pick up from home. We managed to pack everything last night and the bags are ready to go by the front door. As ever some last minute charging of phones, headphones and power packs overnight and then we are ready. Chloe was ready to roll at wake up time, as ever, Lucas and then finally Phoebe emerged. We got to the airport in good time and had a Pret A Manger breakfast of croissants, apple juice and coffee (me) before heading over to get our treats from WH Smiths. Laden with crisps, sweets, sandwiches and drinks we headed to the gate. Olivia was a bit worried about our visa pictures but we got through the gate in the UK without any trouble. The first ... read more
Jet Airways flight to Mumbai

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai March 5th 2019

Had to get up a little earlier today as taxi driver was picking us up outside reception so after a superb breakfast (The Sahara Star does a wonderful selection) we wandered outside and he appeared as if by magic. We had to head right down to the Gateway of India which we visited last time as that’s where the boats go to the island. So along the fantastic road built out into the bay on stilts to get clear of the main city traffic. As the road is 4 lanes and then goes to 2 it does have a bit of a traffic jam at either end but undoubtedly quicker than the stop, start clog of traffic by any other route. Then across to the other side of the pointy bit at the bottom of Mumbai ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai March 4th 2019

Last year we had just one full day in Mumbai so did the standard tourist trip down to the Gateway to India, Crawford Market and the railway station taking in Marine Drive and Bandra Worli Sealink. This year we have planned two days to allow us to see a bit further into this massive city. First on the list was Dhobi Ghat, the major laundry for the city. This is where the main hotels send their washing as it has the best reputation. We asked the hotel for a taxi to take us there and got a ridiculous quote of 6000 rupees so instead asked for an outside taxi. That one cost 600 rupees (£6). With difficulty we persuaded the taxi driver that we only wanted to be taken there and dropped off. The taxis over ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai March 3rd 2019

A leisurely start to the day as our flight to Mumbai was not until mid-afternoon so plenty of time for breakfast and to pack. We’ve got quite good at packing having had two room moves in the 3 hotels we’ve stopped in. As a result my suitcase in particular really is a pretty dreadful mess. This not helped by a small spillage of Douwe Egberts coffee grains out of our emergency drink supply pot. Hope everything doesn’t get stained coffee coloured when I put the washing in when we get home. It is unusual to have coffee grains on one’s knickers but at least none have landed on my white suntops. As it happens we haven’t needed the hot drink supplies at all this trip as all the hotels have been generous with drink supplies but ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai February 28th 2019

Blog # 7. Sunday, March 3, 2019. Earning our stripes in Tadoba, then Mumbai and back home. Dear family, friends and colleagues, Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing OK. We have come to the end of our five week India odyssey. This is the last blog of a trip that was one year in the planning. As usual, we have had a fantastic time. The highlight of the whole trip for me was undoubtedly this past six days. You can guess why. Wild animals. I’m talking sloth bears, wild dogs, a rare black leopard, various deer and birds and – most significantly of all – magnificent tigers! A life-long wish come true to see tigers in the wild. Tigers are endangered and elusive, and for me it was a race against time to see ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra February 26th 2019

Blog # 6 (February 23, 2019). India is incredibly diverse. There is a saying here that for every 50 km you travel, the food changes, the language changes, the culture changes! So, as we boarded an overnight train from Agra to Varanasi (several hundred km apart), we expected a change! Gosh, was that true! But let me backtrack a little. My last blog ended in Agra, when we boarded the train. The extensive rail network in India is amazing – transporting millions of people each day. India Railways is said to be the largest employer in the world (or maybe the second largest, after the Optus complaints department). The best legacy that Britain gave India, it is often said, is its railway network. I think you cannot come to India and not do at least one ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai » Bandra February 1st 2019

I visited Doha a year back, many of my family and friends were skeptical about the travel because of the mindset we share about the country as being too conservative or unsafe. I did read up everything possible online before making the trip, and considered myself sufficiently warned on dressing and generally being respectful and mindful of the locals. On reaching Doha, I realized my perception had been too harsh. Doha is no different from UAE, and the people there can be warm and understanding. The country has survived and been through a lot, fighting against much stronger contenders, and despite that it has sustained itself. Day one I started my tour of the lovely city with the famous market area, Souq Waqif. Souq traditionally means marketplace and is generally a prominent and buzzing center of ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune January 27th 2019

We could not have known five years ago when we were in Pune visiting Apoorva and her family that we were actually going to be able to accept the invitation to the wedding of sister in law Gauri when this would take place. When we got our visa for India in Amman, Jordan, and had booked our flight to Delhi we did not even know Gauri was actually going to get married. But as soon as we announced that we were going to come to India, Apoorva immediately asked (or told) us to organise our travelling around the wedding date of Gauri and Ashish. Of course we instantly accepted the invitation and organised our travelling, because attending an Indian wedding was something we had always wished for and now we were invited into the close circle ... read more
Bride home ceremony
Bride home ceremony
Bride home ceremony

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai December 27th 2018

I feel like for the last two months I have been holding my breath, at times I even felt like I was deep diving and holding my breath, all the fish nibbling at every part of my body- trying to promote a reaction. After a few months of feeling emotionally and physically drained, I took a Valium got on a plane and 17 disoriented hours later I arrived in Mumbai the hour qu at immigration and the confusion of an uber were the last moments before I sank into a king sized bed and fell directly to sleep. It wasn’t until about 8 hours later as I lay by the rooftop pool that I consciously felt myself exhale. I suddenly felt every fibre of my being begin to untense and slowly but surely it felt as ... read more
Breath
Peace within the chaos




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