I arrived in Mumbai after 15 hours of plane and 40 hours without sleeping. But I could not sleep directly, too excited by the travel. It took me 2 hours to reach downtown, which is only at 30km. It let me time to observe the pupils in uniform, the women in their « sari », the « zebu » in the dust, and all the pedestrians we almost smashed !! Mumbai is an enormous city, full of chaos, traffic jam, klaxons and trapped in a deep cloud of pollution. The city is crowded with people, cars, trash, noises and smells… The encent perfumes are not covering the smell of perished eggs and burned tires. So we decide to leave it as soon as possible. Waiting for our friend Audrey, we visit Elehanta Island. It gathers several caves full of stone sculptures. It is a very touristic and polluted place, not really worth the visit. The next day, we visited a small market, and we try to see a wide laundry place. But our indication weren’t clear enough, so we ended up in front of a large shopping center, 30km away. We have to improuve our communication skills !!!
We want to join the Goa region, 700km far away. We tried to book a train, which is faster and cheaper, but the places for strangers are very limited. So we couldn’t leave the place by train before several days (in fact we could book normal places, but we didn’t understand the whole system yet). We end up by talking a 14 hours bus trip to join Panadji, the capital of Goa. We started our visit by a sunset boat tour, so kitsch! We could admire the dancing talents of the Indians on techno music. Such a surprise! We discovered more about Indians in vacation the next day. We joined a bus tour to visit South Goa. We rapidly became an attraction for the whole bus: each indian wanted to grab our hand and take pictures with us. Being photographed with a weight person seems to be a “must” for every Indian in vacation. Weight people aren’t so numerous; it is more Indian touristic season. At the North of Goa, the environment changes on the Arambole beaches. It is nicer, quieter and full of Russian, Israelian and Europeans. Some come every year to spend several months on the beach with a low budget. We stay two days in a small hut on the beach in the middle of the fishermen and the hippies. We took a yoga class (during which I fall asleep, not my thing yet), observed dolphins, chassed scorpions (one only, but in the middle of the night) and danced around drums at the sunset. It was hard to resist buying so cheap clothes. I realized I am still far to detach myself from our consumption world…
The first week is now already gone, spent with the ninja gang, caring each a nice carapace of 20kg on their back !! I realized the Indian cooking is not only often vegetarian but also always very spicy… Everything seems to taste the same. Fortunately we start to develop a new skill to decrypt Indians menus.
Photos of Mumbai:
Photos of Goa: