We arrived in Mumbai fairly shattered, as our journey there had taken a long time…a matatu/matatu/ferry/matatu journey from Diani beach to Mombasa to arrive there before dark, then a four hour wait for our overnight bus, then an overnight bus ride that dropped us at Nairobi airport at 7am for a 3pm checkin, then a 2 hour flight to Addis Ababa (where the airport once again did nothing to endear itself to me – unlike most airports, here if your bra sets off the scanner instead of using a wand to check you or patting you down in private they simply pat you down everywhere right next to the scanner), then a 1 hour wait, then a 5 hour flight which arrived at 6am local time…which felt like 2am to us. One of the downsides of travelling cheaply is that travel can take much longer and flights tend to go at much more inhospitable hours! After a nap we were feeling a bit more human and headed out to explore. Although Reuben lived in India working in an IT company and we spent three weeks in India on our honeymoon, we had only ever flown through Mumbai, so this was a new city for both of us. We walked over to see the Chhattrapati Shivaji railway station – a huge building from when the British were in India.
We then headed over to Crawford market where we explored the market before getting some lunch. When we came outside after lunch it had started bucketing down, and didn’t really stop for the rest of the day. Umbrellas up, we pressed on for a coffee refuelling before walking over to see the High Court and University, two more examples of colonial architecture. We stumbled over Jehangir art gallery, so poked our heads in to experience some modern Indian art before walking to the Gateway of India and Taj Palace (pictured above).
On our second day in Mumbai, we took a boat out into the harbour to Elephanta Island. It started to rain about 9am that day…and didn’t stop! The hour boat ride each way was soaking – especially on the way back when the wind got up and waves splashed over the sides. Despite our being saturated, the island itself was really cool. The main feature is a temple carved out of stone dedicated to Shiva. We bought a guidebook and spent a couple of hours viewing the carvings. (The name Elephanta has nothing to do with Shiva – it refers to a stone statue of an elephant that is no longer on the island). We had a lot of fun on the island – since it wasn’t actually cold, it wasn’t a problem being wet! We did get a surprise on the boat back – we had assumed that it would return to where it started from at the Gateway of India. Imagine our surprise when we went to a totally different place! Happily we found a cheap taxi back to our hotel as it was a significantly further walk back from the second port. After drying off, we were in need of some good food – we are loving how cheap and tasty the food is in India.
The rains were really crazy – when we came back through Mumbai after an overnight trip to Pune, our bus was delayed for an hour because of these crazy floods. We took some photos from the bus we were on – not the best quality but you get the idea! People kind of gave up on keeping dry and just waded through water, because what else can you do?