Nov. 3rd, 2009

I hadn't realised before I set off quite what a buzz just getting my backpack down from its cubby hole would be, not to mention setting off to Heathrow Airport with a two thirds full hiking rucksack on my back. You never know how much you've missed something until you come to do it again. On a tangent I bought both the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide guides to India (plus a couple of more focussed books). I massively recommend the Lonely Planet over the Rough Guide in this case - the Rough Guide reads to me as if it was written by someone who disliked India. Which makes it twice the pity that my Lonely Planet is in the departure lounge of Heathrow Terminal 3.

When I set off, I worked to the plan that with an 11 hour overnight flight I could sleep on the plane and rely on the time lag to catch me up on sleep. About all I'll say about that plan is that sleeping with the person behind you playing overloud Bolywood over their speakers so you can just about make out the words isn't easy. And that Star Trek XI was an entertaining film to watch again - and Wolverine was pointless. (That said, they've massively improved the film choice since last time I flew long-haul as you can now choose your own film rather than having to watch the same thing. But 24 Series 1 is not IMO good for plane audiences). So I had a very early night last night and am still massively jetlagged. And I'd forgotten how pretty towns were at night from the air. And Dubai looks as if it was designed to be seen from the air rather than somewhere that looks lived in. Especially the palm trees and map of the world made out of islands. Ack. (There was a lot of cloud cover meaning I didn't see much even when I'd decided I couldn't sleep.

Anyway, I am now in Mumbai and staying at the Salvation Army Hostel (the first two hotels I tried not having room). Mumbai appears to be a large bustling multicutural city with quite a lot going on, open markets down a lot of streets and many beggars. I live in London. Therefore I leave for Goa tomorrow night on the Sleeper train. (Meaning I'll get to find out if I'm any better at sleeping on trains than I was on planes). I'm slightly irritated not to have arrived a day earlier than I did - some of the residents here spent the day as an extra in a Bolywood Movie (which I may try to see if I can do when I get back). On one note, the traffic in Mumbai isn't half as bad as its reputation - I'd much rather cross a busy road in Mumbai than in London (Mumbai drivers are more used to crazy pedestrians) and far far rather cross one in Mumbai than Paris. The architecture is. I have no other way to describe it - it seems to make London's seem rational and coherent. Which is the way any big city ought to be. (Building by building isn't particularly interesting - nothing has so far stood out).

Anyway, next stop Goa. Where there won't be too much of an update - Goa is the perfect area in India for stopping and relaxing, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. I haven't had a holiday in months.



November 2012

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