Pictures are now uploaded but still don't believe anybody who tells you what a go ahead place Mumbai is.
Pretty good night's sleep apart from D having a panic that we had slept through and it was broad daylight. It was actually 1.30 a.m. and we were stopped in a brightly lit station somewhere in India. We got up properly at about 7 a.m. and looked out of the window to see a very different landscape - much greener, with palm trees and a general tropical appearance. The catering boys were still trying hard but had run out of linen. Our breakfast tables were covered with quite clean newspaper. The food was again freshly cooked and tasty. After a stop start run into Mumbai Central, which gave a close view of some pretty dodgy slums, we arrived only 15 minutes late. D went to book our tickets for next Monday to Neral for the trip up to Matheran. At Delhi he had been told that these could only be booked in Mumbai as they were within the suburban area. In Mumbai he was told that they could not be booked at all but that we could book to a few stations down the line and get off early. At a cost of £2 each for 70km of travel this sounded good. What a nice man.
We were adopted by a taxi driver and struck a deal for the fairly long ride to our hotel. His vehicle is a 1950's model Fiat, until recently the standard model for Mumbai taxis. The average Italian must have been 5'2" when it was designed. Our initial impression of Mumbai is that the traffic is a bit better behaved and the infrastucture better maintained than in the other cities we have visited. Our lodging is just around the corner from the legendary Chateau Windsor,launching point of last year's GCIRC. We have to wait for our room but they do redeem themselves by giving us comp tea and coffee and upgrading us to a sea view room. We unpack and shower then set off to explore Mumbai. We need an internet cafe but somehow fail to find one. Hence the late post.
We go to check out Mumbai CST (previously Victoria Terminal) an amazing Gothic pile of a railway station. Our trip on Monday will start here and it is huge so we need to know where to go. The work done, we set off in search of a beer. D manages to get a bit lost on the way to Cafe Leopold, a famous Mumbai tourist hang out. Eventually he owns up and we take a cab. The driver must have thought we were mad after taking us about 150 yards to the front door. Inside the joint is jumping but we get a table by the door and relax. The table of Aussies next to us have an interesting tall vessel with an ice core chiller. Too good to miss we order one and it is delivered in quick time with peanuts.
R decides that one of these is enough and we head for a restaurant that we had spotted on the way. D again gets us slightly lost but eventually we arrive at the quaintly named Gaylord restaurant who give us a corner table where the sea breezes keep the temperature just right,
The meal - prawns in coconut, lamb with daal and vegetable pulao rice is excellent and the service is absolutely right. There when needed but not intrusive, The place must be alright as it starts to fill up with Indian diners before we leave.
We walk round the corner to our B&B. Theh have played a blinder turning down the beds, renewing the towels while on our bed is a presentation box containing the TV remote and two smalle boxes each containing a tiny, but perfectly formed Toblerone bar. A bit of a contrast with our £15 per night in Jodhpur. Daughters please relax, this is on a shareholder special deal. Your inheritance was spent long ago.