Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sunday 4th - Gateway of India

Very definitely the day of rest here as things get off to a slow start. Breakfast is once again excellent and, fortified, we set out to walk across the peninsula to the Gateway of India, a monumental arch commemorating the vist of George V. There is quite a crowd around, not because of the arch, but because boat trips set off from here to Elephanta island, an hour away in the middle of the bay. We decide to pass on this and instead take the chance to walk up towards the main market area, along collonaded pavements, as the street traders are just setting up.

Crawford Market is the main food market for central Mumbai and although it was not going full tilt on Sunday it is still a colourful spectacle. R still hankers after tiffin tins so we plough on through the market area as it gets hotter and the crowds build. Just as we are about to give up we turn a corner and there is the steel goods merchants' row. We come out after a pleasant 20 minutes £8 lighter and proud possesors of a three pot tiffin tin and a set of spice pots in a tray. Watch out for these in charity shop near you in a few months time.

LP recommend an eatery not too far away so we make our way to it. The name has changed and on Sunday they only offer a vast all inclusive thali - much more than we want. We take a taxi back to the hotel, another battered Fiat, but this guy actually has a working meter and our ride costs less than 50p. He gets a good tip. Back in our room we lunch on complimentary fruit before going for a swim. There is a very smart party going on in the roof bar but we have the open air pool to ourselves.

When we get back from our swim somebody has been into the room to replenish the fruit tray. There are only three things wrong with the Intercontinental - bar prices, internet prices(£15 per day) and the lack of a clothes drying line on the roof. Otherwise it is splendid. Tomorrow is move on day so we need to pack. Even with R's new wardrobe and ironmongery we can still just about squeeze it all in.

We take a walk out to the nearest internet office to discover that it is closed, and so is the next nearest one. Luckily the off-licence is open so we get a couple of cold beers, some packet snacks and return to our room for the cocktail hour. For a few minutes it looks like we might see a spectacular sunset but then the haze swallows up the sun and it just gets dark. Neither of us feels particularly energetic so we just walk around the corner and dine at our usual table at the Gaylord. On the way home we cross over to the beach side of Marine Drive to take in the view and some photos. Back in the room tonight's presentation boxes contain baby Toblerones.

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