We got up early and joined our hotel receptionist Nikhil who had invited us along for his tour of the local temples that he does most days - the best one was the monkey temple, we thought it was called this because there are monkeys running around (which there were) but it is actually all about the God that looks like a monkey - Hanuman. There was a lot of singing and playing instruments in that temple, it seemed quite upbeat! And one of the rituals there is to paint red onto the walls, so there is a lot of bright paint strokes covering the outside and inside of the temple - no photos though!
After a leisurely breakfast we were told we could checkout late as our taxi to the airport was at noon - lovely jubbly - some more chilled aircon time!
A decent flight to Mumbai and a quick taxi to our hostel, which was 15 minutes from the airport. We went for a cheap room in a nice hostel, a shared 10 bed non-AC dorm! Luckily there was only 2 other people in there, who were both lovely and hardly there. The hostel had a load of recommendations for food (including some special offers for delivery food…) so a couple of cheese toasties, garlic bread, spaghetti, and chips, married with 2 big beers, delivered to our roof and then we were ready for bed!
The first thing I noticed about Mumbai was that there was no cows on the road! Thus, cleaner roads and a nicer smell! After an admin laden morning (snoozing, washing, blogging, workout on the roof!) we got on a local train down to Churchgate for some breakfast. After some spicy egg we had what can only be described as the best thing ever for breakfast desert, a 7 layered cookie! Warm, gooey, chocolatey, nutty, caramel, crunchy and with a side of ice cream! And yes, breakfast desert is a thing.
We headed down to the Gateway of India, which is a huge arch-monument, erected to commemorate the landing of British monarchy in 1911, and it was probably one of the cleanest and most well built structures we’d seen across India! Opposite was the ‘Taj Palace’, a huge fancy hotel. We had a walk around a bazaar and found our way to Leopold cafe, a cafe which had been in the same place since the late 1800s and had some of the most expensive cocktails (London prices!) but they were delicious!
We then headed over to sunset point, a long wall by the coast where we can watch the sunset. Surprisingly, we could see the sun, but unfortunately not all the way to the horizon so the sunset kinda petered out… so off to another bar for a cocktail (2 each this time actually as it turned out it was happy hour - buy one get one free!). And free nibbles and refills!
Then to another restaurant on Jess’ map, turns out it was a meat heavy menu so we had the only 2 veggy curries on the menu! They weren’t too shabby though and seemed to be fine for our guts! Then an Uber home and bed!
We had planned another workout this morning but it had ever so slightly rained and that was a good enough excuse. Breakfast this morning was to be another health bomb, I got a waffle layered with melted milk chocolate, kit-kats, pistachios and bananas! Jess did have a healthy sandwich. The service was lacking though, lacking so much that Jess did the typically British thing and thanked the waiter for a lovely meal and then left a 1 star review!
Time for the beach! Oh how excited we had been! 3 weeks of busy, hustling, loud India, we could really do with some relaxing, calm, soothing beach time. After a 30 minute walk we arrived at the promenade…. Urgh. Dirty, litter strewn, people washing clothes in the water, no beach - just rocks and no cooling breeze! Ah well, we’ll have to wait for Goa. We walked down the promenade and got to the fort with a view. It also had a little garden area which was home to lots of young couples snogging, we thought about taking a seat and showing them how it’s done but we were extraordinarily sweaty and needed water!
We got a tuk tuk to a the sandy Juhu beach, a really long beach with lots of people on. Some men playing cricket, kids running around, lots of people just loitering but it definitely had more of a fun beach feel! It was still so hot and humid so a brief 20 minute walk we headed inland to an aircon bar for a cooling drink.
For dinner we’d been recommended a vegetarian restaurant by the hostel and it did not disappoint! Some lovely Thai inspired curries and dosas, coupled with cheesy garlic bread! Can’t go wrong! Then back to the hostel to wait for our taxi ride to the airport for our 12:30am flight to Goa!