Well, it’s been fun but I’ve had enough of Mumbai and am leaving early tomorrow morning for Aurangabad. This was the capital of Aurangzeb but isn’t now, mainly because he’s dead. So why am I going there – well apparently there are some spectacular cave temples nearby and it’s a staging post for visiting what may be the largest visible meteor crater in this hemispere – at Lonar. I’m going to Aurangabad in company with an American by the name of Hans – thereafter he’ll head North while I head South-west to Goa and Kerala.
Yesterday I did the final tourist piece of Mumbai, Elephanta Island:
a few caves that once would have been spectacular but the Portuguese used the statues and carvings for target practice. The real highlight was talking with the tourist guide, a local called Sameer. He’s a bright young lad who wants to make it off the island bvy his own efforts and so is working as a guide, while studying, farming rice and keeping house with his sister, Sanskruti. I think he’s doing bloody well – his dad was relatively rich from running a tourist boat to Elephanta until a new jetty, capable of taking larger boats, was built. Sam’s dad’s business faltered and so the dad hit the bottle…
So if you’re coming to Mumbai, then contact him and Sanskruti as follows:
Bombay, Elephanta Island
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (his mate’s email address)
If it ain’t nailed down…
So far I’ve been dipped twice, costing me in total 1000 rupees – about 13UKP. OK, I can afford it but I’m far from pleased, both with the perpetrators and with me for letting it happen. However, the main way Mumbai will pick your pocket is with its toungue – folk won’t have change or will just ask for money. I’ve just about learnt to say no but I’ll be very glad to get out of the traffic noise and overcrowding.