Pros: friendly people, interesting
Yet another Indian travel 'experience' getting to Mt. Abu. The bus
from Jaisalmer to Jodpur was nearly three hours late, for no reason
other than numerous long chai stops. This meant that I missed my
connecting bus to Mt. Abu. I headed off to the bus station to see
if I could get a public bus, but there were none until 5am (by now
it was about 11pm). Crashed out in a guest house near the station
for a few hours then tried to get the 5am bus. When it eventually
arrived, 1.5 hours late, it was full. I was given the option to
either stand or sit on the roof for six hours. Didn't much fancy
that so headed off to get a train instead. By mistake I ended up
in the women and children only carriage - but they didn't seem to
mind too much. Spent the next 8 hours sat on a rock hard wooden
bench being talked at (rather than talked to, as nobody spoke a
word of English) by the Indian ladies. Quite entertaining though!!
Eventually arrived at Mt. Abu at 4pm, just 12 hours later than planned
- not too bad going by Indian timescales.
Mt Abu's the only hill-station in Rajasthan, which means that it's
nice and cool here - even to being quite cold at night and needing
to use a blanket.
Did a temple tour yesterday morning and a sunset walk in the evening
with the son of the guesthouse owner and other travellers staying
Other than that, it's been another place for chilling out really,
before I head off to Mumbai (Bombay),
For the first time in ages I had a nice straightforward journey
down to Mumbai from Mt. Abu.
After generally just lounging around for the first day, a group
of us went to check out Elephanta Island, which is a short boat-ride
away from the bay. The boat leaves from the Gateway of India, which
is incidentally where a bomb went off just a week or two previosly.
No sign of any damage to it though - although there were a few broken
windows in the Taj Mahal hotel next to it.
Later that day I was approached along with a number of other travellers
staying at the Sally Army hostel to be an extra in a film. We all
wandered along to the studio the next day - not really the plush
surroundings I expected, but they looked after us really well, providing
us with chai and food. From what I could tell, the film seems like
a bad cheesy Indian version of Saturday Night Fever, which was good
for me cos at least my bad cheesy dancing shouldn't look too out
of place at the back of the scene. So, if you see a film called
"Kal Ho Naa Ho" (which I'm told roughly translated to
"As is there was no tomorrow") on your travels, keep an
eye out for me - I'll be the one dancing like a plank at the back!!
That's about it for Mumbai!