Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

India - Mumbai

After two days at sea, and getting the port engine fixed, we arrived in Mumbai at around 11.00 am. The authorities had been, in my view, unnecessarily thorough in their immigration processes, resulting in further delay to us getting ashore. Howevever, we were not due to be back aboard until 9.00pm, so we had plenty of time. Our first job was to find the Britannia Cafe, and the owner, the elderly Mr. Kohinoor, who Margaret had spoken to on her last visit in October. At 92 years old, he remains very patriotic to the British, and collects anything related to the monarchy, so we took him gifts - a Diamond Jubilee book with pictures, and Jill had sent with us a keyring with the Queen's head, from a London gift stall. He was thrilled. After drinking our sweet lime sodas, we made our way by taxi across town to the Taj President Hotel, where Jill had lived during her 10 months there last year. The taxi fare was just 40R (50p) for the four of us. Guess who had the jeweller in there show us his diamond and emerald rings. Then it was off up Colaba Causway, a shopping street with outdoor markets. On here we visited Adamis, a high class leather goods shop, where the owner was relieved of several of his Hermes style bags, all in beautiful soft leather, complete with that 'new leather' smell. Turning right at Regal Cinema, we made our way down to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, (image), and Gateway to India landmark, (image). The lobby of the hotel is spectacular, again containg designer shops. Margaret then negotiated an hour's sightseeing trip (10$ US), with a taxi driver, and he, actually over two hours, showed us Marine Drive, Mani Bhaven, Gandhi's residence, Dhobi Gat, the huge open air laundry, then the Hanging Gardens, Victoria Terminus, then back to the ship at about 5.30pm, ready for dinner at a delayed 7.00pm, which was to give us more time ashore. The day was made by the fact Margaret had only recently been there, and, consequently, we knew the "ropes".
We now have a new Captain, Robert Camby, who is newly promoted, and not only is he a ringer for John Travolta, but also looks no older than 35. He is excellent, walks around speaking and socialising, and yesterday, against the immigration authorities, insisted on having his pic taken with any single passengers who requested him to do so, while we waited to go ashore. He took over in Dubai.
We now have a further sea day before we reach our second India destination - Cochin. Then it is on to Malaysia. Until then.....

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