March 26, 2010
03.26.2010 - 03.26.2010 94 °F
My room is overlooking the Gate of India on the 15th of 18 floors. If you look at the picture from my ferry boat to Elephant Island you will see the Palace, Tower and Gate of India and that is my hotel the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. It’s very luxurious and I was one happy camper. I still only got about 6 hours sleep but this beautiful hotel seemed to given me new life and hope that my last day in India would heal my wounds of yesterday and make it all better once again. After breakfast I met my guide as arranged in the lobby. She was something between my mom and Indirha Gandhi. She spoke and understood English very well and comforted me with her calmness and intelligence. I had really scored a winner with this guide. We took the ferry to Elephant Island that had the caves that had been carved by Hindus and Buddhasts centuries ago depicting their many gods especially “Sheba” god of war I think. She told me a fascinating story about each carving. When the Portuguese discovered these caves as the first Europeans to round the Cape of Good Hope I shared with you earlier in Cape Town South Africa, and arrived in Mumbai in the late 1500’s I think. They used the caves for target practice so some of the carved panels where missing body parts which was unfortunate but very common to see around the world like in Egypt where the Sphinx was target practice for the Germans in WWI and II and proves the stupidity of man at its finest. Its about 90 degree and the same in humidity so this former Alaskan was drenched in sweat and glad to return to the boat to enjoy the breeze created by the ferry chugging the hour distance back to Mumbai. I took a 20 minute break to run back up to my room and freshen up and fire off a few pics to let you guys know I had survived the journey to India (I know you were not able to sleep wondering ).
I had three more priorities to see in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) the Prince of Wales Museum, the Victoria Terminus Train Station and Chow Patty Beach. The museum was housed in a beautiful European style building that you might see in London. The same was the case for the train station building. I think the pictures are worth a thousand words here so please enjoy. Its was my labor of love to share them with you guys. Chow Patty Beach is the place where the locals enjoy a long, wide beach with lots of food vendors and places to just relax and picnic and escape the grind of this crowded city. The poverty here is a sharp contrast to the beautiful sights. Many Indians come to the city desperate for work only to find none and unaffordable housing even if they could find a non living waged job. I guess the Dell and HP call centers can only employee so many Indians these days (L0L). We drove by the place where the Pakistani terrorists had come ashore in September or November of 2008. They were young guys with duffle bags. The local fisherman who lived where they came ashore asked them who they were and why there were here and they apparently replied “You mind your business and we will mind ours”. In retrospect, they should have contacted the police but didn’t. The terrorists had dinner and we passed that restaurant. They were approached to pay their dinner bill and opened fire on the staff and patrons inside. They then split into two groups one attaching the Oberi Hotel and the other my hotel the Taj Mahal Palace. My room overlooks the Palace portion that was sent afire and many guests and staff lost their lives. That historical portion with its rich history from being the residence of the Maharashtra and other royality and celebrities over a century it has stood. It’s a great story I will share if you want. Just ask me when I see you. My fantastic guide had saved my India experience and now I am off to Perth Australia via Bangkok and Singapore. When you see this I will have arrived and I hope you enjoy the stories and pics of Hong Kong and India. I am really looking forward to one plan for the next 3 days and that is rest and spontaneous activities.
See you later in my last continent Australia and the Western State Capital of Perth! Wow what a mind blow this trip has been..... All the best and miss you all!