Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 332 - 333 Mumbai

As I am writing this I am at Mumbai Airport already. Now that the trip through India really is over I start to feel a bit melancholic.
Of course there is still so much I have not seen in India. On the other hand I should give the impression collection center of my brain some rest and come back once I am yearning for new experiences. The first day in Mumbai I just relaxed from the hard ride and tried to clarify with the airline how the bicycle transport will be handled - half successful: they wouldn't let me into the Airport, so I could only call and all the lady told me was: 'come with the bicycle to check-in'.
On my last day in India (day 333 of the journey!) I went downtown. By train - finally my first Indian train ride on this trip. There I met up with Mr. Ah Keung from Hongkong, the only long-distance-cyclist I met by chance in India (exactly: in Ajanta), who happened to be in Mumbai waiting for a Pakistani visa. We took the boat to Elephanta island. A nice analogy: before I started cycling from Cape Comorin on the very southern tip of India I also did a boatride to an island. Elephanta island sports some rock-cut caves which would have been very impressive - if we both wouldn't have seen the much more impressive Ajanta and Ellora caves lately - that is exactly what I meant with my impression collection center being full now. But it was still a nice place, away from the noise and chaos of Mumbai. There were many monkeys around - probably the most dangerous beasts in India. Because they are smart. Very smart. We watched one monkey stealing a water bottle from a group of Indian tourists, opening it a few meters away, pouring out the content and starting to drink. On the boatride back, Keung received the great news that he got his Pakistani visa. So we proceeded to a joined celebration/farewell dinner. After taking the train back to my hotel I collected my luggage and Arthur and cycled to the Airport. They still wouldn't let me in as the flight is more than 4 hours away - let's see how the bicycle handling will work out...

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