Sunday March 20th
Arrived in Mangalore and have decided that this port would probably win the ‘Ugliest Port In The World’ award. Didn’t go ashore – we stayed on board and slobbed around on deck.
Monday March 21st
Cruising the Malabar Coast today so a day at sea chilling!! and enjoying the noon ritual of the cold beers.
Tuesday March 22nd
Arrived in Mumbai previously and still locally known as Bombay. It lies on the west coast of India and has a population of over 14 million and is also the richest city in India.
Our tour today was to Elephanta Island. We boarded our coach at the pier side and braved the thousands of cars, buses, taxies and people to drive to our little boat which was waiting at the iconic Gateway Of India. This is a basalt arch in mixed Muslim–Hindu style which stands over eighty five feet high and was built as a tribute to King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to the then Bombay in 1911. Originally it was an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England. On February 8th 1948 the last British soldier passed through it marking the end of Britain’s dominance in the sub-continent.
The trip to the Island took about an hour and then we boarded the local ‘toy’ train to the bottom of the 125 step accent to the caves of the Island. Anyone not fit enough could have been carried to the top in a sedan chair hoisted by 4 scrawny Indian porters….no I didn’t do it!! …not brave enough.
The caves and the carving they contained were fascinating as they depicted sculptures of Shiva and Vishnu amongst others and had been painstakingly hewn from the rock between 450 AD and 750 AD.
The journey back took almost twice that of going out as it was into a fierce headwind, the tide AND with an old slow engine….meaning we missed our 12 o’clock beer!!