Clinkers in India

Clinkers in India
© Sue Clinker - photo taken on our visit to Jaipur 2014

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Final Bits & Bobs

An assortment of photos from various places, days during our trip ... no particular order just 'characters' and things that took my fancy

Mum and Son (Sumy and Anthony) - our wonderful hosts at the Olivipe Homestay.    Anthony reminded us so much of somebody we know well in England (!!)

 seen in the grounds of the Olivipe plantation/homestay

Milking time at Olivipe (this cow is a 'kicker' hence the rope holding her back legs still)

So many beautiful sights whilst walking around the Olivipe plantation

and some 'characters' ... hopefully some of these will appear on my drawing board over the course of the next few months

We noticed that so many Indian people look surly when being photographed (despite asking me to take pictures) which is a shame as these girls looked beautiful in their 'best' dresses.    Usually it just takes a smile from us and they respond in kind ... but it didn't work with these two girls!

Mumbai Architecture

Now we're back in (cold and wet) Whitstable, I've been working through all the photos I took and culling the folders a little.

If we'd had one more day in Mumbai I would like to have spent a few hours just photographing some of the beautiful buildings in the City - many are from the Colonial era and there's a mixture of architectural styles, Victorian, Gothic and Art Deco.    Here's a few I photographed on our travels but there are so many more .... next time maybe!

Grand entrance to the Museum


Majestic House

Municipal Corp. building

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Farewell, Mumbai

When David checked in online for our BA flights he found that all the window seats had been taken (apparently) which was disappointing

Then when we checked our bags at the airport we were given different seats to those offered online and we were told the plane had been changed (to a larger one we believe) but still we were given one aisle and one end of centre row seats.

David suggested upgrading but then found out that the cost was an additional £400 each so changed his mind rather hastily.

I said what a shame it was that we weren't getting good seats, unlike on our outward journey which was excellent and the very nice young man winked and said 'I'll see what I can do' ... lo & behold we got window and adjoining seat!

I was able to take photos as we departed showing just how close the slums are to the runways at the airport ...

There were so many spare seats in our Premium Economy section that we were able to spread out and we had a really great flight back.      Very pleased we didn't fork out to upgrade as we didn't need to sleep on the plane (daytime flight) and we had loads of legroom plus reclining chairs so were very comfortable.

The flight landed early so just 9 hours from Mumbai to Heathrow .... then 3 hours from Heathrow to Whitstable (crazy isn't it)?

The Oberoi, Mumbai

Having stayed in a variety of hotels/homestays in the South of India, we decided to indulge in a bit of luxury for our 4 nights in Mumbai.   Expecting our time here to be fairly frantic we booked a superior suite in the 5 star Oberoi which has a brilliant location at Nariman Point, overlooking the Marine Drive promenade.

We really couldn't fault the room or the view although I found the attention from the staff a little overwhelming so we resorted to hanging the Do Not Disturb notice on our door handle most of the time.    The room had all the things you'd expect - mini-bar, tea/coffee facilities, dressing room, safe etc., but additionally we had personal slippers, silk robes and terry towelling robes.   TV in the bathroom as well as the bedroom.    Remotely controlled shutters on the bathroom and bedroom windows.   

We had a personal butler and housekeeper (both of whom obviously felt a bit put-out by our failure to make use of their services)

choice of 5 types of pillow

Weather forecast for the next day

and then the housekeeper left us bags to put our shoes in when not in use, and a pouch to put our phone/camera battery charger in

and the next day she left a screen cleaning spray and cloth for us!

The open air pool is a bit on the small side but I couldn't have used it as I don't own/refuse to wear a bathing cap!

Morning tea/coffee in the lobby overlooking the bay  (just before we checked out of the hotel)

the view

My overriding memory of this hotel though is the smell of lilies everywhere ... in the lobby, reception, breakfast room and our bedroom (a little overpowering actually)

Our room

A few 'stray' photos from Mumbai

We're back in Whitstable and feeling the cold after being in mid 30s temperatures for a couple of weeks.    Just put the third lot of washing in the machine ... how quickly we're coming back to reality

I have thousands of photos to plough through but I won't go back and 'tweak' those on the Blog - I can see that some of the ones I posted are quite dark but I was using a new camera and wasn't totally familiar with it (plus I didn't have a decent photo-editing programme on our little travel computer)

Here's a few that should have been included on recent posts - but I simply ran out of WiFi time

We saw this little shrine in/on a tree and noticed that it was shaped like the elephant headed God, Ganesha - the God of Success

and some very nice Chai sellers where we stopped on more than one occasion ... we had to wait our turn whilst a couple of local police officers were getting their flask filled!

Had to smile at these two guys hanging a banner promoting National Safety Day/Week Campaign ... they're standing on the edge of a high-level unfenced balcony with no protective gear or scaffolding

and next door somebody obviously likes to feed the parakeets

Ice seller ... 

 Nice new modern train with shiny 'hangers' and fans.   Looks a little like a torture chamber or S&M set up!  These new trains have tannoy systems announcing the names of approaching stations in both Indian and English.

Here's an older one we travelled on ... rusting/peeling 'hangers' and walls, torn seats, dark, dingy and no tannoy announcements which made it quite exciting for us as we had to wait to see signs on the platforms to work out where we were and Indian trains stop for just 15 seconds at each station .... if you don't get off in time you travel to the next station!

Next to our 'local' station is the Western Railway HQ building where there is a preserved steam engine in the garden.  I'm informed by 'im indoors that this is a narrow gauge 2' 6" model built by Bagnall in Stafford, UK, in 1922

I mentioned in a previous post that after dusk these ornate horse-drawn carriages ply the streets looking for customers.   Twice I've been told off by the drivers for taking photos - they seem very sensitive about it, or rather they're probably annoyed I'm not putting any business their way.   But the promenade outside our bedroom window was a popular starting point for them so I got a few shots that way!

I have to say that overall the condition of these horses seemed to be pretty good although a couple of times I saw the driver cantering them on the roads for short sections which can't be good for them