Wednesday, 29 January 2014

I went to Goa and this is what happened...

Cola: Goa's best beach
Days 9-11

August 2008: Gordon Brown was fumbling around the prime minister’s office, the English football team were halfway through their four-year hiatus from tournament football, and I was enjoying that lovely little window between graduating and getting a proper job. So I decided to travel to Goa, oblivious to the fact it was the height of the monsoon. On arrival in the sleepy little fishing village/seasonal resort town of Benaulim I realised why it was so quiet, save for the relentless thudding of golf ball-sized drops of rain. The beach resembled coastal Norfolk after a period of chronic global warming, complete with packs of stray dogs. There wasn’t an orgy enthusiast-populated tepee in sight. It was massively disappointing.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

I went to the Konkan coast and this is what happened...

Murud-Janjira Fort, India

Day 5

The journey to Murud, a little-known destination on the Maharashtran coast around 150 kilometres south of Mumbai, took approximately six hours - not necessarily because the roads are shite, but because there’s a lot to take in en route. Once we had escaped Mumbai’s urban sprawl and the subsequent land of the shipping containers, the ‘real’ India started to appear. And very nice it was too - steep forested hills, colourful villages and glimpses of the Konkan railway, one of India’s most aesthetically-pleasing lines. And about five miles from Murud the first palm trees started appearing; always a good sign for the beach-hungry traveller.

Monday, 20 January 2014

I went to Mumbai and this is what happened...

Taj Mahal Palace hotel, Mumbai
Day 1

When I woke up this morning I didn’t expect to be treated to a display from the Indian Army’s bomb disposal team. Then again, I didn’t actually sleep – I spent most of the evening sitting in extremely close proximity to a spellbound elderly Indian gentlemen; the object of his tactile awe being the mid-90s Casio watch around his wrist, or more specifically its relentlessly piercing beep. At this point I should mention that the pair of us were sitting down with a few hundred other people on a plane flying to Mumbai from London. He didn’t say a word to me during the eight hours, not even when I borrowed his pen to complete my landing slip. Now there’s a snippet of detail that will live in your memory forever.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

I'm going to Cumbum

On Monday evening I’ll be embarking on a voyage of discovery, flying east from London to Mumbai. The plan was to explore the sights of one of the world’s most fascinating countries, but after a few minutes on Google Maps I thought it better to instead visit places with funny names. And I’m delighted to reveal my first two destinations: Cumbum and Wankaner. Don’t they sound devine?

Cumbum India