The reason why these 3 places are in the same blog post is due to not spending enough significant time to write a whole post on..

Going to the south west coast of India was an experience. The further south you go (toward Goa) the more western India feels, and it definitely gets a tiny bit more expensive. For example, a taxi in Goa is around 2.5x the amount you pay in Delhi.

Our journey started on a 6 hour bus ride to Ahmedabad. The areas we explored were one of Ghandi’s old homes from when he started his salt walk – read up on this if you’re interested, it’s an incredible story. And also a shopping mall for food. 

We didn’t spend too long here because we had to travel to Mumbai via a sleeper train for our overnight stop.

The sleeper trains in India are not as bad as you expect. Sure it’s cramped and comfort is far and few between, but it’s a relatively painless experience, we travelled in an A/C sleeper carriage to Mumbai that evening.

However in India, not everything always goes to plan, as it’s shoulder season in Mumbai at the time of us travelling heavy rain hit Mumbai, causing floods and essentially put a stop to all transport and traffic. We arrived around 6 hours later than planned and took a tour of the (wet) city for 400INR (£5.50) each. 

The most striking form of poverty was found in Mumbai for us, a mansion skyscraper over 27 floors tall, next to a slum which was a 5 minute journey away. It’s this striking disparity between people that hits you hardest. The worlds largest open air laundry service (not machines, but hand washing in the slums) vs. the most expensive residential building in the world is one simple comparison that makes you question, is India ready to grow? If Mumbai is anything to go by, not yet no. 

However, as it was the former capital when India was under British rule (Bombay) the colonial architecture and European influences on buildings is striking. On one side of the street, a traditional Indian market and on the other the largest college in India – think Oxford university but much smaller. 

Our following day would be another day of travel as it was time to hit Goa. Once again the weather was choppy to say the least so the flight there was not only 4 hours delayed, but also the most turbulent I have encountered. Not to mention the quickest descent I have ever had on a plane (37,000 ft to runway in about 10 minutes) !!!

Arriving in Goa we was expecting quite a tourist-y place but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The picturesque shores of Goa immediately capture your eye as you drive across the Indian coast unspoiled by tourist shops and Indian tours. A one way journey to the north of Goa costs around 1200-1400 INR (£14). 

After settling down we were able to go out and enjoy the Goan nightlife which is anything you’d expect from a generic European party resort. Maybe a little cheaper and less nightclub-y more bars and dance floors. 

The following morning we went to enjoy the waves on the Goan coast which was incredible. The waves were high and amounted to one member of our India squad having heatstroke (sorry Callum!) but it’s a stark reminder to always be safe because the Indian sun really is super hot. To see how bad look at Luke’s sunburn…

This short leg of our journey encapsulated the tourist expansion of the southwest of India and showed us an introduction to the way of life in a mild mannered westernised Indian city. It’s no surprise that English is spoken more frequently and more widely understood.

I can only speak for north Goa but if I was to travel again for a beach resort holiday I would probably choose a European destination, despite how much cheaper it is here.

It was here that it was the emotional time of saying goodbye to our India squad and carry on with our journeys. We shared one of the most incredible experiences of my life and helped me see a different way of life, this journey had truly made me see just how eager India is to grow, create and build. Whether I believe India will make it, is for another blog post.

It was a real gift to meet and spend time with everyone that we met on the India tour, memories that will last a lifetime, so from Luke and I to you, thank you.

Up next is Delhi, before our journey starts further east to Hong Kong.

Thanks for reading.

Tips 

  • Always apply suncream, even if it doesn’t look hot! Sounds simple but, it’s so easy to forget! – Buy it before you go as it’s super expensive here!
  • For Mumbai, it’s quite a good idea to just buy a taxi/tuk-tuk for a day to see the main attractions
  • Mumbai is quite expensive, so try not to stay here for that long
  • The Goa coast is quite large so ensure to book a hotel/hostel near where you want to be
  • There’s not much to do in Goa so plan wisely – apart from the beaches & a few markets.

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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