Sunday, 3 July 2011

New discoveries

Here are some things that I have discovered on this trip

1. Cool cabs (blue and white) and ac taxis cost Rs 1500 for 8 hrs/80km. Cheaper in non ac cabs (black and yellow ones). I have been totally unsuccessful in ordering a cab on the phone, they never seem to have availability!
If you want less time, try to negotiate a better deal, i.e Rs 1100 for 6 hours

2. Juhu beach is a rubbish tip- I was hoping for romantic walks on the beach, but better to wear your worst flip flops and gingerly walk along, trying to avoid washed up tar, corn on the cobs, general litter and foulings. Its impressive to watch the clean up operation- 5 blokes and a JCB, grabbing handfuls of muck and depositing it further up the beach!

3. Stay as near to your clinic as possible. I had dreams of staying at the Taj Lands End in Bandra, it looked close enough on the map. Dr K advised to stay in theJuhu area, and I'm so glad we did! The Novotel is at the far end of the beach , nearer the clinic. It still can take 25-30 mins on a bad day ( but only 10 mins on a sunday morning ). We decided to go to to the Taj Land End to see what we were missing and although the hotel is beautiful, the journey there was not! Took us about an hour in traffic. Would be very annoying to do that on a daily basis!

4. Avoid eating much fish/crabs/prawns/lobster in the rainy season. The fisherman are not allowed out in the monsoon months so most of the large fish are frozen and best avoided. Shame, I was so looking forward to my garlic butter pepper crab at Trishna!

5. Don't get food poisoning on day one. It can spoil the trip.

6. Acclimatise yourself with less spicy foods, avoid all salads, chutneys, cold sauces and anything that might be washed in water. Undercooked chicken is a disaster. (beware of some kebabs and 'grilled chicken'). When you see the miserable looking chickens all cooped up, worse than battery style, you can understand how they may poison you! All fine if cooked in curries though!

7. Snapdeal Mumbai is a coupon system, like our Groupon. Need to join (need an Indian mobile, I used some old one my mother used last year which I am sure is defunct) and then they send you daily offers. I have bought cinnabon rolls, had a aloe vera head massage/deep condition/wash and blow dry (Rs 400 instead of 1200), and got a great deal at 21 Farenheit which is an ice lounge and restaurant. All at bargain prices! Yay!

8. Have a head massage- these are to die for! The  Dilshad salon at Sun n' Sand hotel which is practically adjacent to Novotel (not as glamorous as the Serena Spa in the Novotel ) offers head massage/ hair wash and blow dry form Rs 800-1000 depending on your bargaining skills! Its well worth it! Got rid of the tension headache I had when I arrived in Mumbai..

5. The Four Fountains Spa in Bandra offers great value treatments. We went for 3 hour packages with an extra 30 minute foot reflexology (thanks to travelling Jet Airways- just had to show our boarding pass for that complimentary treatment). Paul felt 3 hours was too long, but it could have been that he was getting sick with the bird flu (!) that day!

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