2018 "Song of India" Adventure - Day 15 - Mumbai, India

Day 15 – Tuesday, March 6th– Mumbai, India
(Allan writing) Remember what I said in an earlier post about letting go of preconceptions? Just so. ;-)
Yes, as we sailed into the Port of Mumbai the bay was choked with ships either anchored or waiting for berth at the docks. Yes, the air was thick with pollution and the first impression you had was of a heavy petrochemical odor. After a few minutes of breathing this air the back of your throat was a bit sore, but you no longer noticed the smell – as much.

I know Steve was very concerned that I would be seriously put off by the level of poverty and the density of population that we were to see here, but honestly – it wasn’t that bad; not where we were, anyway. Yes, there were people begging, but not like what we saw in Italy or Greece. Yes, there were people who were very poor and possibly starving; not as bad as what we saw on the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka. There was only one point in the day where I got a really clear idea of what an ave…

2018 "Song of India" Adventure - Day 14 - Goa, India

Day 14 – Monday, March 5th– Goa, India

(Steve writing) When we awoke and pulled back the curtain, all we could see was sea and smog. There was no land to be seen until the ship got closer to the jetty/pier. This time we weren’t at a cargo terminal, which was a welcome change. Through the haze, we could see a nearby hill with an outline of palm trees and a building or two, but there wasn’t much to offer in the way of vistas.
Today was the second of the two tours booked through Muziris Heritage Day Tours, since they offered a good package ($170 each for two full days). We had a good experience in Cochin, and were looking forward to today’s outing.
We left the ship at 8:30, and on the dock were friendly Indian immigration officers who gave our landing cards another stamp. No passports, no extra paperwork. Nice and easy and relaxed. We met up with our guide, Jack, who escorted us to our mini-bus with the other four passengers: a couple from Darwin, Australia (Merv and Sue), and a couple from…

2018 "Song of India" Adventure - Day 12 - Cochin, India

Day 12 – Saturday, March 3rd– Cochin, India

(Allan writing) As we sailed into Cochin harbor, the sun was rising through haze and mixed clouds. The air was steamy, and I thrilled to see the few small boats near the shore, people gathered on the beach, and the famous “Chinese fishing nets” lined up waiting to be lowered into the water. India at last! Ever since I first saw the film, “A Passage to India”, I’ve wanted to visit this place. The history, the people, the culture and food – all of this had beckoned me at some point.

One of the most useful things I have learned, from 15 years of travel to many far-flung places around the world, is that we all have preconceptions that we acquire – through media and hearsay about what any given place/people/culture is like, and none of that matters. What matters is going yourself and finding out for yourself how you feel when you’re there. I had some trepidation as we came in to India, but I did my best to set that aside and just go with the flow. …