Before heading to India, almost every time I turned on my tv I would see a commercial for Incredible!India! And I have to say...although the commercial itself was pretty cheesy...it was on to something - India was definitely incredible! As I mentioned in my previous post, I met up in India with a fellow VSO volunteer, Adam, who is currently living and volunteering in Uganda. Adam and I met through one our VSO training sessions and realized we both had a love for travel and adventure so it made sense that when we both found out we had some time off work....that we planned a trip together! We all know that traveling with someone, especially for 10+ days, through a developing country can be difficult, but I have to say Adam was one of the best travel partners I've ever had. We had a great time together and I'm happy to report he quickly learned the the #1 rule for success when traveling with me....keep me caffeinated and well fed, which he did!
We started our trip by heading down to the southwest state of Kerala. Kerala is best known for it's beaches and backwater canals. Our first stop in Kerala was the beach town of Varkala. Varkala is a cute little town perched atop amazing cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea.
**Pictures from Varkala and Alleppey courtesy of Adam (sadly I can't take credit for the great pictures)
The cliffs/beach at Varkala
After a few days in Varkala, we decided to head up to Alleppey to check out the famous backwater canals. We rented a houseboat and set sail on the canals which was definitely a highlight of the trip.
One of the many houseboats on the Alleppey canals
At one point, we got off the houseboat on onto a little canoe to navigate a few of the smaller canals.
A few pictures of our canoe trip through the small canals...almost every house was painted in a ridiculously bright color
After Alleppey we headed to Mumbai for a few days where we took advantage of all the amazing restaurants and comforts of a large city!
Adam and I out to dinner at Indigo...highly recommended if you ever find yourself in Mumbai - amazing food!
Adam at Chowpatty Beach...a famous local hangout in the evenings
Smelling spices at Crawford Market. Although I don't really cook...I couldn't resist the smells and even bought a few spices.
Inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Train Station - A Unesco World Heritage Site and the busiest train station in Asia
Outside view of the train station
We made a visit to the Ghandi museum...the room where Ghandi lived and worked while staying in Mumbai
A group of cute kids on the streets of Mumbai who really wanted their picture taken!
In front of the Gateway of India
The Taj Palace Hotel (site of the terrorist attack in 2008). An absolutely gorgeous hotel
Dhobi Ghat - Over 136 years old, thousands of kilograms of clothes are washed here everyday in 1,026 open-air troughs.
Getting ready to enjoy our last night out in Mumbai
Another highlight of our trip was our visit and tour through the Dharavi slums, the largest slum in Asia. As you can imagine, it was an eye opening experience. They don't allow you to take pictures out of respect for the residents privacy; therefore unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share, but I can recommend that you visit Dharavi if ever in Mumbai!