Mumbai and Goa
Nothing prepared us for Mumbai, reading various books and internet blogs left us feeling like we had enough knowledge to survive this chaotic part of the world! Unfortunately we were wrong and even though we stayed away from meat, salads and tap water, nicky became worryingly ill, fortunately it was on the last day and she could hold out till singapore to go to the hospital. Be very careful of what you eat! my advice would be stick to restaurant and hotel grub and dont eat local packaged produce like hand picked cashews and street vendors are an absolute no!
Once out of Mumbai the Konkan railway provided us with the 12.5 hour journey to magical goa, be sure to get a minimum of ac 3 tier as anything lower means a mad scramble at the station to get on and find a decent seat!!!! its crazy the train hasnt even reached the platform and people are falling over each other to get on.
Mumbai and goa are worlds apart, the goans are used to foreigners and dont stare as much, mumbai can get stressful for women, leering men etc. Would recommend booking a hotel with pool etc something that can keep you occupied when you cant stand the chaotic streets any more and doesnt have a check out time like 10 am when youre connection is 11pm. Avoid locals who try to talk to you on the street in mumbai if you dont want to get harassed and sometimes its impossible to get away from them, we found a smile and no thankyou to anyone who approached here works well, everyone wants money from you in mumbai. Goa is the perfect place to relax and unwind and our only regret is that we only had 5 days there, dawn walks on the beach, dinner watching the sun set etc.........paradise! Would recommend the riva beach resort, Mandrem beach on the secluded north of goa just south of busier arambol. Beach huts pretty basic but really clean with mosquito nets and bathroom, although mossies were not a problem for us in January here. Fantastic restaurant with great tandoori seafood, taxis can be quite expensive here, hiring a scooter for full day at riva resort is 200 rupees compared to 300 for a 30 min taxi ride. Vigator beach is picturesque but be prepared for plagues of hawkers, anjuna etc pretty much the same.
Mapusa, margao and panaji quite hectic, typical india.