Motorcycle world trip - Dharavi slums in the 18 million city of Mumbai


 
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It was getting cold. The winter came to Europe. High time to look for a more comfortable country for the winter, when the sun is shining, when it rains and freezes with us.
 
Whether you heat your house with heating oil (= diesel) or buy a plane ticket quickly at flug.idealo.de, environmental and financial technology makes no difference. You can get the cheapest flights if you do not fly flexibly during the holiday season and book in advance approximately 3 months.
 
How about India, for example? The journey through Pakistan by land can currently be forgotten because of the political situation but back and back costs the ticket with British Airways over London Heathrow only about 330 euros. The best time to visit South India is October through May. During the monsoon season from June to September, it is also nice and warm, but it rains a lot and due to the high humidity, it does not dry again.
 
Spontaneously, a friend decided to accompany me on this adventure in this fearful German view oh so dangerous country . I was very happy. You can find her beautifully emotionally written travel blog here.
 
You have to apply for the necessary visa with a Swiss passport personally at the Indian visa service. This says a note that hangs on the door of the embassy, ??which is reported on the Indian website as responsible. In contrast to the information on the homepage of the embassy, ??the visa service charges 116.60 Swiss francs for the processing and return of the passport and has a passport photo format which is created for a tender 20 franc passport photos in the prescribed Indian customs format. The money is gone, even if they should refuse the tourist visa. However, we got the 6-month tourist visa easily a week later. It is immediately valid or begins with the grant to run.
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With a German passport, you can apply for an eVisum "Tourist Visa On Arrival" online for 70 euros and pay by credit card: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
 
This visa is valid for 30 days from arrival at the Indian airport and can be applied for at least 28 days prior to departure if the flight has already been purchased at risk. Email confirmation of the visa is very important for the flight. Without them, the airlines will not let you on board.
 
Note: The visa application was the most annoying part of the entire trip. Otherwise India is suuuuuper !!!
 
In Mumbai you have (still) a great advantage with the eVisum. While thousands of people have to wait at 20 counters to check their visa, the counter for the new visa is barely frequented. Instead of a visa I received a stamp within 5 minutes, gave my fingerprints and was inside.
 
In duty free you can stock up on cheap cigarettes. You should not change money at the airport.
 
The offered course here was with 68 rupees for 1 euro the worst of the entire journey. In addition, a fee of 5% was charged. Approximately 50 euros for the drive to the center and the first hotel night were enough.
 
We spent our first night for free at the airport. After all, it was after customs and entry procedures already 2 clock in the morning and we had everything in our 10 kg world trip luggage everything you need: sleeping bags and mini alarm systems, the one wake up immediately, if someone fumbling around the luggage. Our mix of clothes turned out to be perfect in the course of the journey. In addition to what we had in the air-conditioned plane and early morning when it was still cool (shoes, socks, long pants, underwear, T-shirt, swatchirt, light jacket, hat and ear plugs) handed a second pair of underwear and socks just like a pair of short pants. In India it was warm enough to take turns washing something and drying it on my backpack.
 
The next day we plunged into the fray. Since the international airport Terminal 2 of the 18 million city Mumbai GPS 19 ° 06'02.38 72 ° 52'28.26 is not connected to the railway network, we asked ourselves without knowledge of the local Hindi language to the Domestic Bus Station.
 
The result was that we were put on a free bus that took us to Domestic Domestic Airport Terminal 1. From here a TucTuc brought us down for rupee 50 rupees to the next railway station Vile Pari. The nearest train station from the international airport is Andheri.
 
The metro in Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, is great. For just 10 rupees per nose, it brings you everywhere in a very fast pace.
 
There is a women's compartment in front and grips everywhere to hold on. The airiest places are the doors. They are not closed during the rapid ride, so that everywhere people swell out.
 
The people were extremely friendly and always tried to show us the way, even if they did not know him or simply did not understand us.
 
Surprisingly, many people in India still spoke the international language English and kept asking us where we came from and where we wanted to go.
 
When we told them that we wanted to visit the Dharavi slums, Asia's largest slums, they urged us to stop.
 
It was way too dangerous there and we should if ever book a guided tour. But that's not our way of traveling.
 
After unloading our luggage in a hotel double room for 1000 Rupees the night 500 meters away from the CST train station (in hotels our two passports and both visas are copied each time), we bought two train tickets to the Mahim Junction West GPS 19 ° 2'38.25 "N 72 ° 51'23.03" E.
 
Friendly people showed us the right train between the many tracks and thereby missed their own. We ran only with camera and GPS armed to find the way back to the dangerous dark streets of the huge slum.
 
As expected, people were extremely friendly here as well. I really do not understand why you always tell so many bad things.
 
Children came running from everywhere and wanted to take pictures. It's amazing that people still get 10 kids , even though they do not own much. Too many children get people into the poverty trap. The adult people wagged their heads, which means "welcome" and "yes" in India.
 
Everywhere there were small food stalls, where vegetables, delicious fruits, fried delicacies or uncooked raw meat were offered. After all, the saleswoman regularly wagged the flies away. Whether we want drugs? No thanks.
 
The real problem of the slums is the many rubbish lying around and being rinsed once a year by the rainy season across the rivers into the sea. The perfect habitat for the many rats here. It looks like in Germany, still weeks after New Year's Eve.
 
Also in Germany most plastic is not used again 3Sat Nano
 
There were no toilets everywhere. Many people simply used the nearby railroad tracks to relieve themselves. Toilet paper in India is not at most old newspapers. Either water or the left hand is used. That's why you only eat with your right hand without cutlery.
 
Although this was all new to us, we did not feel insecure here. The people were friendly, laughed, showed us around and took as many photos of us as we did.
 
Some people did not even have a house, but literally lived and slept on the street. Like in Germany. Although they have nothing, they offered us pancakes and refused to pay. Incredible. Such hospitality does not exist in Germany.
 
Even the Indians living on the street are richer than a German. In India, the national debt per capita is only $ -6042 per capita. In Germany, every citizen stands with -26,000 euros in government debt in the chalk. In addition, every 10th citizen in Germany is privately over-indebted. On average, this results in another debt of € 33,000 per capita.
 
Again and again we tried some of the offered fried particles. With not heated food we were still very careful at first.
 
Between our legs, pigs and wild dogs roam . The slum is a huge mix as a life. Also different religions live here peacefully together. That is not self-evident. India was divided in 1947 because too many Muslims, Christians and Hindus can not live together peacefully because of their conflicting world view. That's how the country Pakistan came into being. Merkel should learn from it.
 
We saw mosques, churches and Hindi temples, completely veiled but also colorfully dressed women.
 
Suddenly we heard a swelling drumming. It got louder and louder. When we turned the corner, we saw hundreds of people dancing on the street.
 
Immediately we were in the middle of it. Everyone is wiggling their heads. We are welcome. We were told, it is a wedding party.
 
Behind another corner, Hindus considered sacred cows considered by Muslims to be foods.
 
Again, behind another corner, we were suddenly in the middle of a sewing room and had to photograph each of the employees. People were very proud to show us something.
 
With the help of the GPS we found the way out of the Dharavi slum back to the station.
 
In CST, we purchased two train tickets to Goa for the next morning at the tourist desk on the first floor. We were able to pay with euros and so 100 euros without charges as at the airport change.
 
Since the train was booked out in advance in advance, we only got a couch in the sleeping car for the outward journey. This was very comfortable.
 
The entire 600km route to Margao took 14 hours and cost 780 rupees = 11 euros for 2 people.
 
Since the German railway can learn something from. For the return trip we booked early enough a night train and two beach chairs for the same price. With more than one million employees, Deutsche Bahn is India's largest employer. Every year there are 15,000 dead due to train accidents. With credit card you can also book online here.
 
Rail travel is in India in comparison to the horror bus rides with aggressive drivers on potholes really nice and you can do without night driving on hotels.
 
Instead, Jasmin was invited by other travelers to play cards etc.
 
Every few minutes, a dealer comes by and loudly offers a sandwich, coffee, tea or sweets. Time flies like in flight.
 
Arrived in Margao, Goa state, we refilled our water bottles. Fortunately, major stations in India have special drinking water wells. Ansonsen cost 1 liter of drinking water in the store 20 rupees and 2 liters 30 rupees and 5 liters 65 rupees. This makes drinking water more expensive than mineral oil.
 
Right next to the station you get for 25 rupees so about 33 cents of delicious omlet with onions and on request without spicy chili in Chapati pancakes. Delicious!!! Of three you are full for less than 1 euro.
 
Also offered are Samosa triangles made of dough with delicious filling, Pam balls with delicious filling and bhajac balls of grated potatoes, offered for 10 rupees each.
 
The fact that I keep coming back to my meal shows how well we liked it and that, even though so many people had warned us before traveling to India.
 
We also liked the relaxed and uncomplicated way of the people. There are no know-it-alls and senior teachers here who show you when you use your own head and do not strictly follow any stupid rules.
 
Instead, everyone can do what they like here.
 
Parking in the parking ban? No problem. Wear a helmet? Is it only on paper. Traffic rules? Whats that?
 
Nevertheless, everything is running. Nobody insists on his right but everyone keeps his eyes open.
 
In Margao I did not manage to rent a motorbike. We were still sent from A to B and back, because politely no one wanted to admit that he knew no landlord.
 
Then we got the good advice to take the local bus for 10 Rupees per Nose from City Square to Benaulim Beach 7 km away. A TuckTuc costs 150 rupees for the same distance.
 
There are tourists there and that's why motorcycles are rented there. Right.
 
First of all, however, we were tired and made a hotel for 700 rupees with fan and shower but unfortunately many mosquitoes. Since the tent has advantages.
 
The next morning we hiked with our light luggage to the Bank of Indie in the city center to change money. This directed us to a Western Union store across the street.
 
Here an Arab offered us a good rate of 70 to 1 with no additional fees. We exchanged 300 euros. A year later, the big bills in India were suddenly declared invalid. There is no reliance on politicians.
 
Then we took the bus, which left us half an hour later on Benaulim Beach 14 ° 15'00.00 73 ° 55'16.57 out.
 
I parked Jasmine with our luggage in the shadow of a house and made my way.
 
I was approached directly at the intersection between the two supermarkets. You want a scooter? Yes!
 
Because of the long rental period of 2 weeks, we agreed on 250 rupees instead of 300 per day and scooter. That's about 4 euros. For refueling he calculated 6 liters. That was more than actually went in.
 
The man was on the phone and a short time later someone drove up with a Honda Activa rental scooter.
 
Rental vehicles in India must have a black license plate with yellow numbers. They are not to be confused with the normal white markings.
 
The man pushed the key into my hand and showed me the scooter papers. These are located under the seat.
 
There was also a helmet. That's it. As? No paperwork?
 
The man did not want to know my name or if I had a driver's license.
 
Where do I live? I gave the name of a hotel for which someone had previously given me a business card.
 
OK. Then I paid in advance and photographed for safety's sake, all previous damage very accurately.
 
Fortunately, this German meal was not necessary in India compared to Thailand.
 
The second scooter I can pick up the next morning. Perfect.
 
Quickly, I mounted the cigarette lighter to power the navigation system and charge the cameras overnight, on the battery.
 
Then I picked up Jasmin and drove her to the beach. We left our luggage in sight under the supervision of free-ranging cows.
 
For the night we went a little to the interior and found a place to camp.
 
The mobility of your own vehicle offers the huge advantage that you can leave the city and no need on permanently expensive and mosquito-infested hotels. If there are any.
 
The next morning we picked up the second scooter as agreed. Again without a lease or other paperwork.
 
Then we set out to explore India by left-hand traffic. The traffic rules were simple: you always drive at night without light. It seems to be forbidden to look right and left before driving on a major road. One does not do shoulder-shots in India either. Instead, you honk before you want to overtake. This works perfectly. So one always knows acoustically whether someone is behind you and can then make room. Otherwise you concentrate on the potholes. Speed ??cameras do not exist. These would be stolen immediately.
 
First we went south. Here were next to the locals and many tourists with scooters on the way.
 
We visited many beautiful beaches. We liked Palolem Beach GPS 15 ° 00'36.44 74 ° 01'23.63 best, so we chose it as the destination for our last week.
 
Then we swung east. Suddenly it was over with the tourists.
 
Although many rent a vehicle, nobody seems to be more than 10 km from our hotel.
 
That proved also the license plate. After only a few kilometers Jasmine made me aware that my only wobbles on a screw behind. Quickly I replaced the missing screw by a cable tie brought along. Now you can never lose it again.
 
Wherever we came, we were greeted with amazement and joy: "Namaste!" Again and again we were led around or wanted to take a picture with us.
 
In India, most people own a smartphone with a camera.
 
In my Garmin Nüvi 255w I chose the shortest route. This has the advantage that you do not have to drive the main road with overcrowded traffic with some bad potholes, but partly on dirt roads and through tiny villages.
 
Main roads, for example, the coastal road as most of the north-south connections.
 
If you drive in a zigzag, you will hardly have to fight on your own lane against overtaking trucks.
 
The map for India I got for free from OpenStreatmap.
 
Our destination was the 350km distant Humpi Temple. One of the attractions in India, to which also most commercial tour operators drive.
 
Due to the many nice stopovers, the bad roads and the unbelievable many not signposted and therefore very dangerous Speed ??Breaker Hubbel, our cruising speed averaged 40 km / h.
 
You can rarely give full throttle for more than 30 seconds, then you have to brake again because of the next pothole or animal on the road of 80 km / h.
 
More than our 3 liters on 100 km of really economical 110ccm motorcycles so no one needs. Gas stations are every 100 km. 1 liter of fuel costs 65 rupees, that is about 95 cents. Thanks to their variomatics, however, the acceleration of the scooters was so good that you can swiftly pass the speed bumps on various trucks and buses that emit black sooty swaths.
 
Towards evening we pitched the tent hidden in the flat landscape in a dry water hole. When asked officially, people unfortunately kept sending us away. Apparently they were afraid of the police.
 
At breakfast in a cute village the next morning, the inhabitants wanted to show us something.
 
Through winding streets we were led to an ancient temple. A real insider tip to which no other tourist comes.
 
We were proudly shown the entrance. Our belongings we left unattended in our vehicles.
 
Here people were so incredibly friendly and everyone knows everyone, nobody steals anything.
 
After we visited the temple, a man even invited us to his home. The entire village followed us.
In his studio apartment, where he lives with his wife and children, he showed us a photo album with pictures of his wedding.

A very special gesture.
We were guests with friends. My previous travel experience that the people are the friendlier the less they have, confirmed once again.
Continue on the next page.
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