A Taste of Luxury in Mumbai

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As I write, I am sitting, watching the sunset high over Juhu beach, sipping a gin and tonic, and indulging in canap├ęs, to be followed by a glass of Chilean wine and dessert. All of this complementary. I’m in the executive lounge of Mumbai’s JW Marriot. A gift, for I on my meager backpackers budget could never afford such absurd luxuries. I am alone, and yet they’ve upgraded me to a suite, with 850 square feet, its far larger than any apartment I’ve ever lived in. I hardly know what to do with myself. I had forgotten what it felt like to be in a temperature controlled room with plush linens, a rain shower, fruit basket, free bottled water, and not a single bug in sight. When I walked in, I literally emitted something near a squeal. I’ve been giddy all day. It all feels so luxurious it’s borderline ridiculous. And I intend on enjoying every last minute of it. Which includes making an active effort to utilize the sitting room and second bathroom, lest they go to waste. But I suppose thats what $10/night guesthouses will do to a person. Sure, it’s a bit stuffy and aside from a few families with young kids I’m easily one of the few guests under 60, rolling up in an airport taxi instead of the usual Mercedes town car. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t care for luxury, the truth is while I love quaint guesthouses, love how you feel part of a small family, I am, a self proclaimed hotel-whore. I love absurdly luxurious hotels, and make a point of splurging every chance I get. And after sweating for six weeks, I think it’s about time.

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Last Days in Southern India

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I didn’t know it was possible to sweat this much. It was less than a kilometer from my guesthouse to the ferry terminal, and yet, I look like I had decided to sprint the entire way. If it were possible to have %150 humidity, this is probably what it would feel like. On the upside, my skin should look fantastic! Though right now it mostly looks red. Continue reading

Kochi and Travel Fatigue

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The plan was to go to Varkala, or Munnar. I am instead, in Kochi with no intention to leave until my Sunday morning flight to Mumbai. After three weeks of fast travel, I just need to stop. There is plenty to keep me occupied, but even a day trip feels like too much right now. I want to eat, shop, go to the beach and get a massage. And that’s about it. Continue reading

The Backwaters

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There was no question whether or not I would spend time on the backwaters while in southern India, but I vacillated quite a bit about which mode of sight seeing I might use. The houseboats, while iconic and offer the option of an overnight stay are limiting in their ability to navigate the smaller canals that run deeper into the villages. They also aren’t nearly as environmentally friendly as their non-motor counter parts. So, in the end I opted for an all day covered canoe trip with lunch in a local village. I believe I made an excellent choice. Continue reading