Following on from my month 1 in India post, detailing all of the costs and highlights, this month I’m doing the same. If you’re looking to find out how much it costs for two months in India, visit my previous post and add this post to that one, and you’ve got a good idea.
If you saw my round up post last month, you’ll know that a lot of crazy shit went down. From food poisoning to getting electrocuted, the first month on the road was a pretty scary eye opener, and there were days when I questioned why I was doing this at all.
I made a promise to myself that I would be a little more cautious with what I was eating (and check for loose wires at all times!), and try to slow things down a little for a while. So I took the opportunity to really immerse myself in the places I was visiting, and just kick back and stay for a while.
So below is a summary of my travels and costs for the 2nd month of travelling through India, from 10 March – 09 April. As always, if you’re planning a trip to any of the places I’ve been to, please do ask me anything by leaving a comment below or dropping me an email.
Month 2: Places visited
Hampi See video on my YouTube channel, including Holi Festival
Palolem – Including volunteering at an animal sanctuary and canyoning in the jungle
Mumbai including a tour to the Dharavi Slum
Locations map Mar/Apr:
- This month brought a lot of relaxing beach time, which is just what I needed to repair and relax after the traumas of last month. I visited 3 beaches in Goa; Palolem, Patnem and Anjuna. My favourite of these was Palolem as it was big enough to meet some fellow travellers, and it was a beautiful, perfect sandy crescent-shaped bay. I’m a sucker for a gorgeous beach.
- I took a dolphin spotting trip off Palolem Beach and saw a handful of wild dolphins enjoying their morning hunt. There are definitely better places to spot dolphins in the wild, but for 1,200 rupees for the two of us to have our own boat for an hour, it was a nice way of letting off some steam.
- It was a privilege to give up a little time to volunteer at Animal Rescue Centre in South Goa. They do some fantastic work to help the stray animal population (which is a huge task in this part of the world), so my hat goes off to them. If you’re an animal lover, check out my post on Animal Rescue Centre here.
- I made sure I carried on with some yoga (following on from the beginner’s yoga class I took in Varkala last month). I’m really getting into yoga, and it’s something I can do on the road too, so watch this space for more on this over the coming months.
- I met a fan! One of my followers on Instagram liked my picture of my beach huts so much that she booked herself 10 nights there. We had a one day crossover so made sure we said hello, of course.
- I had one of the best fish meals of my life in a little shack just south of Palolem and Patnem, so if you’re in the area, ask a rickshaw driver to take you to Santosh restaurant at turtle beach, and order the white snapper. It was to die for!
- Our two days in Anjuna were rained out, and we had one of the biggest thunder storms I’ve seen for some years. Lightning every 3 or 4 seconds, claps of thunder so loud it made you reflexively squeal, and of course a power outage which lasted for one full night. Why is this in the ‘good’ section? Well, we met an absolute legend of a Scotsman in a local bar when we ran for shelter and ended up drinking Fenny and Limca with him until the wee hours. There was also a ‘bad’ portion of this night, so read on to the next section for more!
- I spent 8 days staying in a shared Airbnb homestay in Bandra in Mumbai, where I started to feel like I really settled. I really like this way of travelling and although a lot of the time was spent working, I felt I really got to know the area, and the local shop keepers started to treat us like locals too.
- My boyfriend Alex had a freelance job in Mumbai for a few days, so we spent a day working from a skyscraper in Lower Parel, a business district in Mumbai. I’d forgotten what it was like to work from a real desk in a real office, and although my yoga pants and trainers combo gave away the fact that I didn’t belong, I made sure my shirt meant business!
- We took a tour of the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, which was a real eye opener. I had mixed feelings around going on a tour around the slums, but I hope you read my article and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- The street food in Mumbai was some of the best I’ve had in India so far. A particular favourite was the fresh pani puri (little crispy balls filled with lentils and tamarind sauce) in Bandra, and the fresh samosas being fried up on the streets of Lower Parel were perfectly spiced.
- Month two was largely food poisoning free – hooray!
- Our arrival in Mumbai was less than smooth, when the hotel we had booked for two nights in Colaba had overbooked and tried to charge us more for a larger room. We were treated like something you scrape off of your shoe, and pretty much told that ‘you can take it or leave it’, so we spent just one night there and left. I don’t recommend Bentley’s Hotel at all, so make sure you avoid it if you’re planning a trip to Mumbai!
- The stormy night in Anjuna meant that when we finally drunkenly stumbled into bed, the lack of power meant no air conditioning and no fan. I awoke in a drunken haze and opened the window to get some air, letting in dozens of mosquitos in the process. The next six hours were spent under a silk sleeping bag liner sweating and trying to bat off the loud buzzing nuisances in the pitch black. When the power finally came back at around 7am, it was like a scene from a horror scene as I squashed each bug one by one, popping my blood all over the walls. I had over 60 bites.
- I bought a few bits and pieces from the Saturday Flea Market in Anjuna, all of which broke within a week of me purchasing them. I wouldn’t recommend the quality of the stuff in that market, and the shopping experience was also really stressful as people cajoled and fought each other for customers. I’ve heard the Wednesday market in a different part of town is much nicer, so would recommend trying that one. Also, don’t miss Tantra bar on Anjuna Beach – it’s a treehouse too!
- Alex got a bad case of sinusitis from water rushing up his nose whilst canyoning, so we have spent a while in hospitals and doctors again. I should write a post about my experiences of hospitals in South India, I’ve seen so many!
- Putting myself through my paces on my day canyoning in the jungles of Goa was a rewarding, but sometimes terrifying, experience. I’m amazed that I managed to finish it all without serious injury, especially after falling off a ledge (don’t worry, it was small and I got away with a few bruises). My legs ached for a week afterwards though!
- My Holi Festival hair never quite recovered from its pink tinge, so I decided to cut my losses and dye it brown. I haven’t had brown hair since I was 21 so it’s taking a bit of getting used to!
- I was surprised at how much I loved Goa’s capital, Panaji (Panjim). I really wasn’t expecting much, and a two night stay quickly turned into four nights once I arrived and saw how charming it was. If you’ve never heard of the city, then I wrote a comprehensive guide to Panaji, including where to eat, what to see and even a one day walking tour of the old town. You can even find cheese here, so if you’re craving some, then it’s a godsend!
- A night out in Bandra took a turn for the weird, when a gutter dripping into my drink facilitated a change of table. We were given the most over-the-top table in the bar; an old horse drawn carriage (sans horse, of course), overlooking the whole place. We were on display like prize turkeys, and spent the night being offered drinks and full packets of cigarettes. Only in India!
This month the budget rose a lot more than I had hoped, due to spending so much time in Mumbai, where the cost of accommodation is about triple what we were paying in the rest of India. It was also a 31 day month, compared to February’s costs which were based on 28 days.
The Airbnb apartment cost 4,000 rupees a night (about £43), between the two of us, and even though we cooked for ourselves, the cost of food and a few nights out pushed out budget to the limit. I was working for a few days freelancing for travel clients, so I don’t feel like it was wasted money as I had somewhere homely to live, and could really settle there. Plus it was EPIC. Sign up to Airbnb today and get £16 credit for your first stay.
I have listed all expenses below in GBP (at an exchange rate of approximately 93 rupees to the pound).
- Food & drink: £272
- Accommodation: £319 including 8 nights in Mumbai, which were a treat.
- Transportation (long bus / train journeys, a plane from Goa to Mumbai and local rickshaw rides): £158
- Shopping: £50 (clothes and toiletries)
- Activities: £58 (canyoning, yoga, slum tour, beach canoeing)
- Luxuries: £85 hair cut (yes, it wasn’t much cheaper having it done in India!)
- Laundry: £18
- Data for 3G phone: £12 (essential for work, and this got me about 5GB of data for the month)
Total expenditure: £972
This month (10 April to 9 May), we are travelling from Udaipur in Rajasthan to the mountains of the Himalayas. This is the part I’ve been looking forward to the most, as I feel most at home in the mountains. Lots of fresh air, yoga and opportunities for adventure!
The place which really captures my imagination is Manali, nestled in a valley of the Indian Himalayas. I hope to be able to hike some of the trails and maybe even try white water rafting too!
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