Like a rat up a drainpipe!

December 3, 2012 by Karen

Like a rat up a drainpipe!

'Just breathe through your mouth and smile!'

Advice given to us by the air hostess on our BA flight as we landed in Mumbai.

As Airbnb had been so kind to us in the past we decided to give it a go in Mumbai. A few of the nicer places we wrote to had no availability so we found a hotel that looked okay from the pictures.
They say you get what you pay for and in our case it was a mouldy smelling room with a resident mouse, stained carpet and mildew curtains. Mumbai is very expensive and the location of our hotel was perfect so we decided to grin and bare it and extended our stay for an extra night. What were we thinking? On our last night we heard a noise and assumed it was the neighbours. Later when I got up to go to the bathroom I noticed a pile of wood shavings right next to the door. A rat had come up one of the drainpipes and had decided to try and chew and scratch his way into the bedroom. Thankfully he ran out of stamina and had left the building, scuttering back down the drainpipe again before I opened the bathroom door.
Stains on the carpet not shadows! Very dirty wood panels!
Check out our nice mildew walls! Thankfully the sheets and towels were clean. The bathroom was clean…ish.
We tried to stay out of our room as much as we could. The first morning we explored the local neighbourhood.
Check out the guys asleep on the top!
Everybody was getting ready for Diwali.
In the afternoon we checked out 'The Gateway to India.'
This man kept trying to sell us his gigantic balloon! No mate – we don't want one!
On Day two we booked a tour to Dharavi shanty town, the setting for the film 'Slum Dog Millionaire' and the novel 'Shantaram.'

'Despite the poverty, Dharavi has been described by the Uk's observer newspaper as “one of the most inspiring economic models in Asia……” Hidden amid the warren of ramshackle huts and squalid open sewers are an estimated fifteen thousand factories, employing around a quarter of a million people and turning over a stagging one billion US dollars annually…'

Rough guide India

The tour was camera free, except for a shot from the bridge as we entered the slum.

The tour was run by Realty Tours and Travel, who recently won the 2012 Virgin holidays Responsible tourism award in the UK. Eighty percent of the funds generated by the tour goes back into the community to pay for various programs including Youth empowerment programs, and an art and photography class for young children. It was a fascinating place with seventy percent of the rubbish generated in Mumbai recycled there. Lots of the high street fashion label handbags and wallets are also made within the walls for a fraction of the price!

On day three we ventured out to the Dhobi Ghats, where laundry from all over the city is washed and dried every day.

We carried on to visit an important Muslim site, Haji Ali's tomb.

We were stopped quite a few times and asked for photographs. Nick with some of his new Indian friends. I think it must be the hair!


The following morning, despite appearances, we were actually thrilled to be on the early morning train heading out of Mumbai and away from our hotel and towards Margoa.


Let's hope our hotel in Goa is mouse, mildew and rat free!




  1. Anonymous says:

    Great photos I would have been on the first plane ,train or automobile out of there had I seen a rat !!!!! Xxx

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