Sources of Traffic Jams #243: Cows

Contrary to popular belief, cows don’t roam freely in Mumbai. Rather they are tied up on the side of road outside my apartment so that people on their way to work can feed them balls of rice or handfuls of grass purchased from the cows’ caretakers.

Inside the Taj Palace Hotel

I’ve probably walked 100 times up the first story of the red staircase inside the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. It wasn’t until I was looking down that I realized how spectacular the building actually is from the inside.

Dhobi Ghat – Mumbai’s Laundromat

Sacs of clothing come in all directions to Dhobi Ghat. They’re tied together in old saris, coded by the household from which they originated.

Scrubbing happens on the sides of giant cement tubs.

There are a few electric washing machines to be found, but the most common washing method is to simply beat the garment against a cement block.

A santa suit was a source of entertainment.

A lot of new garments are laundered at Dhobi Ghat. Below, kids play in the shade underneath hundreds of new pink shirts.

Hundreds of cement tubs fill the neighbourhood, each with a slab for beating clothes clean.

Another corner of Dhobi Ghat is home to hundreds of irons. Electric irons are still in the minority. Most of the irons hold hot coals.

Being a large community, life goes on throughout the neighbourhood, like this gentleman getting a shave.

Mumbai’s Sassoon Docks

The Sassoon Docks are a good old fashioned fishing wharf in Mumbai. Boats tie up against the wall and catch is offloaded by baskets up to the pier.

Parking is a little crazy. The approved technique seems to be to ram the boat at the entrance to the harbour and push your way in.

Changing a lightbulb

The light changing team was amused and confused by my desire for a photo. I just liked the colours and the lines.

The pigeon feeding area

Just outside of our apartment complex in Mumbai is a stretch of sidewalk listed in Google maps as “Pigeon Feeding Area.” What they mean is “large cement pit, covered in excrement, overrun by by pigeons and rats.” Everything in the neighbourhood is covered in pigeon crap, except for the guy under the giant umbrella who sells feed to passerbys needing whatever little karma boost can be obtained from supporting the production of toxic poop.

The end of this adventure

We were a little sad to be moving out of the camper that had taken us so far. We had gotten used to the cosy confines and had managed to find a way to store all of our stuff.

Stamp River

The pines were mighty, and the river scenic on our hike around Stamp River Provincial Park.

Every once in a while we’d stumble across a salmon dragged to the path and it’s belly eaten. When given the option, bears are picky eaters, preferring only the soft flesh of the salmon’s belly, leaving the rest for other animals to pick over. Occasionally, we’d see a tree that would remind us of why we hoped not to encounter one of these awesome creatures.

Mushrooms big enough for smurfs

One of our last stops was Pacific Rim National Park just outside of Tofino. We spent our time walking up and down the beach, and enjoying the rainforest.

The few photos I took were all of mushrooms. It’s not quite three apples tall, but this is the craziest mushroom I’ve ever seen.

Here’s what the water looks like from the campground. Pretty amazing!

A picnic in Pacific Rim National Park

When you’ve been driving around BC, collecting goodness at every stop, this is what your afternoon snack looks like.

This is the view from the campground.