Things to do in Mumbai | My unforgettable first trip to India

I watched the airline official standing by the door as he sprayed the aircraft cabin with aerosol that was too fragrant to be an insecticide. Turns out, the World Health Organization (WHO) requires airlines flying to certain destinations to deinsect. We just sat down while some passengers were still passing through the aisles looking for their assigned seats in that big airliner bound to India. This is my unforgettable first trip to India, and the things to do in Mumbai that we did.

As a solo traveler flying into a foreign country, I savor the breathtaking feeling seeing the friendly smiles of two people waiting for me as I exited the airport in Mumbai. During my month-long stay another local was going to be the Indian driver who will show me around India’s most populous city. 

hotel in Mumbai close to Juhu beach

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Short Hike to Balanced Rock in BBNP

We felt the frequent bumps as the truck carefully navigated through the rocky unpaved road in a slow one-hour drive in Grapevine Springs. We were driving to get to the trailhead so that we can hike the sandy trail to climb to the Balanced Rock in Big Bend National Park.

Balanced Rock in Big Bend National Park

GRAVITY-DEFYING BALANCE. These look like impossibly stacked boulders perched on two pedestals on top of a hill. Geology explains that these rocks are composed of volcanic tuff from volcanic ash and debris. Over time, the softer rock beneath eroded away, leaving this imposing, beautiful gravity-defying formation.

To get to the trailhead:

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Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend NP

We drove on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive from Chisos Basin Campground for about an hour to go to Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend NP. The drive was really scenic and beautiful. The trailhead was closed when we got there, so we just had to make the most of our visit, take some pictures and enjoy the drive back with amazing views.

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend NP
The Rio Grande through Santa Elena Canyon

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Stargazing in the Dark Sky of BBNP

Travels happened. Unscripted. It has been several years since the last post, that it’s a bit surprising that it has been this long. Coincidentally, the last post was about the same place I’m writing about now that it’s kind of fascinating. Hope that life has been good to you. Things happen in life, but we’ve also been to some great places doing things in between gratefully, one of which is stargazing in the Dark Sky of BBNP.

International Dark Sky Park

Big Bend National Park is an International Dark Sky Park and has the darkest skies of any National Park in the lower 48 states. It’s one of just 10 in the world. Because it’s home to some of the clearest night skies in the world, stargazers can see thousands of stars on a clear night here compared to perhaps a few hundred in a medium-sized city.

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The Grand Canyon at Sunset

Standing against the railing along the edge of the cliff, I watched as far as my eyes can see of the panorama around. Immense, wide, expansive. Because it stretches 277 miles. Who could see it all at once? For the one admission fee, you can explore it for seven days, and even enjoy the Grand Canyon at Sunset.

The Grand Canyon National Park.

That was only one part of a combination of thousands of frames, each had their own exhilarating beauty that you could see and feel simultaneously.

Grand Canyon at Sunset
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