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Old 24th May 2011, 10:03   #61
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1
Whatever happened to the rest?
Apologies for the delay. I took a breather over the weekend and wanted to resume yesterday but couldn't.

The last part is devoid of any pictures and videos and I'll try to close it out as crisply as possible. At the end of the travel account will be a single post detailing all the costs and overall fuel consumption.

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Old 31st May 2011, 17:08   #62
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Default Day 7 (April 28, 2011), Phase 1: Getting out of Goa

After a week-long hiatus - unavoidable considering the crazy kind of week it was - it's time to close this travelogue out. As I noted in the previous post the next few posts will be completely devoid of pictures (the narrative will explain why) but definitely not devoid of "interesting" incidents.

We were ready to roll out of the hotel by a little after 5 am on the 28th. It felt like the whole world was sleeping. 5:15 am in any other town in India means quite a bit of "life" but not in Calangute with its late-night life bias. The hotel staff was asleep and luckily for us they had already loaded into the car everything bar what was needed for the morning. The checkout formalities were completed the previous night as well. The late-night bias just became more evident as we spotted a hooker on the Calangute-Baga road as we were driving out.

Instead of retracing our onward route we took the southern route instead. It was an enjoyable drive, albeit a little bit slow. There was a fair bit of truck traffic and the undivided NH17 meant very few overtaking opportunities. Progress was especially slow after Margao and on the Cancona ghats.

I wanted to drive as much as possible on cheaper Goa-sourced petrol, so it was only when we reached Polem that we stopped for a fuel top-up. We had covered only 99 kms in around 1 hr 45 minutes. So far so good, although a bit slow. My wife was feeling a little bit uncomfortable and we just couldn't wait to hit the Kamat Upachar near Ankola.

Hardly 5 kms from this petrol bunk was the Goa-Karnataka border. As we approached it, we were waved down for a check. The cop asked me to open the trunk. As I went around he asked me if I was carrying any alchohol out. Of course I was carrying just those three small bottles of tequila which together would have counted for less than 200 ml in volume. The shopkeeper had said a permit wouldn't be required for such a small amount. So I was supremely confident and told the cop about the bottles.

That was it. First, they wouldn't leave me until I upturned the luggage to reveal those bottles. Second, they continued to look around everywhere inside the car thinking I was maybe hiding something. Of course, they found nothing. And finally, the real deal started. They wouldn't let me through. When I told them what the dealer told me, they said not even a single drop would be allowed out without a permit. Obviously they wanted a bribe.

When I asked them whether I can just pay a fine and move on, they (a second guy had joined the first one who was checking out the luggage) changed their tone. Classic good cop bad cop stuff. The "bad cop" started threatening me that the vehicle would be impounded. And to add credibility to his threat was an AP-registered Safari nearby gathering dust. I'm sure that vehicle was involved in a more serious matter (such as carrying more than just 3 small sample-sized bottles) but I didn't want to risk it, especially not with my wife in tow.

They demanded a 1000 bucks in bribe. Imagine. A 1000 for stuff that cost 210. And that's exactly what I told them, and again repeated the point the shopkeeper made. They just got angrier. My obvious response to all of this was of course to leave the bottles behind. I proceeded to hand the bottles to them, but they were not interested. After much pleading and haggling and recognizing that we needed to get out of there fast (for more than one reason) we "settled" for 500 and moved on. Now, I'm sure this will attract the ire of many here and before you jump on me, let me say that I'll be the first one to curse myself for having bribed my way out. I was just silly scared of the whole vehicle impounding business and I simply had to get my wife out of there.

As we drove off, we were just morose and silent. My wife wanted to know just when I'll start being more practical. She was of the opinion that I should've just kept quiet when the cop asked if we were carrying anything out, and she would've taken care of the luggage search in a way that nothing came up (as it is, the bottles were *very* deep inside the luggage). She had a point, so I just shut up and drove on.

The bad mood meant we simply didn't even look at the Karwar bay as we drove past it. I'd heard a lot about how nice it is but I didn't get more than a glance of it. My thoughts just kept getting back to the 5 years I spent in Bengaluru and how, in just five years, I had had more encounters with corrupt cops there than I have had in the ~20 years I spent in Hyderabad (of course, only 3 out of those 20 in Hyderabad were spent with me riding/driving on a regular basis) and how during my time there KA had suffered the indignity of being one of the most corrupt states in the country (as per some data released then). The first reaction was to blame everyone but ourselves for our condition. The shopkeeper for perhaps misguiding us, the cops for their unfairness, the legislators for coming up with arcane regulations... the list goes on.

And finally there was the bigger realization that be that as it may, the mistake was really mine. If I was more prepared (with a permit) or stronger (in dealing with the cops) or cannier (let the cops search and try to find stuff) all of this unpleasantness could've been averted.

In short order we reached Ankola and, near the T-junction of NH17 and NH63, saw the huge billboard advertising the Kamat was only 2 kms away. Some relief at last, and perhaps some way to distract the mind with a good breakfast. Only, it wasn't that easy spotting Kamat.

I had visited Kamat only once, and that was in the Volvo my friends and I took to return from our 2005 visit. That evening, all of us had dozed off and woke up to find the bus in the Kamat parking lot. It was a 100+ km drive after all, so we had enough time to really fall asleep and lose our bearings completely. When the bus pulled out it didn't cross the road so I was looking for the hotel on the *left* side of the road. We reached Ankola bypass, got into the two of the roads leading into the town, at every point asking a few bystanders (each of whom pointed us in the totally opposite direction i.e. further along NH17) and getting totally frustrated. After driving up nearly 7 km from the T-junction we'd had enough and decided to turn back, head towards NH63 and take it as it comes. 5 kms later, I suddenly made out the Kamat board nestled next to an IOCL bunk. The board was facing Mangalore and we'd absolutely missed it when heading down NH17 from Karwar! It could've been because we were predominantly focusing on the left side of the road.

Still smarting from the border incident, we pulled in and ordered some coffee and breakfast.

As luck would have it, the coffee was absolutely *laced* with sugar and was nothing more than sweetened hot water with a hint of coffee flavour. We were looking for some coffee-fuelled upliftment but this was the complete opposite. Thankfully the breakfast itself was OK.

The wife was still a little furious. The sentiment manifested itself in the form of throwing a small plastic cover in the parking lot - out in the open instead of into a non-existent dustbin - as a mark of protest against my half-baked value system which got us into trouble earlier. So when she offered to drive the car, I asked if she was really up to it. In any case I was going to offer the keys to her as NH63 has a ghat section, and she told me during our onward leg that she wanted to drive in the ghats.

It was well past 8:30 am when we pulled out of Kamat. We'd wished for a smoother exit out of Goa, both in terms of time as well as mood. But life is such, and tends to put us out of our comfort zone in situations other than the ones we ask for too. It's how we recover that matters, and despite another incident later in the day, recover we did.

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spadix
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Old 1st June 2011, 12:34   #63
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Default Re: Day 7 (April 28, 2011), Phase 1: Getting out of Goa

I am following your TL very closely, Very Interesting.

Your TL will be a reference for my forthcoming first Hyderabad-Goa drive which i am planning for September / October.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Now, I'm sure this will attract the ire of many here and before you jump on me, let me say that I'll be the first one to curse myself for having bribed my way out. I was just silly scared of the whole vehicle impounding business and I simply had to get my wife out of there.
IMHO, in the given situation, yours was a wise decision. It is not worth geting into confrontation with corrupt cops especially when travelling with family.

cheers,
NH
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Old 2nd June 2011, 16:08   #64
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Default Day 7 (April 28, 2011), Phase 2: Ankola - Gadag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Hawk View Post
I am following your TL very closely, Very Interesting.

Your TL will be a reference for my forthcoming first Hyderabad-Goa drive which i am planning for September / October.

IMHO, in the given situation, yours was a wise decision. It is not worth geting into confrontation with corrupt cops especially when travelling with family
Many thanks for your kind words, Night_Hawk! I wish you a great trip. Goa is just beautiful in October and I hope the rains don't spoil the roads for you.

Continuing with the travelogue -

The incident of the morning meant that we missed the splendour of the Karwar bay as I noted earlier. The thought of keeping the camera ready to take pictures didn't even enter our minds. Perhaps we should've taken a few pictures just to get our minds off it all, but I say that in hindsight. The other reason was that we were already delayed by an hour or so.

My wife took the wheel and we set off on the beautiful NH63. The combination of a fun-to-drive car, good roads and decent weather slowly brought the smile back on the wife's face and in time, on mine as well. Now we were back to normal and talking about other things as well.

Somewhere in the middle of the stretch my wife suddenly exclaimed, "But this is a ghat road!". I reminded her she said on the Phonda ghat route that she wanted to drive on the ghats, which is why I let her take the controls at Ankola. This caught her by surprise because I apparently didn't give "enough warning" .

Of course, the NH63 ghats are just too gentle so it wasn't really a problem. In just a few kilometres she was complaining about how I'd chosen "such a simple ghat route" to let her drive on, and started pushing the car. I didn't say much. Sooner or later she was going to experience the classic Civic understeer. It's a bit scary but not life-threatening. And on one curve where there was good visibility and no lumbering trucks she carried a bit too much speed and had to brake mid-corner when the car predictably understeered. At this point, I told her no ghat is really simple . Life went back to normal/cautious after that.

There were a couple of other scary incidents. Both happened courtesy of some idiots in the opposite direction overtaking vehicles in blind curves and suddenly materializing in front of us. In one incident a Swift DZire just brazenly continued on his path and luckily for us there was a *wide* shoulder we could get onto. It would've been curtains for us otherwise. When will these people ever learn!?

From then on it was an uneventful drive. We caught a little bit of in-town traffic in Hubli but it wasn't anything too bad. Hubli to Gadag is a straight,fast road with barren landscape on either side. The road was a little rough but all the potholes were perfectly covered with freshly laid patches so good speeds could be maintained.

The real pain was Gadag town. We must've crossed at least a gazillion million speed-breakers in one particularly small stretch of a kilometre or two near the bus stand. It was just massively frustrating, coupled with slow-moving town traffic hogging the fast lanes and blissfully unaware of what's near/around/behind them. For instance, there was this very very old man on a bicycle who was pedalling along at significantly less than walking speed. At those speeds it's very difficult to maintain a stable line on a two-wheeler, especially one as light as a bicycle. So he suddenly swerved and turned bang in front of us, giving my wife an almighty scare. I don't know if the old man lost balance and decided to turn right or whether he wanted to turn right and losing balance was a way of achieving the turn.

She continued to drive for a few more kilometres out of Gadag. In the meantime I finished my lunch and was ready to take the wheel whenever she needed rest. The plan was to switch at around 1 pm. Hunger took over earlier though and at 12:30 pm and a few kilometres outside Gadag I was back in the driver's seat.

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spadix
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Old 3rd June 2011, 14:58   #65
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Default Day 7 (April 28, 2011), Phase 3: Gadag - Sindhanur

From Gadag we had two choices. One was to continue on NH63 to Hospet and then take the turn to Sindhanur (or carry on up to Gooty and take the excellent NH7). The other choice was to trust Lonely Planet and take the Gajendragarh - Kushtagi - Sindhanur route. Both variants of Option 1 were ruled out because of the distances involved, although in hindsight the drive could probably have been more pleasurable if not necessarily shorter in overall duration.

LP showed our route choice in a nice solid green similar to the Belgaum - Bagalkot - Raichur route, so we were a bit like, "How bad could it be?". It's a bit hit or miss with KA state highways. They're either excellent or totally horrible. Unfortunately for us, the route we chose from Gadag ended up belonging to the second category.

From Gadag to Gajendragarh was actually not that bad. The road was supremely narrow and the tar layers on top were completely removed for relaying in a couple of short (as in 200 to 300m) stretches, but it wasn't as if the road was washed away and full of potholes. In fact, traffic was so light that even on the single-laned stuff we could hold 90 to 100 kmph easily. However, this had to drop down to < 40 on untarred stretches and actually 0 in case there was any oncoming vehicle. The trouble with this road was the steep fall-off on either side and I couldn't afford to get off the road with the Civic's low GC. So I would just go as far as left as I could and come to a dead-stop, hoping it will signal to the oncoming driver that my ego is smaller than his and there is a reason why I can't get off the road. Surprisingly enough it worked except on two or three occasions which involved either a goods 3-wheeler or some private car. Buses, trucks, tractors and other wide vehicles readily got off the road and let me be, thankfully.

As we neared Gajendragarh we could sense the route getting increasingly worse, though not overly bad. So once in town we decided to ask a local if it's wise to take the Kushtagi route or should we instead consider the slightly longer Ilkal - Hungund - Lingsugur route instead (to reach Raipur). The local - a coconut vendor - said that the Kushtagi route was "good" and I'll just waste my time on the longer Ilkal route. That was encouraging to hear at that point, so we continued as per plan.

Truth be told, he wasn't wrong. The route was good, but only till Kushtagi . It was a fast two-lane undivided road with minimal traffic and the odd pothole and speed-breaker. One had to be careful because of these potholes. Of course speed-breakers exist usually just before and after every village, so those could be easily anticipated. Except for one instance where we entered a pothole at speed causing the car to hit its underside against the road and a couple of other instances where the suspension bottomed out hard over potholes, it was straightforward. These incidents too were mainly because the rest of the road was great, encouraging some fast driving.

I didn't realize then that I could have turned left to Mudgal and Lingsugur, so I continued straight to Sindhanur as planned. I don't know bad that other route may have been, but it wasn't marked in green in LP (not that it matters, as I've learnt now). There's hardly any difference between these two routes in terms of distance.

After Kushtagi it was back to the kind of road between Gadag and Gajendragarh, only not at all smooth and with even steeper fall-offs and huge rocks off the road. Progress was therefore even slower, with me having to come to a dead halt even for much narrower oncoming vehicles. The 3-wheelers are particularly scary. Their drives forged ahead as these vehicles' mouths/noses are narrow but the carrier ends are wide - especially on the ones with cages covering the load bay - and flashed by dangerously close to the car.

The fun started around 25-odd kms into this route, which is a little after Tawargeri. The road got wider, only there was no "road" to speak of. I think this was a result of the 2009 floods because it definitely wasn't regular wear and tear. Entire sections of the road were completely washed off, revealing nothing but huge potholes and solid rock around which we had to carefully negotiate at 10-15 kmph, sometimes even less. This was the case for the next 40-50 kms, almost all the way up to Sindhanur. Half a km or so of this hell followed by 40-50 metres of nice tarmac. Rinse and repeat. Every 50 metre stretch of nice tarmac was a welcome break from the dreaded, buffeting bumpy ride on the previous few hundred metres of non-existent track. In the meantime my wife had developed a headache and some sort of nausea caused in part due to new sunglasses perhaps, and in part definitely due to her not relaxing while I was driving and constantly watching the road with eyes peeled wide open. So she stayed back on the rear seat where she had her lunch after we crossed Gadag, and went to sleep.

Basically the only respite to me from this horrible, horrible road was the frequent bio-breaks I took courtesy of consuming lots of water to beat the dry heat. Although the AC was chilling the car no end, it was also causing enough dryness inside the car to necessitate frequent water consumption.

The only vehicles that were able to comfortably negotiate this stretch were two-wheelers and one particular KSRTC bus whose driver possibly just got so used to this track that it didn't matter to him anymore. Or maybe he decided keeping time was more important the general well-being of the passengers' bones and the bus' mechanicals. The AP-registered double-axle lorry in front of me was snaking around the ditches just like I was! Forget the truck - even tractors were driving with their left side wheels off the "road" so that at least one side enjoyed a relatively "smooth" ride on the dry, sandy earth. This was territory that could bring a decent 4x4 to its knees if it tried forging along in a straight line.

I wish I had pictures of this stretch. Pictures couldn't really have conveyed much. Video would've been more appropriate but my wife was asleep (or trying to, considering the thorough buffeting) and I was just so tired (and running out of time) that I didn't feel like pulling the camera on any of those bio-breaks.

To add to the misery was a bunch of revellers and political party activists (all Congress) madly celebrating their party's victory in a local election. All of them were wearing colour, waving flags and high-flying oncoming colleagues either while riding their bikes or by suddenly stopping right in the middle of the road. One could only fathom a guess how many of them were drunk and how many sobre. There was no way I would honk at any of these guys, so I just carried on behind them patiently. Mostly they left a lane alone, so as long as there were no oncoming vehicles it was OK, with a couple of more sensible volunteers forming a human fence besides the revellers and waving traffic on.

The stream of revellers could be seen in every town along the route, until even after Sindhanur all the way up to Manvi. This was't surprising considering the Congress is in the opposition in Karnataka. Every win, however big or small, must mean a lot to them and their supporters.

It was a huge relief to enter Sindhanur town despite the usual in-town traffic and typical random behaviour of said traffic. We hit the road coming from NH63 and it looked super. We pulled into a petrol bunk to refuel at a little after 4 pm. So from a little after Gadag to Sindhanur - a distance of around 135 kms, say - took us around 3.5 hrs including bio-breaks. That's an average of < 40 km on a road which had *very* little traffic through-and-through, and had a fair share of 90 to 120 kmph stretches (overall average of ~60 kmph) in the first ~90 kms. That's just how bad that last stretch was. All my hopes of crossing Raichur before 5:30 pm had gone up in the dust from that maze of ditches and potholes.

When I told the pump attendant what I'd been through and warily asked him how the route onwards to Raichur was, he had a comforting smile on his face and said the "entire 100 (actually ~90) kms is smooth, just like this main road in front of the bunk".

My wife was still unwell so I decided to continue driving.

Regards,
spadix

Last edited by spadix : 3rd June 2011 at 14:59. Reason: Edited post title
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Old 7th June 2011, 17:11   #66
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Default Day 7 (April 28, 2011), Phase 4: Sindhanur to Hyderabad

I've been getting a lot of flak from TBHP-Hyd regulars for dragging this thread on beyond a reasonable amount of time, and I apologize. The last 2-3 weeks have been a little rough in terms of finding time to type out the travel account in detail. So I'll try to close out the drive in this post and follow it up with the post on costs as promised.

===============

Broadly speaking, we had three reasons for taking the route via Karnataka while coming back. In decreasing order of importance they were -
  1. Doing the final stretch at night on a divided highway, as I suffer from poor vision at night
  2. Exploring a new route
  3. Enjoying the drive through Goa and Karwar and as a bonus, hopefully get some good breakfast at Kamat

Reasons 2 and 3 didn't really turn out as expected. The breakfast was OK, and the experience was spoilt at the border. And we'd just passed through 2+ hours of hell. As it turns out, this delay meant that there was zero chance of hitting the divided NH7 (still ~210 kms away) before sun-down. So despite a sense of growing heaviness in the head I decided to push as hard as I could till 6:30 pm. If I could even make it almost to Mahbubnagar (~195 kms) by 7 pm - i.e. in 3 hours - it would be OK.

It was easy enough to push on the Sindhanur - Raichur road, a wide, smooth undivided two-lane with low-to-moderate traffic. Progress through Raichur was a little slow courtesy of bad roads near the power plant and the usual town traffic.

The Raichur - Mahbubnagar stretch was OK. There was the odd pothole so speed had to be kept in check. It was much narrower too, so overall we began losing a little bit of time here. Once it was past twilight and totally dark, I slowed down even more. The goal of reaching the divided NH7 before sunset was anyway not reached, so there was little point in taking unnecessary risks. Still, I was surprised to find that we were among the fastest on the route, and I'm pretty sedate.

Maybe that should've been some sort of a warning to us because along the way, we had one "curtains" moment. Almost. I began overtaking a bus and the oncoming vehicle - some jeep - didn't slow down at all. I had to drop anchor hard from around 90 kmph, resulting in much tyre-squealing and all-round drama. The cars behind me were *just* about to line-up to overtake in my wake as well, but thankfully the space behind me was still clear and they all got back in line immediately once we all made out that the jeep wasn't going to slow down. It was very close. And in hindsight, was also an unnecessary risk even though at first glance the jeep looked to be quite far away.

Just outside Mahbubnagar was where the car had its second belly scrape. It was a mountain near a railway crossing. It was totally unavoidable. I approached at a steep angle and came to a dead stop on the car-breaker (thankfully no one behind honked) and set of slowly and still scraped.

Mahbubnagar town was another surprise. I think this is one town which has grown longitudinally along the highway. The stretch must've been easily 5 kms if not more, and in the peak evening traffic it took at least 15 minutes. Progress after Mahbubnagar was also a little slow due to some diversions and road work.

It was a relief to finally hit the NH7 some time around 8 pm.

By this time I had developed a severe headache of my own, but my wife was in even worse condition so I decided to continue driving.

NH7 was where I could really let my guard down quite a few notches, strange as it may sound. Thankfully for us I do not recollect even one instance of someone running across the road in the dark suddenly, or coming at us in the wrong direction in our lane.

In fact I had a few moments of healthy good-natured fun with a TN-registered diesel Elantra. We would generally stick to our lanes, use ample signalling and when the roads were relatively free, gun it a little bit before hitting traffic again. The highway was surprisingly busy. The Elantra was a car or two ahead of me at the only tollgate along the way and by the time I got out I couldn't spot the car anymore.

Because of where I stay in Hyderabad I can very conveniently take the ORR from NH7 just before the airport and be home (~31 kms from the ORR-NH7 junction) in next to no time almost. In fact we hit our highest speeds on the entire trip on the ORR, while returning home!

By the time we hit home and parked the car, it was close to 9:45 pm.

Other than the bio-breaks, that had been 9+ hours of constant driving for me. 450 kms in all sorts of conditions from narrow roads to bad roads to driving at night (something I'm not at all comfortable with) on undivided roads to NH7 in all its glory to the familiar home stretch. If it weren't for my lovely car it'd not just be my head and eyes - which were spinning and aching from the constant stream of oncoming high-beams - but my entire body that'd be crying out for some time-out.

A few posts back I'd mentioned about how it's important to come out of unsavoury situations. Well, this spell of driving was enough to convert my wife's anger at me (from earlier in the day) to genuine gratitude .

We just left all the luggage in the car, made our way up, refreshed, ate and simply crashed by around 11:15 pm. I had no inkling of what happened through the night - no dream nor memories whatsoever of Goa - but I woke up fresh at around 6:30 am, nearly 2-3 hrs before my scheduled wake up time. That was how draining the day eventually was. A deep discharge followed by a quick full recharge.

Thus ended a fabulous trip to Goa. We have set ourselves a pretty high standard for our next trip to Goa, whenever it would be.

===============

Some stats for this stretch -

Sindhanur (petrol pump) to NH7 tollgate - 236.4 kms, ~4 hrs 20 mins
NH7 tollgate to home - 66.1 kms, ~1 hr 20 mins

The NH7-home stretch should've been considerably faster as ~54 kms out of those 66 were on a 4-lane (minimum) divided highway. As it stands, the average speed between Sindhanur and the tollgate is noticeably higher!

Of course the last 10 kms were busier than normal and took quite some time. More importantly, however, these figures show just how busy the NH7 stretch between Jadcherla and Shamshabad was. Except for short bursts, it was mostly double-digit speeds.

Regards,
spadix
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Old 8th June 2011, 19:58   #67
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Default The trip in numbers

As promised, the closing post with numbers and basic statistics.

Total distance covered (including local travel in Goa): 1793.4 kms

Onward journey distance: 742.3 kms
Onward journey duration: ~15.5 hrs
Return journey distance: 799.8 kms
Return journey duration: ~16.5 hrs

Total fuel consumed: ~145 litres (could be off by up to 5 litres but not much more than that, if at all)
Total expenditure on fuel: ~9100 INR

Overall F/E: 12.37 kmpl
Overall fuel cost/km: 5.07 INR

F/E is a bit on the lower side because of multiple factors -
  • Most of the ~1800 kms were on two-lane undivided roads which means a fair bit of overtaking
  • The AC was on all the time and especially in Goa, with the sultry weather, the car would idle with AC on a lot more than normal
  • Ghat sections
  • Slow progress in lower gears between Kushtagi and Sindhanur

Total expenditure on tolls: 103

Lodging (6 days): 8400

F & B: 4659 (including water and tips)

We could've reduced this a great extent by having dined out at somewhere other than Tito's that one evening. In any case we did save quite a bit by depending on home-cooked stuff for 3 days (including driving days). This just shows how expensive food in Goa can be.

Entertainment (cruises/sports): 6080 (including tips)

Car-related (wash/parking): 230

Shopping (clothes and souvenirs): 1855

Medicines: 216

All others: 550 (includes the 500 paid to border cops)

Total expenditure: ~31100 INR

===========================

That concludes the travelogue.

My sincere thanks to everyone who's patiently read and responded to my long posts, some of which were devoid of pictures. A shout-out to the TBHP-Hyderabad gang for route suggestions.

Special thanks once again to TBHP members ranjitp1 and SILVERWOOD for "live" guidance!

Regards,
spadix
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Old 22nd June 2011, 15:27   #68
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Default Re: Getting out of the comfort zone: Hyderabad - Goa - Hyderabad

Lovely write-up.Reminded me of my college days when Panjim was ONLY 190 kms away.( Was in Hubli). On 2 occassions, long drives along NH4 ended up in Goa.First time I was out for dinner with my roomie and he suggested we go to Ashley`s( 3rd roomie) home for dinner since he had gone home by the afternoon bus.So 2 of us on a Yamaha headed out for Goa around 8.30 at night and reached Panjim at around 12.30 PM. Took the extremely dangerous and totally dark forest route thru Hiriyur, Dandeli, to join the NH4A at Ramnagar and thence to Panjim. Totally dark and lousy roads only 2 mad college kids would try. Other instance, five of us took out our classmates` new Santro from Dharwad,drove to Kittur,had an urge to dinner at Brittos, and just drove to Goa taking Kolhapur-Amboli -Ramnagar-Old Goa-Panjim route.After dinner left Panjim at 11.30 and reached Dharwad at 3.00. 3 of us took turns to drive, and all being bikers knew the roads like the back of our hands,so routes were never a botheration. Took the forest route as usual.Actually there are 2 routes thru the forest and we always took the less travelled and emptier one byepassing a forest checkpost.Those were the days.
Your post rolled back the years.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 18:36   #69
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Your post rolled back the years.
That's more than I could've asked for.

Thanks a lot, Yamahead! It was interesting to read of your escapades. I don't know if it's for good or bad that I never had a vehicle in my time at college, given my propensity to "wander".

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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:26   #70
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Default Re: Getting out of the comfort zone: Hyderabad - Goa - Hyderabad

[quote=spadix;2401944]That's more than I could've asked for.

I don't know if it's for good or bad that I never had a vehicle in my time at college,

Bike was and is an Yamaha Rx-135 1998 Oct model bough 2nd hand from my senior who treated it like a baby. It was part funded by Mom and part by me using the spoils of war of various college Quiz/ Debate/ Creative writing contests. Goa will and always remain " the place to be". There is something in the air. Your post has inspired me to do a Chennai-Bangalore- -Jog Falls-Om Beach-Palolem in my Alto K10.
Look forward to more of these beautiful experiences from you.
Way to go.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 13:20   #71
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Bike was and is an Yamaha Rx-135 1998 Oct model bough 2nd hand from my senior who treated it like a baby.

It was part funded by Mom and part by me using the spoils of war of various college Quiz/ Debate/ Creative writing contests.


Going slightly OT here but I can't resist.

The RX is one of my favourite bikes. My uncle's Nov. '98 RX100 is still lying around somewhere I think, unless one of my cousins has decided to pawn it off. I should get it restored. We all used to enjoy this bike a lot in its heyday and even now the sight and sound of one brings out the kid in me.

I made a few rupees of my own on quizzes and other inter-school/collegiate contests. This is the fun part of being in Hyd/Chn/Blr. Lots of money to be made in these kinds of competitions. Too bad I didn't make enough to buy me even a 2nd hand bike :(.

But I can totally relate to the thrill of doing something like this. In fact, there are some other useful skills I possess - I was the resident PC guy in college - but I never put them to work for outright cash. It was mostly in return for a meal in the canteen and such-like. Somehow the thought of saving up to buy a bike never occurred! Ah, well...

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Your post has inspired me to do a Chennai-Bangalore- -Jog Falls-Om Beach-Palolem in my Alto K10.
Look forward to more of these beautiful experiences from you.
And I will look forward to your trip log. With the monsoon on now, it would be a perfect time for your drive before the roads get completely washed out! I don't think water sports would be on at this time, however.

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Old 31st July 2011, 22:49   #72
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Day 1 (April 22, 2011): Phase 5: Kankavli to Calangute
From the initial homework I knew that there were two routes from Kankavli to Goa. Both are forks of NH17. One goes via Vengurla and the other via Savantwadi, and both rejoin at Pernem inside Goa.
Amazing write up.I was reading your report of BQ and came across this link you had posted.I haven't read the entire thread but couldn't help posting as you mentioned my native place Vengurla.

I have driven upteem times through the vengurla -panji road in my 800 (though it's been close to a decade i have been there).Is there any particular reason why you wanted to go through vengurla.The route is/was (don't know if the road has widened now) very narrow and could comfortably fit only the civic whilst driving.If any vehicle approaches from the opposite direction both of them have to slow down or even get on the shoulder of the road to pass through.

I used to find the road narrow even for the 800 imgine in the civic.But it's a entertaining drive, the narrow road's surrounded by trees and there are many twists and turns and you just have to watch out for oncoming traffic which is not much and yes the road overall is not very well maintained.
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Old 1st August 2011, 10:00   #73
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A cool-looking boat! Does it belong to the harbour/river patrol or is it a private vessel?
If you read the Exotics and Imports spotted in Goa thread, you'll find some references made to the "Owner of the Yatch". Well this is the yatch.

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Udupi-style 100% veg restaurant somewhere on Swatantra Path in Vasco da Gama - I don't remember the name of this place, unfortunately. I faintly recollect it to be "Welcome" or something like that. I could be wrong. Tasty stuff and my Dad footed the bill but from the menu I recollect some items being pretty VFM and some not so much.
It is Welcome and is in the Hotel La Paz building.
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Old 1st August 2011, 11:38   #74
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Default Re: Getting out of the comfort zone: Hyderabad - Goa - Hyderabad

Read this travelogue little late in one go,
very nice and detailed narration with good pics.

@spadix,
i think you had done big mistake by taking radhanagari phonda ghat route driving through kolhapur city.

If anyone really interested to drive by phonda ghat route,
here is alternate route byepassing kolhapur city.

NH4-kolhapur byepass-nh4-kagal-turn right toward amdapur/radhanagari/gargoti route under the bridge at kagal--
-travel @15km-road touches to nipani radhanagai route-continue straight to radhanagari.[ the road is very good]

though the route i mentioned is 5km more than kolhapur city route, you will avoid all fuss and time lost crossing kolhapur.

While going from maharashtra border to calangut, you need not to enter mapusa city,
continue on nh17 past second fork for mapusa, continue @5km toward panaji, you will see hotel green park on your rightside,
here is third fork toward mapusa city,
turn right here,
after turning right, you will face road A, another road B on which hotel green park situated,
take road A, after travelling @3km, turn left and you are on mapusa-calangut road.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 1st August 2011 at 11:42.
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Old 4th August 2011, 21:38   #75
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Default Re: Getting out of the comfort zone: Hyderabad - Goa - Hyderabad

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Amazing write up.I was reading your report of BQ and came across this link you had posted.I haven't read the entire thread but couldn't help posting as you mentioned my native place Vengurla.

Is there any particular reason why you wanted to go through vengurla.The route is/was (don't know if the road has widened now) very narrow and could comfortably fit only the civic whilst driving.
First of all, thanks for the compliment, Sumeet!

I don't know - everyone kept saying Kankavli/Savantvadi to Calangute is a "blast" and those 100-odd kms should be doable in an hour. It definitely didn't feel like one when I drove the stretch and it took me almost 3 hrs complete with the small detours near Pernem and asking for directions etc.

So I thought I was perhaps on the wrong fork. Also, I was almost constantly on the phone with ranjitp1 and from what he described also it looked like the route I took was narrower and longer (but with a faster clearance at the border police outpost).

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If you read the Exotics and Imports spotted in Goa thread, you'll find some references made to the "Owner of the Yatch". Well this is the yatch.

It is Welcome and is in the Hotel La Paz building.
Thanks for the info/confirmation, Live to Jive!

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Read this travelogue little late in one go,
very nice and detailed narration with good pics.
Coming from you, Sir, I'll take that as a *royal* compliment. Thank you very much indeed!

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@spadix,
i think you had done big mistake by taking radhanagari phonda ghat route driving through kolhapur city.

If anyone really interested to drive by phonda ghat route,
here is alternate route byepassing kolhapur city.

NH4-kolhapur byepass-nh4-kagal-turn right toward amdapur/radhanagari/gargoti route under the bridge at kagal--
-travel @15km-road touches to nipani radhanagai route-continue straight to radhanagari.[ the road is very good]

though the route i mentioned is 5km more than kolhapur city route, you will avoid all fuss and time lost crossing kolhapur.
Crucial information there, Ashish. I'll keep this in mind for any future drives. And you're right, but I just didn't know any bypass to Kolhapur enroute NH17 from NH4.

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While going from maharashtra border to calangut, you need not to enter mapusa city,
continue on nh17 past second fork for mapusa, continue @5km toward panaji, you will see hotel green park on your rightside,
here is third fork toward mapusa city,
turn right here,
after turning right, you will face road A, another road B on which hotel green park situated,
take road A, after travelling @3km, turn left and you are on mapusa-calangut road.
That is correct. In fact these were the instructions I received near Pernem also when I enquired. During my first visit (2005), we only hung out in Calangute and Panjim and so the only stretch of NH17 we knew was the one in between these two towns. So that night when I was driving along from Pernem and didn't find Hotel Green Park even after driving for some time and a few kms I just jumped it when I saw the first fork off to Mapusa. I knew about the Mapusa-Calangute connection anyway, and even though it was 8 pm in the evening, it's always a joy to drive around in interior Goa.

Thank you all once again for patiently reading through the travelogue and leaving your comments!

Regards,
spadix
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