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Old 4th June 2012, 16:56   #1
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Default Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goabeach01.jpg
Schools are going to start form 6 June and every time we planned to go somewhere in the summer the destinations seemed more hotter than Bangalore. So what we did was to stick around in Bangalore and did not go anywhere.

As school opening date were getting closer the two girls in the house (My Daughter and her mother) were getting more and more irritated as we have not gone out. So a quick plan to do a weekend+2 day’s trip was planned. Choices of place were the usual suspects which included Munnar, Takeedy, North Karnataka to flying distances like Manali and Darjeeling. Finally as we are set to fly out in end of June we decided to stick to driving distance and me being more fond of Mountains and Jungles choose Munnar over everything else.

Hectic search for place of stay in Munnar was done, route decided. Its worth acknowledging the help I received from other team BHP members on route and choice of stay. Finally hotel was booked, following members and threads helped

@NPV, @ampere

Booking was done at (Chancellor Resort, Munnar)

Details in the following thread (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...-homestay.html (Munnar : Recommendations for Hotel/Resorts/Homestay))

As weekend before the drive approached, the girls in the house were seemingly not very excited about the trip, probed further this is what they had to say “Daddy everyone has been to Goa, when will we go”, when I said soon sweetheart, I was reminded that this is what I had said when the summer vacations had started.

Quickly Munnar bookings were cancelled, and a quick reference to Avinash (@mobike008) thread helped (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...zed-goa-4.html (CRUZE'd to GOA !!!!!!!)). Worth mentioning the help from @ranjitp1 on the choice of hotels. On Saturday booking was done on one of the listed hotels and dates locked for trip. Plan was to start on Thursday and reach by late afternoon, and start back on Sunday and reach home by Sunday evening.

I was not very clear about the route, with seemingly one being better and other being more scenic. So the choice for onward journey was Bangalore -> Hubli -> Ankola -> Karwar – South Goa. As we were going to stay in South Goa this route was perfect.

Thursday 31 May Morning

There is something about getting up early, especially for folks who are not used to it. They feel drowsy; sleepy the natural body timings get imbalanced. So I was up at 330 AM and was ready by 400 AM. It was a task to get the girls ready for the road. As usual I had made a bed out on the rear seat so as both can continue sleeping while I drive. I usually do this, as before both of them open their eyes we are half way through to our destination.

The girls finally got ready by around 5AM and we finally left home from Bellandur at about 515 AM. By the time we hit the highway towards Tumkur it was close to 6AM. The drive to Hubli was eventless, smooth and fast, we covered the distance of ~400Kms in about 5 hours. So by around 10AM we were in Hubli. I wasted about an hour not believing my GPS recommendations as it recommended a left turn after Haveri to connect to Yellapur and continued on my drive to Hubli.

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-blrhubli01.jpg
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The Hubli Karwar road is a old style two lane highway (One lane for each side) and its quiet scenic. One could maintain steady speeds on this road if there is no one up front.

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-hublikarwar01.jpg
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Last edited by Vid6639 : 4th June 2012 at 19:16. Reason: removing some font tags.
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Old 4th June 2012, 18:12   #2
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

More pictures from the onward journey

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-hublikarwar12.jpg
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-hublikarwar15.jpg

Pictures from Karwar to South Goa
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa01.jpg
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Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-hublikarwar03.jpg
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Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa10.jpg

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 4th June 2012 at 18:26.
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Old 4th June 2012, 18:28   #3
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Places we saw
  • St. Francis Cathedral, Old Goa
  • Baga Beach
  • Colva Beach Goa
Missed places
  • Naval Aviation Museum, Goa
  • Para Sailing at Colva Beach
  • Dolphins Cruise – (Dolphin Cruises)
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-francisxavierchurch.jpg

Food in Goa
Goa is known for good sea food and we tried almost all the places that we were tols are good places to eat. Sincere thanks to Avinash (@mobike008). We tried almost all the places recommended by him and here is the complete list, and the ones we tried
  • Martins Corner - Excellent food, reasonably priced, good ambiance. Our place of stay was very close to Martins Corner.
  • Brittos - Had heard a lot about this place and about its food quality, but sadly it was not to be. We did not liked the food, nor the ambiance and cleanliness of the place. Would not recommend for family with kids, maybe be good for boozing.
  • Mums Kitchen - Excellent food, decently expensive.
  • Delhi Darbar - Strong recommendation. Good food, reasonably priced and to top it all the best service we ever received. My daughter was feeling cold in the AC soon someone came and gave a shawl (Never had this experience before). Later we ordered parathas for my daughter and it was very spicey and when told them that, they removed it from the bill.
  • Alila Diva Goa - Very good food, excellent ambiance, and clean expensive.
Attachment 936460

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-mumskitchen02.jpg

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Attachment 936463

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Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-martinscorner05.jpg

Last edited by mobike008 : 5th June 2012 at 16:21. Reason: Removed the alcohol displayed images. Please refrain from posting such images. Thanks
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Old 4th June 2012, 18:39   #4
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

The Resort

This was recommended by @ranjitp1, on the thread mentioned above and when I called them I got a very good deal so I booked at this resort online. The resort was very clean and the stay was a pleasant one. The food served was a mix of South/North with good options on Veg and Non Veg. We only ate Veg and can vouch for its quality and taste.

There were lot of water bodies within the resort and the beach was a small drive away. They even had a shuttle service to go to the beach.

Worth mentioning was Mr Vinayak (Manager F&B) who made the stay even more pleasurable by ensuring that we were looked after, and all the needs were taken for.

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The Swimming pool was clean and everyone in the resort would jump into the pool two times a day. If one is not interested in going out on sight seeing then there are enough avenues within the resort to have fun. They even have a kids area for kids activities, although we did not give it a try as my daughter was having a blast in the pool.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 4th June 2012 at 18:53.
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Old 4th June 2012, 18:54   #5
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

The Return (Sunday June 03 2012)

One should take this route if one is not pressed for time, it’s a good road through jungles and ghats, and lots of greenery all around, which makes it a very enjoyable to drive, but its slow as the roads over most sections are old style two lanes (One lane for each way), and drops to 1.5 lanes on the ghats.

Its got decent number of places to see, like for example the Jog fllls, and the Lion and Toger Safari before Shimoga. We planned to do these and also as schools are starting on Wednesday its two more days to recover from travel tiredness. So we took this route for our return leg. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when taking this route.
The numbers of places to eat on the highway itself are minimal, we started after heavy breakfast at around 12, and by evening both the girls were quiet hungry. I avoid getting into towns as it wastes time. Fortunately we found one place which seemed clean and served very good Dosas in Terikere (~160 Kms from Tumkur). We gobbled up 4 Dosas (2 Adults and 1 Child) + 4 Teas

This was a learning for me to switch from 4 lane expressways to 2 lane highway, had one hair raising incident but was safe as we were not doing very high speeds. So one needs to keep in mind the rough roads provide insufficient grip to the rubber and Disc/Disc or Disc/Drum combination makes negligible difference.

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga01.jpg

Roads were mostly like this on the ghat section

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga02.jpg
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga03.jpg
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga04.jpg

Finally we got a decent place to get some good dosas
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga05.jpg
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-goablr-via-shimoga06.jpg

The Car
I am absolutely in love with Honda and this car. Its worth every penny I spent on it (Even though its petrol). Did some high speed driving and some sedate driving. The fuel efficiency when I was rushing (On my onward journey was 13.1Kms/Lt), and when I drove at sedate speeds (While returning as the roads were not conducive of high speeds) it gave me an average of 16Kms/Lt.

While going total time taken to get to South Goa (Margao) was ~9 hours. While returning it was ~11hrs.

The GPS
Its every penny worth the money spent. Most of the places in Goa were marked on the GPS, all I had to do was to search for them and then it would take me to few 100 meters to that place. If this was not there it would not have been possible to eat at such good places as getting there isn’t easy. One might have to ask quiet a few times.

On the route, one should remember that the GPS always selects the shortest route and not the fastest one. So do decent research before either choosing to accept or ignore GPS recommendations. For me the GPS continued to show the Shimoga route, until it figured out I was quiet a distance away from that route and then it showed the Hubli route.

Things to keep in mind
  • Carry as many shorts, barmudas as possible, the heat and humidity in Goa makes it a pain to be in Jeans.
  • Carry swimming trunks if you love swimming in the beach or the hotel/resort has a swimming pool. Especially for kids, my daughter just loved to be in the pool.
  • Carry swimming pool tools/kits for kids, if needed.
  • Preferably travel last week of May or post Mansoon as the Dolphin sightseeing trips close on the first day of June. Same is the case with parasailing and Jet skiing.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 4th June 2012 at 18:58.
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Old 4th June 2012, 19:17   #6
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Mod's note: Thread moved to Travelogues section from Assembly Line. Thanks for Sharing!
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Old 4th June 2012, 20:56   #7
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Ah Mayank Sirji, so that's where you were chilling when I called you !
Nice Pics and details on the trip, thanks for sharing.
As you experienced, the 2 lane highways are indeed good but on this route I found lot of cattle moving across the road as well as some tractors, etc on the wrong side - not at all safe for speeds above 60 kmph since anything could suddenly be right in front of your bumper. Hope you stopped over at the Lion and Tiger Safari, Tyavarekoppa near Shimoga.
As for good restaurants on the way - after Tyavarekoppa when you're in Shimoga town (on the highway itself), the road opposite the KSRTC Bus stand (about 200 metres from the Bus Stand) has a good place called Samrat Ashok, that's where we had lunch on our way back to Bangalore from Karwar.

Last edited by NPV : 4th June 2012 at 20:58.
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Old 5th June 2012, 11:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Ah Mayank Sirji, so that's where you were chilling when I called you !
Yeah, i knew you would have expected us to be in Munnar, BTW where is the thread of your trip?

Quote:
Hope you stopped over at the Lion and Tiger Safari, Tyavarekoppa near Shimoga.
Unfortunately my estimates of timing were all off. The ghat section took much longer than i had anticipated. By the time we reached Shimoga it was already 6PM and the gates close a 5PM. Maybe some other time.

Quote:
As for good restaurants on the way - after Tyavarekoppa when you're in Shimoga town (on the highway itself), the road opposite the KSRTC Bus stand (about 200 metres from the Bus Stand) has a good place called Samrat Ashok, that's where we had lunch on our way back to Bangalore from Karwar.
Ahhh i should have asked you, this serves as a good reference point now. Anyways the one which we stopped was very good as well, my yardstick, if my daughter eats without pushing, the food has to be good and at the same time she must be hungry.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 5th June 2012 at 11:21.
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Old 5th June 2012, 11:43   #9
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Great travellogue. Hope you had a blast. Did you notice those killer speed breakers just before reaching Hubli. We actually went over the first one on our trip at high speed. I think it was just after a right curve. Very funny place to expect a speed breaker.
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Old 5th June 2012, 16:07   #10
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Nice pics - I stayed at the Alila Diwa from 9th -14th April. It was excellent and one of the best vacations I have ever had.

We were upgraded to the Diwa Wing which made our holiday awesome. The diwa pool and infinity pool were excellent.

Martins was ok. I found FISHKA better than Martins Ambience was great at Martins though !

I never ventured out of the resort. The whole day was spent inside the resort. Breakfast and then pool. We went to the beach in their shuttle only twice for an hour each. It was too hot and dirty. The pool any day !!
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Old 5th June 2012, 16:13   #11
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Some more pictures from Karwar to Goa, specifically the cut mountain, which somehow has become a entry sign to Goa.

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa11.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa12.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa13.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa14.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa15.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa16.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa17.jpg

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwargoa18.jpg

Apart from this would like to thank my friend Sanjeev Das, who is a avid Safari traveler (Not yet a Team BHPian) and HVK sir for route recommendations and insights on what to expect. Their suggestions came in handy in selecting both the routes (Hubli and Shimoga).

Quoting Ranjit's stay recommendations here, although its already there in the Avi's Goa trip thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post

If you have that kind of budget,then Park Hyatt is the place to be in.Easily the best in the business today.Apart from that you have the renovated Leela at Mobor,the Alila is also good.All these places are in the range of 6k-10k a night.The Mayfair Hideaway Spa & Resort is also pretty good.

www.goa.park.hyatt.com

www.aliladiwagoa.com

www.theleela.com

www.mayfairhotels.com

In the north you have the recently opened Grand Hyatt apart from the Taj Aguada and the Taj Holiday Village.The Rio resort is also pretty nice.

www.tajoffers.com/summer12

www.goa.grand.hyatt.com

www.resortrio.com
Also adding Avi's restaurant recommendations, all the ones we tried served very good food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008
Infantaria on Baga road: Best Continental Breakfast

Martin Corner : For good seafood and sachin tendulkar's favorite restuarant. Their is a crab dish in his name. Its near Colva Church, South Goa

Chilly's : Fort Aguada Road, Good food

Mum's Kitchen in Panjim enroute Miramar Beach : Good food

Delhi Durbar : If you crave north indian food. Great taste and they serve liquor too. Its in Panjim City

Sher-e-Punjab : Used to be my favorite and still quite decent. Its in panjim city

Lobos in Calangute : Good food

Kentucteeks : Colva Beach

Another small restuarant that i visited and mentioned in my travelogue enroute to Fort Aguada Beach was simply awesome. Great food and reasonable pricing.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 5th June 2012 at 16:21.
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Old 5th June 2012, 16:58   #12
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Default re: Last minute twist - A trip to Goa

Mayank, thats a very clean, crisp and helpful report on your goa trip.
Happy to know that you had good fun and also to know that I could help you in whatever little way I could.

The hotel that you stayed looks awesome. What was the tarrif? Any discounts offered?

Hope some more pictures are coming along?
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Old 6th June 2012, 11:30   #13
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Hotel Tariff was about 7K per night, but because of off season they gave one night free stay if you book for 2 nights. So essentially we got 3 nights and 4 days for about 14K including breakfast.

One thing to note however is i found tariff shown on the net is cheaper than what you would get if you would call them, and this was not only applicable to Alila Diva but was found on other resorts as well.

On our return we stopped at Karwar beach for sometime and the shipyard next to it. Although we could not go inside.

Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwar-beach-01.jpg
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-karwar-beach-02.jpg

Was such a pleasure to see petrol prices at 61 in the night and later in the morning it was brought down to 59.
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-petrol-price-goa.jpg

Nothing was more exciting then the name of this road. It falls on my birthday.
Last minute twist - A trip to Goa-18-june-road01.jpg
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