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Old 19th February 2016, 00:14   #1
P21
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Default Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur

PROLOGUE

I got married in the year 2014. Though we had been in and around Mysore many a times, a long trip was still a pending project. Finally, time came for a maiden trip with my better half in October 2015. Initial plan was to visit Kerala. However, plan got changed to Goa as we had an invitation from a friend in Sagar to visit their place. So, planned to complete two projects at one go.

Initial plan looked like this:

Day 1 – Mysore to Goa

Day 2 – Goa

Day 3 – Goa to Sigandur

Day 4 – Sigandur to Mysore

Initial Route:
Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur-initial-route.png

Finally, plan was made for four days starting from 22nd Oct 2015 to 25th Oct 2015. Booked hotel through OYO rooms for first two days at Goa. Third day stay was at Kollur. Fourth day, return to Mysore visiting friend’s house at Sagar, Karnataka.

Car planned to take was i20 Asta CRDi which had ran for 56000 KM. Car was recently serviced, replaced the jack with ford fiesta jack, and purchased some of the essentials required for the trip.

DAY 0 – 21st October 2015 - WED

Went to fuel station near NIE college, filled diesel full tank and set air pressure to 32 psi. Car was washed thoroughly as the starting day was Ayudha Pooja. We had planned to leave house at 3:00 AM so as to cover the maximum distance of 650 KM on the first day. So, did vehicle Pooja at 10.30PM itself and went for sleep. But I couldn’t catch sleep till 2:00 AM. It was sure that I cannot start at 3:00 AM next day, Murphy’s Law.

DAY 1 – 22st October 2015 - THU

Got up at 5:30 AM, both were ready by 6:45 AM. Loaded all the luggage to boot. Finished breakfast and was ready to start by 7:15 AM. Cranked the engine at 7:19 AM and thus maiden journey with my better half begun.

Route 1-4
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Took Bangalore – Ooty road, reached Srirangapatna at 7:52 AM. Vehicle was a breeze to drive on this road since it was a 4 lane road. After Srirangapatna joined SH7 to reach Arasikere via Pandavapura, KR Pete and Channaraypatna. Road was good except for the humps at frequent intervals. Between Channaraypatna and Arasikere, road is superb and I was easily cruising between 70 to 90 KMPH. Target was to reach Ashvem beach, Goa by 10.00 PM end of the day.

Distance Traveled – 143 KM, Time Taken – 2:23 Hrs, Average Speed – 60 KMPH


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Watch for two wheeler, road humps which are quite frequent on this stretch.

Route 5-6
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After Arasikere, joined NH206 Bangalore – Honnavara highway. Road quality started deteriorating, while holiday traffic added its little penny worsening the drive later on. Luckily, road humps were less on this road.

Crossed Birur at 10.30 AM and this incident happened somewhere after Birur. The tarmac had eroded at many places after Birur, and was cruising between 60-80 KMPH. There was a Maruti Swift in front of me who was equally cruising as I am. At some point, I decided to overtake him and took the car to 80 KMPH. In less than a second I heard a blast from underneath and took the vehicle control and drove slowly to left. Yes, the front left tyre had a hit on the eroded tarmac and it was a tyre burst. Recalled the event, it was dark shade of trees on the road which disguised the pothole. I was tensed and took some time to become normal. My wife thought I had hit a vehicle, I explained her, what happened and it was a relief to her. She said only this much? She didn’t know aftermath of a tyre burst at 80 KMPH. Top end i20 saved our lives.

Changed the tyre, which took me precious 20 minutes.
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This was a major hit to my time line. Started my journey again and this time reduced my speed and was more cautious on driving, reached Shivamogga at 11.51 AM. Since it was Ayudha Pooja there were no tyre shops open. So was driving without a spare wheel which was risky. Road to Sagar from Shivamogga is a breeze to drive and kept a steady speed of 80 KMPH. It was 1.00 PM when we reached our friend’s house at Sagar.

Had traveled around 320 KM so far, and took a face wash at friend’s place, finished lunch, meanwhile started enquiring for tyre shops at Sagar. Friends are always there when in need, and he helped me to find a shop even though it was a holiday and purchased the only available Goodyear tyre for INR 4250. By the time tyre was fitted, it was 4.30 PM and we were ready to presume our journey again.

Distance Traveled – 189 KM, Time Taken – 2:58 Hrs, Average Speed – 60.67 KMPH

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Observe for the pineapples and road side vegetables between Sagar and Shivamogga.

Route 7-10
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With the new tyre on wheel, confidence was restored. Initial plan was to visit Jog falls and Mirjan fort en route. We had to cancel these places due to time constraint. Reached Jog Bridge around 5.00 PM, took the ghat section route to Honnavara.

C for Curve, Jog – Honnavara Road
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Distance between Jog and Honnavara is around 60 KM. First half of the road is small ghat road enough for one vehicle to pass on, with few potholes in between. Second half is a wide, smooth tarmac road. This stretch is one of the best roads to drive with lovely curves. Since it was Dussera time, we were welcomed by many of the Karavali Goddess pendals en route. This was my first experience with such pendals. Again, time stopped from visiting one. We proceeded towards our next stop, hotel Amrut at Karwar for dinner.

Reached Karwar around 8:15 PM. Had heard a lot about hotel Amrut and it deserved the name. We waited for 15minutes and got a table. Ordered chicken sukkha, chicken biryani, Jeera rice, Curd rice, and lemon juice, these were just delicious. It was much more than what we wanted. We couldn’t finish the entire course as we had ordered more than what we could eat, meanwhile informed the hotel at Goa that we will be arriving late.

Rested for grand one and half hours at Amrut, and started our journey again at 9:45 PM.

Distance Traveled – 175 KM, Time Taken – 3:45 Hrs, Average Speed – 46.67 KMPH

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Road between Honnavara and Karwar is under expansion. Old road is ok to drive. Maintain being alert on this stretch.

Route 11 – 12
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Stopped at Goa entry toll booth, after few minutes from Karwar and paid INR 200 entry fee, a norm if you are a visitor to Goa with white board vehicle. Filled diesel at the next available fuel station after toll booth. There is no much difference with respect to diesel price, while the petrol prices were INR 56/Liter against INR 63/Liter in Mysore.

Initial road from toll both to Canacona was simply the best with red and yellow reflectors adding to the beauty at night. It was around 12:00 AM when we reached Panjim. Crossed Mondovi River and took Mapusa, Assagao, Morjim route to reach our hotel at 12:30 AM. Made more than 5 calls to get the gate opened, soon checking in went to bed and slept immediately.

Distance Traveled – 143 KM, Time Taken – 2:45 Hrs, Average Speed – 52 KMPH

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Day 1 Statistics

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Last edited by P21 : 19th February 2016 at 02:07. Reason: Updating travelogue
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Old 19th February 2016, 01:52   #2
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Default Driven to Remember - Goa and Sigandur

DAY 2 – 23rd October 2015 - FRI

Got up lazily at 9:00 AM and both were ready by 10:00 AM, meanwhile ordered breakfast to room itself and finished. Breakfast was just ok. Resort was just 50 meter from Ashvem beach, so decided to take a stroll. The beach was silent with fewer waves. Loved it the way it is.

Spent some 45 minutes at Ashvem beach and made it a point to have dinner at one of the shacks. This beach is not as crowded as Calangute and Baga. You can find more number of Foreigners than Indians here at Ashvem. Locals forcing you to buy their services are less and found some people here and there. I rate this beach 3.5/5 for spending some leisure hours in private during evening.

Smoother tides

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Came back to hotel and rented a two wheeler for the day’s visits at Goa. It is INR 350 per day for a scooter. No deposits were taken as the vehicle was rented through hotel personnel.

Our Ride for the Day
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Filled petrol for INR 85(for 1 Ltr) from a road side shop which was just available outside the hotel. It was 11:10 AM when we left the hotel premises. Our destination was Calangute and Baga. Took Morjim – Chapora River Bridge – Siolim – Vagator Junction route to reach Calangute. En route filled petrol again for INR 100 at INR 56/Ltr at an IOCL bunk. By the time we entered Calangute road, traffic had already piled up. Our decision of taking a two wheeler worked out and it is nice to have a two wheeler rides on smaller Goan roads. Reached Calangute beach at 11:40 AM, parked the vehicle and went towards the beach. It was crowded unlike Ashvem beach. Found lots of water sports on offer.

Banana Ride
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Waiting for Customers
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Sun had already started dehydrating us. Went into one of the shacks on the beach, as it was lunch time thought of finishing lunch there itself. We ordered Gobi Manchurian, Chicken lollipop as starters along with lemon juice and sprite. Manchurian was delicious and lollipop was an ok stuff. Vegetable biryani was our main course and it was more than enough for us and finished lunch with this.

Delicious
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Play Time
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Took a stroll towards Baga beach and came back. Had tender coconut near the parking spot and headed towards our next destination Aguada Fort. It was 2:40 PM when we reached the place.

The Fort
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Immersed in thoughts
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We spent a qualitative one hour at Aguada Fort. Again felt dehydrated, went to a juice shop outside the fort and ordered lemon soda. It was one of the best sodas I had in recent times. I was getting weak under the scorching sun, hence decided to head towards Ashvem beach and swim for a while. It was 5:10 PM by the team we reached Ashvem beach. Soon reaching went for swim and enjoyed for a while watching the setting sun.

Came back to hotel, took a cold water bath and were ready for night walk on the Ashvem beach again. Left hotel around 7:30 PM and started our leisurely walk on the beach. Selected one of the beach shacks and sat facing the sea. Food was delicious, especially tandoori chicken and baby corn Manchurian. Spent some time on the beach finishing our dinner and called it a day.

I am here to light your table
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Foodies love this
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Lights adding colors to Pineapple Juice
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Last edited by P21 : 19th February 2016 at 02:04.
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Old 19th February 2016, 11:11   #3
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Default Driven to Remember - Goa and Sigandur

DAY 3 – 24th October 2015 – SAT

As usual, got up leisurely and were ready by 9:00 AM. Finished breakfast, completed all the check out procedures, paid bills and cranked the engine at 10:20 AM.

Route 13-14
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We took Mapusa – Panjim – Old Goa route to reach St. Basilica Church travelling 1:15 Hrs. It was already crowded and luckily we were the last to get a parking at the designated parking lot.

Wife: I want Ice cream.
Me: Ok

Wife: I want to buy artifacts.
Me: Ok

Wife: I want to buy souvenirs
Me: Ok

To my surprise and luck, her little shopping did not take much time.

St. Basilica Church
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Open Me
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Prayers through Light
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Shopping Time
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For Peace
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For Strength
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For Good Beginning
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Roads for Prosperity
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It took 50 minutes for St. Basilica church visit. We enjoyed street shopping outside the church a lot and left Old Goa at 12:20 PM to our next destination Hotel Amrut at Karwar. This was our pits stop for lunch. There was medium to high traffic till Margao and drove between 40 to 50 KMPH. After Margao, traffic got reduced and was able maintain my pace. En route had tender coconut, natural energy drink.

Roads were at their best state in this part of the state. I enjoyed driving leisurely with no rush, which I had exhibited on day 1. We reached Hotel Amrut at 2:50 PM. Luckily food was available, soon ordered fish curry rice for me and fried rice for my wife. Vow, it was the best fish curry rice I ever had. Fish curry rice was served with matthi fish curry and fish rawa fry. I was busy having such a delicious food and forgot to take a photo.

Distance Traveled – 151 KM, Time Taken – 3:45 Hrs, Average Speed – 40.27 KMPH

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Watch for the road between Old Goa and Margao. Careful driving required.


Route 15-16
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We left Karwar at 3:50 PM to our next destination Om Beach which was 60 KM far. We wanted have a sunset view at Om Beach hence cautiously drove with decent pace. It took 1:40 Hrs to cruise 60 KM due to heavy evening traffic and under construction roads. Soon entering Gokarna we felt the heat of Dussera holiday crowd and expected a chaotic Om Beach. Yes, I was right. We were stopped just 1 KM away from the Beach as the road got jammed due to traffic. We parked our vehicle next to the road and went by walk to the beach. Luckily, sun had not started its descending yet. We selected a suitable spot for viewing sunset near the rocks at the beach.

Here I Am
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It was worth the visit. I had been to Om Beach many a times but had never got a chance to view a clear sunset. Best part of the Om Beach is the Namaste Cafe. I used to enjoy sitting on the balcony and hear the roaring waves in the night. But not this time, just the maddening festival crowd being the reason. Made it a point, no trip planning during Dussera and continuous government holidays.

We just sat away from the crowd, on the last stretch of the rock we could reach and enjoyed sunset. This view alone managed the discomfort caused due to holiday crowd.

My way to reach you
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One for Love
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Retiring for the day
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I was sweating a lot. Sea level! Desperately wanted to have some energy drink. Climbed up back towards the parking lot. There is a refreshment center near to parking lot and purchased Jeera juice, drank a bottle. I was not satisfied, purchased two more and drank. Now realized the next part was a tough one. My stomach being filled with Jeera juice, I had to walk for a kilometer upwards to reach our car. Oh god! That was hectic.

No Surprise. Traffic Jam. Bumper to bumper traffic. Saw some vehicles kissing each other while moving from a stand still. Remember, road was from a low point to a higher side. I was not willing to risk and hence did not remove the car until traffic got cleared. This cost me precious 45 minutes waiting just seeing the stranded traffic. Our initial plan was to visit Murudeshwar and stay at Kollur. On seeing such a heavy tourist crowd, we cancelled all our plans as we had not booked any hotels either in Murudeshwar or Kollur. Our new destination was friend’s house in Sagar which was around 150 KM from Gokarna.

It was already 7:00 PM when we were ready to depart from Om beach. Steadily started driving towards Sagar through Kumta – Honnavara – Jog route. We did not want to disturb our friend, so finished light dinner en route. Tender coconut, omelet, banana filled our stomach sufficiently.

Light Food
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We reached friend’s house at Sagar around 10:45 PM, on freshening had some butter milk and called it a day.

Distance Traveled – 206 KM, Time Taken – 5:25 Hrs, Average Speed – 38.03 KMPH

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Day 3 Statistics

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Last edited by P21 : 19th February 2016 at 11:27. Reason: Travelogue update
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Old 19th February 2016, 11:52   #4
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Default Driven to Remember - Goa and Sigandur

DAY 4 – 25th October 2015 – SUN

This day was dedicated to our friend at Sagar and planned to take her to Sigandur and Jog. Got up leisurely and were ready by 10:00 AM, finished breakfast, homely food.

Route 17-21
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Cranked the engine at 10:20 AM and proceeded towards our first destination Holebagilu. This is a place on the bank of Linganamakki reservoir backwaters. One has to hire a ferry from Holebagilu to reach Sigandur temple which is on the opposite side. Note, you can take your vehicle on the ferry. By the time we reached Holebagilu it was 11:00 AM. Saw lots of vehicles on the queue to ferry and hence decided to park the vehicle at Holebagilu itself which was a good decision.

Holebagilu
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Ferry – I am coming
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One Rupee ticket – Where are we?
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Hair Cut?
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Ferry from the other side
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Red Carpet
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This is where we land
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After landing, local transport was available to take us to temple from the banks. Those vehicles were in pathetic condition. Horrible!

Cruiser Trax
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Sigandur temple entrance
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Since it was festival time, there were long queues awaiting Goddess darshan. It took 2:30 Hrs to finish darshan at the temple. After coming out of the temple premises, we had butter milk and soda on one of the shops in front of temple. As usual, got into a pathetic cruiser trax and proceeded towards the river bank to catch return ferry. Soon reaching river bank, ferry was ready to take off, we got in and reached Holebagilu at 3:20 PM.

On our way back
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People getting out on returning to Holebagilu
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It was 3:20 PM, and lunch was made ready at our friend’s house. So, decided to taste some fruits en route.

I want this
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This was delicious

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We reached friend’s house at Sagar around 4:00 PM. Yes, it was a late lunch. But to our surprise they had prepared lots of dishes for us; Chicken curry, chicken biryani, Chicken Kebab and lots more. I hate more than what I could eat and obviously felt drowsy.

Our friend had an areca nut farm in a place called Kanale which is on the way to Jog Falls. They believe goddess Durgamba is their care taker and have built a temple for the goddess. Hence decided visit the place to feel the local interests.

We left Sagar around 5:15 PM and reached the farm at 5:35 PM. Spent some time at the Durgamba temple in the farm. Felt positive vibes, nature adding the value to it. It was a nice experience having an evening stroll in the farm. Since we were near Jog Falls, we included a visit in the list. Though it was evening, we wanted to visit the place and experience Jog in the night.


Durgamba temple at Kanale
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We reached Jog by 6:30 PM. It was already dark and we were not lucky to have the view of the falls. Later we understood that there was a laser show at 7:00 PM. We waited on the open air theater and show began at 7:15 PM. It was good and Jog was not a failure!

Laser show
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Soon after laser show, we left Jog at 7:50 PM and reached friend’s house at Sagar around 9:00 PM. We got stuck in traffic jam near Talaguppa, which delayed our journey by 15 minutes.

Traffic Jam
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After reaching Sagar, took a rest for a while, finished dinner and chit chatted for some time with friend’s family. Next day we were returning back to Mysore, couldn’t catch sleep early.

Distance Traveled – 135 KM, Time Taken – 3:45 Hrs, Average Speed – 36 KMPH

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Day 4 Statistics

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Old 19th February 2016, 12:24   #5
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Default Driven to Remember - Goa and Sigandur

DAY 5 – 26th October 2015 – MON

We got up early and were ready by 8:30AM. Friend’s mother had prepared Mangalore buns for breakfast. It was good. Friend’s family had planned to visit a function at Shivamogga and hence asked us to join them till Shivamogga. We agreed. Cranked the engine at 10:20 AM and started our return journey. On the way back, my wife expressed her desire to visit her native near Kabini, HD Kote. This added one more day to our journey. But accepted, changed the route and proceeded towards Kabini.

Route 22-24
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It was around 12:15 when we reached Shivamogga. Bid adieu to our friends and proceeded towards to Arasikere taking NH206, crossed Kadur around, 2:00 PM. Stopped at a road side dhaba after Kadur on NH206 for lunch. Dhaba looked well from inside, good number of visitors too, but the food was just ok to eat. Spent around 1:00 Hrs and proceeded towards Arasikere, where we took deviation to SH7 to reach Channaraypatna.

It was 3:58 PM when we reached Channaraypatna. Took deviation towards SH8 to reach Holenarsipura. Road is a two lane road for some distance and later median less two lane road starts which is also equally good. Traffic is less; it’s the humps which taunt you in this road. Reached Holenarsipura in just 0:30 Hrs. Took SH57 to reach KR Nagar, where we took a deviation to Hunsur. First half the road to Hunsur from KR Nagar is in pathetic state, while second half is newly constructed and it was at a good state. Reached Hunsur around 5:50 PM. Spent some time in Hunsur for purchasing essentials. Left Hunsur at 6:10 PM and reached our destination, Dadadahalli near Kabini around 7:00 PM. This was my in laws place and nothing eventful to record hereafter and called it for the day.

Distance Traveled – 375 KM, Time Taken – 7:20 Hrs, Average Speed – 51.14 KMPH

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Day 5 Statistics

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Old 19th February 2016, 12:40   #6
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Default Driven to Remember - Goa and Sigandur

EPILOGUE

6th day, we just took rest and did nothing eventful. Returned to Mysore from Dadadahalli, 65 KM, 1:20 Hrs travel. We couldn’t complete most of the places, festival crowd and time spoilt some part of the plan. Overall, trip gave us a little change in our regular lifestyle. Some changes are required at certain intervals to sail through the ocean of life. This trip is one such change which cannot forget.

Route – As we Drove
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Statistical Trail
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Some Statistics
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Cost Break Up
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Cost Distribution
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Awaiting more and more such trips for remembering again
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Old 20th February 2016, 10:28   #7
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

A nice way to round up around Mysore-Goa. The next time you visit Sigandur, you should try the Monsoon period. Its a different landscape altogether.

And Goa? A place of all seasons!

Last edited by GTO : 20th February 2016 at 10:28. Reason: Bump
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Old 22nd February 2016, 09:45   #8
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Default Re: Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur

Nice travelogue there mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by P21 View Post
Had heard a lot about hotel Amrut and it deserved the name. We waited for 15minutes and got a table. Ordered chicken sukkha, chicken biryani, Jeera rice, Curd rice, and lemon juice, these were just delicious. It was much more than what we wanted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by P21 View Post
We reached Hotel Amrut at 2:50 PM. Luckily food was available, soon ordered fish curry rice for me and fried rice for my wife. Vow, it was the best fish curry rice I ever had. Fish curry rice was served with matthi fish curry and fish rawa fry. I was busy having such a delicious food and forgot to take a photo.
My home town being Karwar, I can vouch for the fact that Hotel Amrut is indeed a very good restaurant! I only wish you had tried more of traditional karwar sea food items like theesre (clams) sukka and crab sukka

Also, the sea beach of Karwar is actually serene and beautiful and the sunsets over there are always a treat to the eyes! May be next time around, you can check it out.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 11:12   #9
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Default Re: Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur

Hello Teesh@BHP,

Suggestions noted. Thank you.

I had tried clams sukka while had visited Honnavara few times back. Its just delicious.

I have a plan to explore Dandeli and Supa dam area keeping Karwar as the base. Will try crab sukka definitely at that time. Sunset at Karwar is a pending project of mine. I will try to complete it in my next visit.

Also, I have heard of Swetha Lunch Home at Karwar. Is it as equally good as Amrut?

Regards,
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Old 22nd February 2016, 12:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P21 View Post
Also, I have heard of Swetha Lunch Home at Karwar. Is it as equally good as Amrut?
I have never tried there, but yes, it's reputation is increasing nowadays. It is a relatively new place. Being away from home for nearly 6 years, home itself is my restaurant most of the times when I visit the place and don't really find 'stomach space' to explore new places
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Old 23rd February 2016, 13:41   #11
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Default Re: Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur

Hi P21,

Nice travelogue. Well documented and supported by good pictures. A lot of the images brought back memories from my travels over the years.

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Filled petrol for INR 85(for 1 Ltr) from a road side shop which was just available outside the hotel.
This is common in Goa. You rent a bike and then discover that it has very little fuel. The nearest fuel station is always a long way off and you are forced to buy one at a local shop at a premium.

Beaches like Baga and Calangute are best avoided these days unless you want to visit a particular restaurant or shop.
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Old 25th February 2016, 10:21   #12
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Default Re: Drive to remember - Goa and Sigandur

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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Beaches like Baga and Calangute are best avoided these days unless you want to visit a particular restaurant or shop.
Both Baga and Calangute are crowded. Yes, if you want to visit some of the restaurants, visit Baga and Calangute. Otherwise, avoid. There are much beautiful beaches in Goa other than Baga and Calangute, to mention in few, Anjuna, Morjim, Ashvem beaches are worth a visit. After all, IMO everyone has their own style and way of visiting places in Goa, a place for all seasons

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