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Old 30th July 2016, 11:23   #16
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3.6: Crossing the river (continued)


Now it was our turn to board the ferry, and being first in the line, Dusty was the first one to board. This is how it looked driving on the ramp into the ferry:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0641.jpg


Dusty onboard the ferry:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0643.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03046.jpg


The boarding was a very quick affair, and in just a few minutes we were on our way:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03053.jpg


I climbed up on the upper deck to check it out. View from the upper deck:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03060.jpg


The upper deck was spacious and had benches to sit on:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03061.jpg


Views from the deck were very nice, like this one:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03065.jpg


It was actually a very enjoyable ride. There was a nice breeze from the open sea, the temperature just about perfect, with nice views all around. I spent some time walking around the ferry to check out the views. This is the view of the river joining the sea, as seen from the deck:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03064.jpg


Apart from Dusty and that auto-rickshaw, the ferry had a couple of motorcycles. Not crowded at all by any definition:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03066.jpg


As we passed the port, I got a better view of this large ship in the port:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03067.jpg


The ramp/gate rides very close to the water, like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03070.jpg


We could now see the beach at the other end:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03071.jpg


I wished the ride was longer. It lasted just 10 minutes, and we were already near the other end:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03074.jpg


Almost there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03077.jpg


And touchdown! There was a smallish ticket office at the other end, and a few rickshaws waiting for the arriving passengers, but no vehicle waiting to board the ferry back:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03079.jpg


Out on the land:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03082.jpg


A parting shot of the ferry point. The arriving passengers quickly dispersed, and the place had a deserted look in no time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03085.jpg


Ahead of me, the last rickshaw took the remaining people away, and I could again see empty landscape for my journey ahead:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03083.jpg


This ferry ride was indeed very enjoyable. It was real fun! A really memorable experience!

And now, on my way, the old fashioned way - on the road, searching for the next spot on my mind - the beach at Hedavi.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 4th August 2016 at 14:12.
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Old 31st July 2016, 18:12   #17
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3.7: Driving through the land of beaches and temples


Now I was back on beautiful roads, and my plan was to drive along the coast, visiting beaches of Hedavi, Velaneshwar, Guhagar, and then drive back to Ganapati Pule via the longer road, instead of the ferry.

Back on the scenic roads (notice the small temple hidden in the trees on the left):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03090.jpg


A bit ahead, and I got a nice view of the sea again; looked like there was another beach on the left:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03092.jpg


Zooming on to the beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03094.jpg


And in a few minutes, I was almost next to that beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03099.jpg


This narrow road, going along the beach was very scenic. This is Maharashtra State Highway 4 (SH 4), by the way:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03100.jpg


Another example of rocky coastline that Konkan is known for:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03101.jpg


Next, I reached a small bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03103.jpg


View from the other side of the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03104.jpg


The bridge itself was simple but pretty:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03110.jpg


And what a surprise! While I was looking for Hedavi Beach, I spotted this signboard quite unexpectedly. This is the famous Dashabhuja Ganesh Temple at Hedavi. Although this temple is well known, I did not know it was right on my way. When I spotted this, of course, I happily went in:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03122.jpg


I found a nice place to park, and walked up the stairs:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03112.jpg


Again, as was the norm by now, Dusty was alone. Even at such a famous temple, there was nobody apart from me:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03113.jpg


The beautiful temple! Against the lush green background, the pink color of the temple stood out nicely:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03116.jpg


The temple had a very nice "aangan" (the open space, or the yard) around it. Very peaceful and serene:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03114.jpg


There was a lonely conifer standing tall among other relatively shorter but thick trees:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0659.jpg


A parting shot of the temple. I took blessings of Ganesha and immensely thanked him for bringing me on what was turning out to be an incredible journey:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03119.jpg


A small pathway from the temple to the main road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03120.jpg


Back on my path towards Hedavi Beach. When I exited the "highway" (SH4), and went for the beach, I was on some really narrow and broken roads like these:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0663.jpg


Reached Hedavi beach! There was the usual sandy beach area, but unfortunately, and surprisingly, it was not very clean:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03123.jpg


So I ignored the above area, drove a bit ahead, and found this spot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03124.jpg


I loved it. Rocks, sea, and a small temple ahead:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03125.jpg


The temple! So typical of Konkan. There are such beautiful temples in every corner. Even such a small temple was clean, extremely peaceful, of course beautiful and just serene in every which way:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03126.jpg


Dusty on Hedavi Beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03127.jpg


I loved whenever I had sea views in my window. You can see small steps to go onto the rocks and the beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03132.jpg


And now, another typical thing. All of a sudden, it started raining, and became quite heavy in just a few moments:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03133.jpg


A view of the beach through the windshield and the rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03138.jpg


Came back on the SH4, and went on to another place known for both a temple and a beach. Velaneshwar. As you would expect by now, found myself alone, parked there, and saw the shops closed:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0689.jpg


The board there listed really yummy food items. I was hungry (had only the fresh dates for lunch), and would have loved to eat some of these. But did not see anything open:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0692.jpg


A nice big tree, and found a couple of rickshaws waiting there. In what was supposed to be the main area of the town, the village center, the tourist point, these two rickshaws waiting was all the activity that there was:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0688.jpg


(Continued in next post...)

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Old 31st July 2016, 21:32   #18
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3.7: Driving through the land of beaches and temples (continued)


This is the famous Velaneshwar Temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0678.jpg


The entrance of the temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0681.jpg


A couple of more pictures from the temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0682.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0685.jpg


Then I drove through a narrow lane, and reached this place:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03140.jpg


This is Velaneshwar beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03144.jpg


Dusty on Velaneshwar beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03145.jpg


Close-up of the rough sea, typical of the season:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03149.jpg


Next, on my way to Guhagar. The road was throughout very scenic, as this random shot somewhere on the road shows:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0700.jpg


And saw yet another small temple that was incredibly beautiful :
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03152.jpg


What a beautiful temple! All temples there are painted in such bright and nice colors, and against the green surroundings, they all looked very very pretty:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03153.jpg


A little bit before Guhagar, I joined the main road between Chiplun and Guhagar (SH78). And this road was, as expected, very nice too:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0704.jpg


I was hungry, and saw this signboard. Looked inviting. I was tempted to go in. But this looked like a multi-cuisine and a bit resort like place. I wanted to eat some local food. So decided to continue to Guhagar; I was sure of finding something local to eat in Guhagar:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0706.jpg


Next stop - Guhagar Beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03154.jpg


At last, I saw a couple of other vehicles in the parking lot. So after all, there was indeed someone besides me there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03156.jpg


Walking towards the beach, saw many closed food stalls:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0707.jpg


This listed some famous seafood and fish items from Konkan. Would be lovely for the seafood lovers. However, did not look so tempting for vegetarian food, and besides, I was not sure if it was open anyways:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0708.jpg


This is the main Guhagar Beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0717.jpg


Nice and quiet beach, but nothing more than that to write home about:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0718.jpg


So started my search for food again, and found one more place that listed some mouth watering names but offered none at that time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0719.jpg


Came out and finally saw something that is an integral part of modern Indian culture. Cricket! These kids were playing cricket there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03157.jpg


I love to watch street cricket wherever I go (and of course, would love even more to play if given a chance). I watched this game for a few minutes. The local star batsman hitting a nice shot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0715.jpg


Came out to the main street in Guhagar, and finally, an open restaurant that promised local "home style" vegetarian food:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0722.jpg


The menu board inside listed many items I would have loved to eat, but given the odd time I was there (it was too late for lunch thali and too early for evening snacks), they only had a couple of things to offer.
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0723.jpg


Sabudana Vada, was one of the things they had. It was pretty nice:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0724.jpg


And back to the usual suspect! Misal Pav! This one was really yummy (and to wrap up this yummy food, I had a piping hot cup of tea!):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0725.jpg


While eating the yummy food there, I noticed a shop across the road, making Ganapati idols for Ganesh festival which is not too far way. Went to see that shop after the food break. Some lovely idols being made:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0728.jpg


Ganesh festival is a very big deal in this area. It is one of the most important festivals of the year. And the idols are made to order, and for that, booked months in advance! This notice board reminded people that the bookings were still open till Nagapanchamai, and that fresh bookings were required for each year even from regular annual customers:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0729.jpg


After this food break, and after having a great time at these coastal towns of Konkan, I decided to start the last leg of the day's drive - back to Ganapati Pule.

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Old 31st July 2016, 22:22   #19
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3.8: Scenic drive through Konkan's countryside


After Guhagar, I decided to go back to Ganapati Pule. Now, instead of taking the ferry again, I decided to check out the "longer" road. There were two route options from Guhagar to Ganapati Pule. The first one was the highway option - SH78 towards Chiplun followed by NH66 (old NH17, "Bombay-Goa highway" as it is known). The second option was to try some small local roads via a village named Abloli. I decided to take the second option, hoping to explore some new scenic roads. Besides, I had some highway driving (NH66) in my plan for next day, while going to Goa. So I wanted to keep this day strictly for local non-highway scenic roads. And I was so glad I chose this. The road via Abloli turned out to be incredibly scenic and smooth (except for some terrible patch in-between). A pleasant surprise!


As I started my drive towards Abloli, I was on such small but scenic roads:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0736.jpg


A bit later, the road worsened (was bumpy with a lot of potholes), but was still scenic and now with some turns and twists:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0738.jpg


A bit further, the road became absolutely terrible and I started regretting my decision to take this road. Then I reached this construction patch where I was driving literally through mud for some time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0739.jpg


The bad road continued for a while. It was getting dark too, and the road was very lonely. I was now regretting my decision to take this completely unknown lonely road in this evening hour.

However, after I crossed the Abloli village, the road suddenly became amazingly nice, and the drive from there all the way till Ganapati Pule was incredibly scenic (it was still totally lonely all the way, but scenic!). This drive was the surprise package of this trip!

The surprisingly nice road after Abloli:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0742.jpg


A typical sight when driving through Konkan. I could see colorful temples peeping out of lush green forests everywhere. I noticed this colorful temple in the green forests:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03159.jpg


I stopped to take a close-up of the temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03160.jpg


The road continued to be beautiful:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0745.jpg


And then, all of a sudden, on my left I saw a big river and a nice bridge over it:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03163.jpg


This beautiful left turn ahead and I would be on that bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03162.jpg


The turn was so beautiful, I could not resist getting down and taking a picture:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03172.jpg


View of the river, just before the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0754.jpg


Dusty enjoying the scenery, and looking forward to crossing the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03166.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03167.jpg


The beautiful bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03169.jpg


A couple of views from the right side of the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03171.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03173.jpg


And one from the left side again:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03174.jpg


I loved this bridge so much that after having crossed it, I could not resist getting down and watching it for some more time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03176.jpg


At the other end, there was a tea shop which was open and even more surprisingly, there were actually a couple of vehicles there. Other vehicles were quite a rarity in this drive:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03177.jpg


Oh, what a surprise! A bit ahead I saw this nice little waterfall.
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03179.jpg


Got down there and enjoyed the scenery and the surroundings for some time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03181.jpg


The road now was rough, but still very scenic:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03185.jpg


After such a wonderful drive, I reached Ganapati Pule at just about sunset hour. The ferry ride was sure a lot of fun. But this return drive turned out to be so scenic when I did not expect it. Well, I knew most of the Konkan roads are scenic, so that by itself was not a surprise, but this drive turned out to be so scenic that I would not mind going there again just to drive this! Actually the evening hour, and the total loneliness I experienced through those forests in that evening hour, made the whole experience feel magical!


Back to Ganapati Pule, and I decided to have a quick snack at my usual place. Finally, the iconic Maharashtrian food, Batata Vada served with dry garlic chutney (the vada was absolutely fresh and tasty - loved it!):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0761.jpg


Back to hotel. Dusty parked for the night after one more amazing day on the road. Again, she was fantastic! Bravo!!
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0763.jpg


I was tired and about to crash on my bed. But I suddenly, and almost by chance, noticed this - The sky was somewhat clear and I could actually see the setting sun from my room:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03187.jpg


Rushed to the balcony to view this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03188.jpg


In a few minutes, the sun went down, and this is how the view looked under fading light:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03191.jpg


To summarize the wonderful day, here is the map of that day's drive. I have labeled the interesting things in red:
Name:  KonkanLocalDrive.JPG
Views: 3299
Size:  111.9 KB


However, before I could have my dinner and go to bed after an exhilarating but tiring day, there was one more thing to do. I would drive to Goa next day (with a visit to Ratnagiri), and I had to book a hotel in Goa. My modus operandi on this trip was to book hotels online using travel apps on my phone, whenever my the next destination was finalized in my mind. So now was time to book something in Goa, but I had absolutely no mobile signals in the hotel. The hotel charged exorbitantly for a WiFi connection that was very unstable in the first place, so that option was ruled out too. Therefore, my only option was to go out on the open road and drive around to find a spot where I could get signal. I took Dusty out again, and started driving in the dark. At the same time, it started raining heavily. The road outside the hotel is a lonely coastal road away from any other establishment, and was pitch-dark in the night. So I found myself waiting inside a parked car, on the side of a lonely pitch-dark road, surrounded by forest and sea, in the middle of heavy rain, searching for mobile signal. The car windows were getting heavily fogged, so it was hard to see outside. It was really a spooky experience. Finally I got signal, and got data connection too. I sat there in that crazy situation and quickly booked a hotel in Goa without too much of research or deliberation (fearing I would lose signal any moment). It was indeed an unusual, and somewhat spooky and at the same time funny experience!

After that, I returned to the hotel, had a quick dinner, and went to bed, tired but excited about the next day's drive ahead.

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Old 1st August 2016, 12:46   #20
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Day 4: Ganapati Pule - Ratnagiri - Fort Tiracol - South Goa

4.1: Stunning coastal drive

After a good night's sleep, I got up early, looking forward to the day's drive ahead. This would be another long day on road. So checked out of the hotel pretty early. The hotel had not even started serving breakfast yet. So quickly went back to my usual place in the Ganapati Pule town for breakfast.

I started with Pohe (well, nothing else was ready yet, so just had a couple of plates of Pohe and a couple of strong hot teas for breakfast; the breakfast was absolutely wonderful):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0775.jpg


I was the only customer there (the norm continues):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0777.jpg


After the breakfast, my plan was to take the coastal road to Ratnagiri. I knew this road would be scenic, but had no idea how amazing this would turn out to be.

The beginning of an amazing and memorable drive. This is the coastal road to Ratnagiri:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0779.jpg

The milestone said Ratnagiri was 20km away, and I had no idea what was in store. As it turned out, I had countless breathtaking views of the sea throughout this 20km. This road is so incredibly scenic that one could easily spend the whole day driving just this 20km, enjoying phenomenal views all day!


For starters, the all around views of the sea right from the above spot - the starting point:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03200.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03204.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03198.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03205.jpg


This was the road , and this was the spot (the starting point). The fresh morning hour, fantastic weather, the lovely road, and such views! I felt I could spend an infinite amount of time just hanging out there. As it happened, I actually spent a lot of time there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03208.jpg


A parting shot of that beautiful spot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03209.jpg


Finally, decided to move on, but the road ahead looked equally fantastic:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03206.jpg


And it was! Just a few kilometers ahead I reached this spot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03210.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03212.jpg


What a "turning point":
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03214.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03217.jpg


Dusty parked while I wandered around to soak in the amazing views:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03218.jpg


I spent a lot of time watching this view too (this was turning out to be a very slow drive - I was never so happy being so slow before!):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03220.jpg


Finally, drove on, just to reach this view shortly. The road ahead turned sharp left, sloping down, with clean views of sea in the front. What a road!:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03224.jpg


A quick screenshot of the Google maps to give a perspective of the geography. The road turning sharp right in front of the sea! And notice the name - This was called "Arrey Warrey Road". What a name! I am sure I will forever remember this Arrey Warrey Road!:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-screenshot_20160716084838.png


More stunning views on the right, after I took the left turn at the above spot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03225.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03228.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03229.jpg


This is the turn that I will never forget:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03230.jpg


Dusty on this incredibly scenic road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03231.jpg


What a view to have across your parked car:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03232.jpg


A better look ah this phenomenal turn on the Arrey Warrey Road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03233.jpg


And just a little bit ahead, yet another incredible sea view on my right:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03234.jpg


Another screenshot of the maps to give a perspective of the location. I always loved when I saw such sea blue in my maps:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-screenshot_20160716090220.png


A few more views from my window:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03239.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03241.jpg


There were so many different views and angles, I was just going crazy. Could not resist getting out and clicking some more shots like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03242.jpg


(Continued in next post...)

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Old 1st August 2016, 13:12   #21
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4.1: Stunning coastal drive (continued)



I could drive on this all day:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03244.jpg


This highway was so beautiful, I could not resist taking another picture without the car this time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03245.jpg


A bit later, I reached this spot, where it looked like a river merging into the sea on the right, with a bridge ahead (visible in the distance, towards right):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0802.jpg


As the map shows, this was not a river, but a sort of lagoon formed inside by the sea water. And yes, there was a bridge ahead. I was now looking forward to that bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-screenshot_20160716090732.png


The sea on the right looked mesmerizing:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0800.jpg


Oh, a beautiful bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0806.jpg


View from the left of the bridge, looking towards the lagoon:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0804.jpg


And view on the right:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0809.jpg


After crossing this bridge, the road went a little bit inland, was still very scenic, and then after navigating through some narrow lanes near Ratnagiri port, I reached the Ratnadurga Fort. What an incredible drive in that morning hour!

Here is that particular route on Google Maps. If you ever are in that area, this is a must do drive:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-coastaldrive.jpg

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4.2: Ratnadurga Fort


After driving on this absolutely stunning coastal road, the one that I will remember forever, I reached the Ratnagiri port area, on my way to the Ratnadurga Fort. I had to maneuver through some confusing roads near the port and very narrow lanes up the hill, but in a few minutes later I was here:

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03246.jpg

This road goes up to Ratnadurga Fort. It looked like the fort had at least two distinct areas. On my right (in the above picture), is the main fort or the upper fort, and on the left (where you can see small steps), is another part of the fort or the lower fort. I am sure there are proper names to these, but I could not figure these out while I was there.


Ratnadurga Fort (main fort):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03248.jpg


A closer look at the "lower fort" as I reached the parking area near the upper fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03251.jpg


Dusty parked in front of the fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03253.jpg


Main entrance of Ratnadurga Fort. On the top, it says "Balekilla" which is the Marathi word for the main building (usually around the topmost spot) in a fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03252.jpg


Views of the main entrance:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03255.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03257.jpg


As soon as I entered, I saw this "Bhagawati Temple" there. It was really nice, and with great views and breeze from all side, it was indeed very pleasant:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03267.jpg


Views of the Ratnagiri port area, as seen from the top of the main entrance:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0813.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03268.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03269.jpg


Statue of Kanhoji Angre, in front of the temple. He was the first chief of the Marath Navy in the 18th century, and successfully defended the coastline against British, Dutch and Portuguese attacks. He was an amazing strategist and admiral, and was undefeated till his death. He is known as "Darya Sarang" or the "King of the Ocean":
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0816.jpg


The fort has sea on three sides, and is surrounded by a fortification wall. There is a nice path to walk around the wall:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0817.jpg


Of course, the walk offered fabulous views of the sea on three sides of the fort, across the wall:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0818.jpg


A small memorial near one "buruj" (a rounded corner with strategic view point/gun point):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0821.jpg


A jetty from the port was always visible from one side of the fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0823.jpg


And open sea on the other side:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0826.jpg


More views from this beautiful walk:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0832.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0836.jpg


The temple was visible, behind the lush green trees, from most parts of the walk:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0839.jpg


The open sea:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0840.jpg


And waves crashing on the rocks at the bottom of the fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0843.jpg


I really enjoyed this walk. The weather was perfect, the sea-breeze was just awesome, and this walk was very scenic too:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0844.jpg


As I walked further, and completed half the round, I got such fantastic views of the lower fort (on top of that hill, there is a famous lighthouse, which is one of the major landmarks in the fort. You can see the lighthouse on the top of the hill, if you look closely):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0847.jpg


Using maximum optical zoom of my telephoto lens, I got a close-up of that lighthouse on top of the hill:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03282.jpg


The fortification on the lower fort, and a beautiful walkway/trail near the edge of the hill:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03272.jpg


Waves crashing on the rocks at the bottom of the hill:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03286.jpg


The scenic walk continued all the way back to the temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03279.jpg


Another view of the temple, which was always partially visible through the trees:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03290.jpg


Inside the main entrance, I saw this ancient map of the fort. It labels the seas on the two sides of the fort as White Sea and Black Sea:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03294.jpg


With that, I wrapped up my visit to the fort. I really loved this fort, and had a really nice time here.

The morning was so far turning out to be fantastic. The incredible drive first and then this beautiful and peaceful fort later. And the next thing was equally special.

I was now going to go inside Ratnagiri city, traversing some old lanes in the middle of the town, looking for something very special...

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Old 1st August 2016, 15:02   #23
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4.3: Another special place, and driving on NH66 ("Mumbai-Goa highway")


After visiting Ratnadurga, I went looking for another special place in Ratnagiri. I navigated through the city, looking for an old lane known as "Tilak Ali" (Ali means small lane in Marathi - so it was Tilak Lane). After a short drive I reached the place I was looking for.


This is it. The birthplace of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak!:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0852.jpg


It is now converted into a small museum, and is now a "State Protected Memorial" as this board declares:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0853.jpg


Statue of Lokamanya Tilak outside his birthplace:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0854.jpg


And this is the actual birthplace:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0857.jpg


Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside the house. Inside they had some articles by Tilak, lot of information on his work and his life, and some other memorabilia. Quite a nice place. After I spent some time here, I decided to wrap up my visit to Ratnagiri, and move on to Goa.


Ratnagiri is a mid-size town, and navigating this town brought me back to the city traffic like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0858.jpg


Crossing a major intersection in Ratnagiri:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0861.jpg


After that, I was on an urban highway that had lot of traffic. This highway would take me to a town called Hatkhamba, where I would join the well known NH66.
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0863.jpg


One main attraction of this journey to Goa was the highway I was going to drive on - NH66 as it is called now. Earlier it was NH17, and popularly known as the "Bombay-Goa Highway". This highway is an important part of the life and culture here - so many experiences of this, so many stories, so many beautiful places it connects to - all the way till Kochi in Kerala. I have driven on this highway many times in past. In fact, I have driven on almost the entire length of this highway spanning Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. However, in spite of the familiarity, I love driving on this highway every single time! I was looking forward to it this time too.


Finally, I was on NH66:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0867.jpg


It is a beautiful highway with smooth surface, frequent turns and twists, small hills and ghats thrown in every now and then, and lush green scenery all around, like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03301.jpg


A sweeping corner on NH66:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03300.jpg


Beautiful landscape all around. Notice a colorful temple hidden in the trees in the distance, a common sight in Konkan:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03304.jpg


Using the zoom to see the temple:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03305.jpg


Another shot of the sweeping corner before I moved on:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03307.jpg


The road was throughout pretty good, as seen in these couple of shots taken at some random points on the road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0881.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0883.jpg


Near a town called Kanakavali, is this hotel called "Neelam's Countryside". I decided to stop here for lunch:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0888.jpg


The hotel building:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0892.jpg


I asked if they had some local food besides the usual multi-cuisine in their menu, and they offered me this. The curry is "Potato and Cashews in Malavani Masala" (Malavan is the town nearby and the cuisine in this area is the famous Malavani cuisine), and the poori like item is not poori. It is "rice vada". This is a local variety, made of rice. This was really very yummy! I would give 5 out of 5 for the lunch experience here.
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0896.jpg


Soon after my lunch, I exited NH66 near Sawantwadi, and started driving towards my next destination. But the local roads were still beautiful, like these:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0900.jpg


A bit later, the road became a bit bumpy, but still very scenic:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0902.jpg


My next stop was bang on the border of Maharashtra and Goa, and it was another fort defending the coastline against the enemy - Fort Tiracol.

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4.4: Fort Tiracol, and Hello Goa!

As soon as I reached Goa, my first stop was Fort Tiracol. This is located right on the border of Maharashtra and Goa. In fact, Tiracol river forms the boundary between these two states, and north of this river is Maharashtra. However, the boundary deviates just a bit to north to cover this fort. Thus, this fort is a small portion of Goa north of the river. This fort is now converted into a heritage hotel. However, during day time, it is still open to visitors.

Parking lot of Fort Tiracol. I immediately sensed the difference. I saw a few other vehicles in the parking lot. In my Konkan drive, there was hardly anybody around and hardly any vehicle in the parking lots wherever I went. In comparison, I felt Goa to be just a little bit crowded even in this off season. Thus, this parking lot was symbolic of what I would experience in Goa:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03338.jpg


The entrance to the fort premises, which is now a heritage hotel:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03336.jpg


The main building:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03311.jpg


The entrance to the fort building:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03312.jpg


Inside, in the center courtyard, is this beautiful Chapel:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03315.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03316.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03318.jpg


Fortification on the side and a path to walk along the fortification from top:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03319.jpg


Some nice sea views from this corner:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03321.jpg


View of the middle courtyard as seen from the top of the wall:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03323.jpg


On the other side, you get such fabulous views of the sea (this is where Tiracol river merges into the sea):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03326.jpg


Looking straight down, I saw a nice point where waves were crashing on rocks at the bottom of the fort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03328.jpg


On top there is a small restaurant (open to all, not just for the hotel guests), and it offered such fantastic views. You can see Tiracol river merging into the sea, and the land across is the state of Goa (this fort being the only point in Goa on this side of the river):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03330.jpg


This is the restaurant, which was covered due to the rains:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03331.jpg


Another view of the Chapel (The rooms on the left are the hotel rooms):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03333.jpg


The main building seen from outside:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03335.jpg


Outside the building, there are memorial plaques devoted to Goa's freedom fighters:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03339.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03340.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03342.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03341.jpg


This fort is quite small, and the visit there turned out to be pretty quick. After this quick visit, I started driving back to Goa. Given the location of this fort, an amusing part was that soon after I came out of the Fort, I was back in Maharashtra, and had to re-enter Goa again, from another point.


As I drove back, I saw this sign, where the straight would take me back inside Maharashtra, and the right turn would take me to Goa:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03343.jpg


I turned right, and was now on this road. You can see a bridge ahead. That bridge would be my "re-entry" point into Goa:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03345.jpg


But just before I re-entered Goa, there lied this little stall selling vadapav and tea:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0915.jpg


I had hot and fresh vadapav there. The iconic Maharashtrian food just as I bid goodbye to Maharashtra:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03348.jpg


Now I was on the center of this bridge, right on the border of the two states:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03356.jpg


Views of Tiracol river from the left of the bridge. This is the Maharashtra side of the river:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03350.jpg


And this is the Goa side:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03351.jpg


View from the right side of the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03353.jpg


Goodbye Maharashtra! Thank you so much for the wonderful time, and would love to see you again soon:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03358.jpg


Hello Goa! So nice to see you again:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03360.jpg


And then I crossed this bridge to enter another land that is so dear to me, Goa!

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4.5: Driving through North Goa

I have been coming to Goa in monsoons regularly for last few years, and I always enjoyed the monsoons there. This played on my mind in two ways: I had certain expectations as to what to experience, and I did not plan to spend too much time here since I was looking to explore newer areas in this drive. I will keep the Goa visit short here too, since I have already described my monsoon experience in Goa in an earlier travelogue: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...eam-drive.html (Goa in the monsoon A dream drive!)

In fact, the vadapav stall in the previous post was discovered during one of my earlier monsoon trips, mentioned in the above travelogue.

After entering Goa, I started driving on the coastal roads connecting Arambol, Mandrem and Morjim beaches.


The first view of the sea in Goa, somewhere near Mandrem:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03362.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03364.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03361.jpg


Then I decided to check out the Vagator beach. To my surprise, even in this off-season, I found it to be crowded:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03407.jpg


First glimpse of the Vagator beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0935.jpg


As I came to the main viewing point, where you can see the two distinct Vagator beach sections on the two sides of the hill, I was again a bit disappointed to see it crowded:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03366.jpg


I just could not believe this point would be so crowded in this off-season:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03371.jpg


This is where I had the feeling this was not matching up to my expectations. I had visited the same places earlier in July 2013 as well as July 2014, and both the times, these same places were much greener, pretty deserted, and in general much more serene (you can see those pictures for comparison's sake, in my earlier travelogue mentioned above). I could not figure out why this time this area looked less green (I could still see some dry and brown land around in July, which was very surprising), and I could not figure out why this area was so crowded in this off-season. Maybe the greenery and the solitude of Konkan had spoiled me, but this time, I just could not enjoy this place. It felt a bit weird. It felt as if I went back to meet an old friend, and the friend had changed so much that I could not even recognize him.

A couple of shots around Vagator:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03372.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03376.jpg


The sun looked beautiful. Behind the dark clouds, it looked dim and whitish, almost like the moon. But in reality, this was the evening sun that day:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03369.jpg


In the distance, the Chapora fort is visible:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03378.jpg


This is the Chapora fort, located on the other side of the river:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03379.jpg


Zooming on Chapora, I could see a lot of crowd there too. This was utterly shocking. I had never seen such crowds on Chapora in July. It was always very lonely and peaceful in July. And the lack of greenery was also shocking:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03381.jpg


The other end of the Chapora, from where you can get fantastic views of the sea and the river:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03383.jpg


Views of the beautiful rocky coastline on the "Big Vagator":
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03389.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03390.jpg


Waves were crashing on the rocks and washing them nicely:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03391.jpg


The sea is always pretty rough in this season, as you can see here:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03395.jpg


The grey sea just looked lovely:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03398.jpg


Another zoomed shot of the Chapora fort on the other side of the river:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03396.jpg


You can see even more crowd there now:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03397.jpg


Given the crowded and in general not so peaceful scene here, I decided to make a move towards South Goa.


A parting shot of the Vagator beach before I moved on:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03401.jpg


Never thought there would be so many vehicles here:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03385.jpg


The shops around the parking area were open for business (and had decent amount of activity too) even in this supposedly off-season:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03408.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03410.jpg


The parking area gives an idea of the crowd:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03411.jpg


From there, I drove towards Mapusa and there joined the main highway connecting North and South Goa, which was NH66 again. I encountered a lot of heavy traffic in Panjim city, and it took me more than an hour to cross Panjim and Madgaon cities in that peak evening traffic.

Finally, reached my destination in South Goa - Hotel Golden Crown. This was the hotel I had hurriedly booked from my phone the previous night, while sitting in my car on that lonely and pitch-dark road under that heavy rain. It turned out to be pretty decent place for the money I paid.

My room:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03412.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03413.jpg


Nice view of the swimming pool from my balcony:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03414.jpg


And the restaurant:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03416.jpg


Although the evening did not turn out to be as I expected, or as I had hoped for to be more accurate, I still had a great day. The day started with that incredible coastal drive, followed by some great time in Ratnagiri, and then the enjoyable drive on NH66, which took me to Goa. On the whole, this was another great day that I enjoyed thoroughly - for most parts.

Feeling tired, and yet more than happy about the day, I had a quick dinner and went to bed.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 4th August 2016 at 14:50.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 13:25   #26
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Day 5: Rainy Day in South Goa

5.1: Leisurely drive around South Goa

The previous evening I did not see any rain in Goa. On the contrary, it felt as if there was a lack of rain in that area. That doubt was completely eliminated on this day, when I got up and saw outside the windows.

I woke up and the first sight of the day was such heavy rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03417.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03418.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03420.jpg


As this point in the journey, I was feeling a bit tired, and needed some rest. Also, by looking at this rain, I realized this is going to be a rainy day in Goa. When you are feeling tired and it is a rainy day, the best activity is to relax and watch the rain, if you can find a place with a good view. So I decided to do exactly that on this day, and just take it easy. Although this hotel room was good, there wasn't really much to do here and I did not have any great view that I can enjoy. So I decided to check out of this place, and spend the day relaxing at some resort where I would find a lot of open space and just some nice views. A little bit of Googling and I booked a room at Holiday Inn Resort. So now the plan was set: I would take a leisurely drive around, enjoying the landscape, and then spend the day relaxing at Holiday Inn.


I checked out of the hotel, and before moving on, took this customary photo of the parking area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0967.jpg


First, I traveled on such muddy road under heavy rain, trying to find some local beach nearby:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0972.jpg


Reached that beach, but it turned out to be a big disappointment:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0971.jpg


So decided to check-out the nearby Colva beach, and started driving towards Colva:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0976.jpg


Colva beach parking area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0977.jpg


Walking towards Colva beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0978.jpg


Colva beach, which turned out to be crowded again:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0979.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0980.jpg


So I decided to move on, and started driving further South towards Holiday Inn.

Somewhere on my way, I saw this beautiful old church:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0981.jpg


And just a little bit ahead, saw this lovely parking area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0986.jpg


It looked like another church. Parked Dusty there and went in to see the church (I love such beautiful parking areas. I believe parking area is an important part of the building architecture, and feels good to see when it is given the importance it deserves):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0998.jpg


Oh! It turned out to be a very beautiful church! Sunday service was going on inside, and in general there was a very calm and pleasant atmosphere around there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0988.jpg


Premises of that church:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0992.jpg


A huge tree on the church premises:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0993.jpg


Another view of the church:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0995.jpg


Another view of the parking lot that I really liked for some reason:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0985.jpg


I had no clue about this church, and it was a pleasant surprise to find such a beautiful spot right on my way when I least expected it. I spent some quiet time in the church premises. Then I continued my drive towards Holiday Inn.


I continued my drive on such lovely roads of the Goan countryside:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0999.jpg


I had such views giving me company:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1000.jpg

My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1003.jpg


Then the road became even nicer, and with such smooth surface and such greenery around, it was an absolute pleasure to drive on:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1007.jpg


A little bit later, came across another equally beautiful church:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1008.jpg


Which also had an equally well designed parking lot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1013.jpg


Another view of this church:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1014.jpg


After this leisurely morning drive, enjoying the rain and the lush green landscape, seeing the beautiful churches along the way, I reached Mobor beach area, where the Holiday Inn Resort is. However, by then the rain got even heavier. It was a proper downpour now, and there was just water everywhere.


That area was lined with nice beaches, but it was impossible to get out of the car to check out any, because of rain like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1018.jpg


I was driving through some very heavy rain now:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1022.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1024.jpg


After driving through such heavy rain for a few more minutes, I reached the Holiday Inn Resort.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 4th August 2016 at 11:18.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 15:16   #27
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5.2: Watching the rain


Holiday Inn entrance:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1021.jpg


As I reached the parking lot, the visibility was very poor, and I could just see water everywhere:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1028.jpg


I drove around the porch area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1030.jpg


Borrowed an umbrella from the reception desk and went back to park the car. You can see rainwater accumulated in the parking lot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1032.jpg


Used the umbrella to walk back towards the reception area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1043.jpg


The hotel name-board next to the reception looked nice through the rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1046.jpg


Heavy rain falling on the floor:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1035.jpg


Spent some time watching the rain from the reception area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03422.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03423.jpg


And then from the backside of the hotel:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1050.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_1053.jpg


Then went into my room, which was very nice:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0006_7.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03425.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03426.jpg


The room had a small balcony. From the balcony, I saw these beautiful cottages, and even more rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03428.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03430.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03431.jpg


I sat there watching the lovely rain for some more time:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03432.jpg


The room was really comfortable. I relaxed and rested for a while. In the meantime, the intensity of the rain reduced, and I decided to take a walk through the resort checking out the beach.

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5.3: Relaxing on a beach resort

The front entrance of the hotel. Now the rain has stopped:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0008_3.jpg


The swimming pool area:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0012_4.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0015.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0017.jpg


Beyond the swimming pool area, the resort had a very nice lawn and a beautiful walkway that led to the beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0020_6.jpg


Puddles formed on the side of the walkway looked lovey:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0021.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0022_6.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0023.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0025.jpg


A small bridge on the way:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0026.jpg


This was the tiny "river" under that tiny "bridge":
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0066_7.jpg


As I neared the beach, saw these decorative boats (props) wrapped up for the season I guess. Though wrapped up, these still looked lovely:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0028.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0030.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0032.jpg


The walkway goes all the way to the beach, and this was the first glimpse of the beach from there:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0031.jpg


The beach. Thankfully it was not at all crowded, and looked nice under the dark monsoon clouds:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0056_6.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0041.jpg


It looked like there was some restaurant and even some watersports offered somewhere ahead:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0044.jpg


Smooth sand on the beach:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0045_6.jpg


I just walked around for a while, enjoying the beautiful weather and the peace:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0057.jpg


A parting shot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0062_7.jpg


After spending some peaceful and totally enjoyable time on the beach, I felt rejuvenated. Then continued my walk around the resort:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0065_8.jpg


View of the resort from the walkway:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0067_8.jpg


A very pretty restaurant overlooking the swimming pool and the lawns:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0071_9.jpg


I had a very late and relaxed lunch at this beautiful restaurant, overlooking the lawns and enjoying the weather. Then just relaxed for the day.

A very enjoyable and relaxing day. Exactly what I needed to get rejuvenated. I enjoyed the heavy rains earlier and later the awesome weather after the rain stopped. And of course, I enjoyed the lovely countryside drive and then walking around this beautiful resort.

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Day 6: Goa - Jog Falls - Shimoga

6.1: Driving through torrential rain, and then through clouds

The plan for the day was simple. I would drive on the scenic NH66 towards Karwar, cross Karwar and continue on this highway, and then at some point start climbing up the Western Ghats and reach Jog Falls.


Scenic Goan countryside roads as I started my drive in the morning:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0077_8.jpg


With such views of the paddy fields in my window:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0076_8.jpg


Then I reached NH66, which as always, was an absolute delight:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0078_9.jpg


The NH66 stretch between South Goa and Karwar is fantastic:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0079_7.jpg


As I reached the area near Goa-Karnataka border, the rain became very heavy:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0085_8.jpg


The rain became dangerously heavy now. It was pouring so heavily that even the fastest wiper speed was not enough to wipe off the water on the windshield:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0083_7.jpg


The highway was getting flooded quickly and huge puddles had formed on the road. The visibility was extremely poor. Even at relatively low speeds, it was getting harder to control the car when it would suddenly go though a massive puddle. After I came close to Karwar, the road was under construction. The diversions were even more dangerous because they were muddy - the construction soil mixed with the water had created extremely dangerous driving conditions. I was driving very cautiously and slowly. It felt like it was better to find a safe place to stop and wait till the intensity of the rain reduced at least a little bit. Besides, I had started early in the morning without breakfast, and needed some food anyways.

On this background, this Sterling hotel (named "Emerald Bay") on the highway just before Karwar was just the perfect place for me to take a break:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0094_8.jpg


The puddle formed at the entrance:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0086_7.jpg


Ah, idli! My quest for "local food" continued, and now that I was in Karnataka, I was very happy to have some fresh idlis dipped in piping hot sambar:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0091_8.jpg


I could see rain from the window while eating the idlis:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0089_6.jpg


Dusty got a nice wash in the rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0092_8.jpg


After this nice and extremely timely breakfast break, I continued my drive in the rain. Now I could see these "Udupi Cafes", reminding me that I was in Karnataka (and tempting me to have another plate of hot idlis in that weather - but to avoid losing more time, I decided to continue driving - slowly but steadily):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0095_9.jpg


As I passed Karwar, the rain was still very heavy. A passing (and rainy) view of the Karwar Naval Museum:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0096_6.jpg


Karwar beach, as seen through the rain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0098_5.jpg


After I crossed Karwar and continued for a while, I had scenic views all around, but barely visible, like this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0101_8.jpg


I dared to roll the window down for a quick second to see outside, and saw this beautiful view:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0102_5.jpg


I continued driving in those conditions, slowly and cautiously. I was actually worried about the next part. After Honnavar, which I would reach soon, I had to start climbing up the ghats towards Jog Falls, and if it rained that heavily there, it would be extremely difficult to tackle the ghat roads. But I had no choice but to continue with fingers crossed and take things as they came.

Thankfully, as it turned out, I need not have worried. Just as I reached Honnavar, the rain stopped! I took left on NH69 after Honnavar, and the weather improved quite a lot. And NH69 turned out to be extremely scenic, as I expected anyways given that I was going through the Western Ghats.


A view of the scenic road between Honnvar and Jog Falls:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0106.jpg


As I gained altitude, I could see a lot of clouds and mist around:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0115_3.jpg


Driving through the clouds:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0119_3.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0121_4.jpg


The surrounding mountains were hidden in the clouds now:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0122_3.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0123_2.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0124_5.jpg


Another view of this absolutely scenic road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03433.jpg


And the view of the clouds right in front on the road:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03437.jpg


I saw waterfalls around, as if to give me a preview of my destination. For example, a bit ahead I saw this one in the mountain:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03438.jpg


I reached a bit closer to that after a couple of turns, and had this fantastic view:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03440.jpg


Clouds showing their magic:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03444.jpg


I thoroughly enjoyed this drive. The road was broken and terrible in some sections of this ghat, but apart from those few exceptions, mostly the road was smooth. And whether broken or smooth, it was always very scenic!

After this fun drive, I reached the first view point of Jog Falls.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 4th August 2016 at 11:30.
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6.2: Jog Falls


About 3km before reaching the main "parking area and view point" of Jog Falls (which was my set destination in Google Maps), I was surprised to see this board asking me to take this road on the right to Jog Falls:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0143_4.jpg


I took that road and found this spacious parking lot:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0141_4.jpg


On asking around, I realized that Google Maps were not wrong. The main parking and view point was indeed a bit ahead, but this was another view point which offered views of Jog Falls from a different side.


As I started walking towards the view point, I saw an entire valley full of clouds. There was a very deep valley here, but it was invisible through the clouds:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03448.jpg


There was this building there, which the Google Maps calls "British Bungalow" (I had no idea what that was and whether that was functional or abandoned):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03466.jpg


A bit ahead is this viewpoint:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03449.jpg


My first view of Jog Falls (I was surprised to see not much water even in this peak monsoon time):
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0127_6.jpg


Another branch of the waterfall on other side:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0136_4.jpg


The clouds were playing around, which meant the views were changing every time I looked:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0138_3.jpg


All four falls in one frame:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0133_6.jpg


I could see a bridge hidden under the clouds in the distance. This is the bridge that I would take to reach the main view point:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03450.jpg


Clouds hovering over the falls:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03453.jpg


A closer look after the clouds cleared:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03455.jpg


My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03457.jpg


The bridge became a bit more visible after the clouds cleared a bit:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03459.jpg


But another huge cloud came in and stood on the right of the waterfalls:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03461.jpg


On the opposite hills, I saw this beautiful building hidden behind the clouds. I presumed this must be the Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03462.jpg


Clouds playing around in front of the hotel building:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc03463.jpg


Next, I was back on the road, driving towards the main view point. That road indeed took me through that bridge seen above.

Just before entering the bridge, I saw this:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0144_4.jpg


The bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0146_3.jpg


View of the valley on the right side of the bridge:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0147_6.jpg


And the view on the left side:
My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka-dsc_0149_5.jpg


(Continued in next post...)


Last edited by Dr.AD : 4th August 2016 at 11:33.
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