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Old 2nd January 2017, 11:39   #1
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Default Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

Since the birth of our twin daughters, the travels were restricted to "Nil". There was no way we could go anywhere without carrying a large amount of stuff and compulsory "Baby Prams" and carriers. Hence all the plans were put on hold until appropriate time arrives.

Last September, I planned for a surprise to my wife on her birthday (2nd October). It is mountainous task to manage one baby, she is managing 2!!
I had to keep preparations a very tight secret. There were multiple challenges to this trip. Me not being very experienced on Highway driving, 2 babies not completed 2 years of age, no other driver (As it was a personal family trip) and managing expenses.

Anyway, I finalized the itinerary like this.
29-Sep-2016 Early Morning: Start from Hyderabad
29-Sep-2016 Evening: Reach Belgaum (Belgavi), take night’s rest
30-Sep-2016 Early Morning: Start from Belgaum to Goa
30-Sep-2016 Afternoon: Reach Goa by early afternoon
30-Sep-2016 to 04-Oct-2016: Enjoy Goa, relaxing mostly.
04-Oct-2016 Early Morning: Start from Goa, reach Bagalkot, rest for the day.
05-Oct-2016: Start from Bagalkot, reach Hyderabad before nightfall.
Enjoy the memories for rest of the life!!

I will try to go in linear way with this trip.

Preparations: This was fairly easy to plan but hard to do. With 2 babies, we had to take care of their food, enough water, making sure they remain comfortable throughout the journey, good music for the ears, My Nikon D5100 and last but most important, enough courage to start with 4 of us. I bought a Car rear seat bed from eBay which was wonderful decision as kids and wife could sleep comfortably while I was crunching miles quickly.
Car was done with its 2nd service only 1 week before so no issues there.

Beginning: Plan was to start early in the morning (by 4:30). Finished work in office early, came home early, had dinner and slept. It seems babies had anticipated the trip next day and they slept quickly as well. Woke up in morning at 3:00, got ready. Wife cooked some pasta for babies, and for us as well. Finally we were ready to start at 5:30 which was an achievement with babies on board. Babies were still feeling sleepy so wife came in Navigator’s seat and we started.

I avoid taking trips in weekend due to rush, and hence, Thursday suited perfectly. Traffic was almost negligible and we hit Nehru outer ring road in no time. Took the Bangalore highway to Jadcherla. Super roads, no traffic, I was easily touching 120. My car (Ford Figo Aspire 1.2), despite being petrol was showing no signs of slowing down and was super quite inside.

Just after your cross Bhuthpur (an intersecting road goes to Mahbubnagar), Google map showed taking a right turn. I, being an ardent Google fan, followed it. It took me to 16 km long connecting road between NH44 and NH167. Road, although being a single lane, was no less scenic and small hills on the right kept us company, with the mist on their peaks.

After touching NH167, road was barely manageable for around 10-12 kms till Marikal. After that standard 2 lane highway started. Not sure if due to weekday, or my luck being good, there was again very less traffic on the Highway and I could drive as I pleased. Sometimes, driving to the tunes of song being played on excellent Music System of Aspire, sometime slow while my wife tended to babies. Scenic and beautiful road with lots of water bodies and greenery on both sides.

We reached Deosugur by early afternoon (around 1:00 PM). I was not driving very fast because it was babies' first long trip and I did not want them to feel noxious.

We reached Raichur quickly after and took bypass and continued towards Lingsugur- Mudgal using SH15-20. As soon as you cross Raichur, numerous villages come on both sides of the road which means speed breaker every now and then. You need to drive in sober speeds to counter them effectively.
Once you are about to reach Mudgal keep on SH20.

SH20 will take you straight to Belgaum (Which was our night Halt). A special mention to the Roads between Bagalkot and Belgaum being true traveler’s roads. They were just beautiful to drive and Wife agreed as well that it was worthwhile decision to drive to Goa.

We reached Belgaum by 6:00 pm in afternoon, descending into a small valley. I had booked Hotel Sankam Residency, reading fellow BHPians experience and it was very comfortable stay overnight. While wife and babies slept quickly after tasty dinner, I went down to reception to check which road to take to Goa next day.

The big dilemma next day was which road to choose, Chorla or Amboli. Guy at Hotel reception told that Chorla Road is shorter, better managed, however, fairly boring. I wanted to play safe and chose Chorla over Amboli. The decision proved smart as Chorla Ghat road were butter smooth, however fairly monotonous. However, at this time everybody wanted to reach Goa quickly.

Descended Chorla Ghat and paid 250 rs fees while entering Goa. As soon as you enter Goa, whole scene changes. Narrow roads, Konkani people and culture, it is so intoxicating.

Reached Hotel by 1:00 PM, checked in and took a quick nap.

For next 4 days, we enjoyed, relaxed and soaked in Goa. Whole purpose of the trip was never to "cover" touristy spots, hence we took our time wherever we went, once spending whole day at a beach shack. It was amazing for other (Alcohol Drinking) people to see 2 babies enjoying and relaxing having their own drink (Milk ).

For the return, the adventurer in me rose again and we decided to choose Amboli this time. The roads till Sawantwadi were just too good, after that using Google Maps, I chose the route which took us into some village road in mountains. Roads for around 20 kms were average and I could drive only at around 30-40 kmph. However, once we reached the Ghat section, conditions improved considerably and we reached Amboli Falls quickly. Another beautiful reward for driving through your courage !!
After that, we traveled straight to Bagalkot where Hotel Haripriya was booked for night stay. Hotel choice again proved to be good.

Next day morning, after breakfast, started for Hyderabad using the same route which we came. Reached Hyderabad by evening 6:00 PM.

Thus a wonderful journey came to end. We all had a great time and vowed to keep doing these mid-range trips every now and then.

Trip Summary
Total Distance Traveled

Hyderabad to Belgaum 560 kms
Belgaum to Goa (via Chorla) 139 kms
Within Goa 273 kms
Goa to Bagalkot (via Amboli) 310 kms
Bagalkot to Hyderabad 426 kms
Total Distance: 1708 kms
Total Fuel ~ 100 ltrs
Average Economy: 17
MID Economy: 17.4

Routes Chosen:
While going: Hyderabad – Jadcherla –Deosugur – Raichur – Lingsugur – Mudgal – Bagalkot – Belgaum – Chorla – Goa
While coming back: Goa – Sawantwadi – Amboli – Belagum – Bagalkot – Mudgal – Lingsugur – Raichur – Deosugur – Jadcherla – Hyderabad

Hotels:
Sankam Residency (Belgaum)
Location 5/5
Ambiance 4/5
Parking 3/5
Service 4/5
Breakfast 4/5
Value for Money 4/5

Santana Resort (Candolim, Goa)
Location 5/5
Ambiance 5/5
Parking 2/5
Breakfast/Food 3/5
Service 5/5
Value for Money 4/5

Hotel Haripriya (Bagalkot)
Location 4/5
Ambiance 4/5
Parking 4/5
Breakfast/Food 4/5
Service 3/5
Value for Money 3.5/5

How did the car (Ford Figo Aspire petrol 1.2 Titanium) behave?

Ever since I bought the car, I was itching to test the limits, both mine and car’s. This trip provided excellent opportunity to do this.
I found the long drive to be really exciting. As I love nature (Who doesn’t), varying landscapes were like a spa-treatment to my eyes and body. Did not feel tired at all even after driving 560 kms in 1 Day (Hyderabad to Belgaum) and did not face any issues in driving on ghats (Amboli and Chorla).

Car did exceptionally well throughout the trip. Being a petrol car, it was extremely quite inside cabin and because of it babies were much more comfortable.
I could feel the lack of power sometimes, but I found myself to be able to work the gears quickly. Highways were empty most of the time anyway and 5th gear was on for almost 90% of “Non-ghat” roads.

Once the car picked up the speed, it was very easy to maintain it. Sometimes I felt like being on “cruise control”.
AC worked flawlessly (Perfect cooling without noise).

On ghat roads, I was able to drive in 2nd / 3rd gears most of time. This was on full load (2 Adults, 2 babies, awful lot of stuff in boot).
Overall, I felt supremely satisfied with the car and consolidated my confidence in Ford cars.


Important Notes to consider (Lessons Learnt)

1. Always have proper rest before starting any long trip.
2. Keep enough water (especially with Babies).
3. For keeping nausea under control for babies, keep taking breaks (just five minute every 60-80 kms), feed them water and avoid milk if you can.
4. For me Pedal-to-metal driving does not work, I can still maintain decent speeds and like to keep average around 80-90. This way you don’t get tired.
5. Avoid night driving as much as you can.
6. Make sure to keep babies engaged with toys, taking to them, singing poems, songs (Depends upon age).
7. Never ever park your vehicle on Ghat roads even if roads seems fairly empty and no animals in sight.
8. Remember to enjoy and keep taking pictures.

Here are some pictures of the trip.

Mountains and mist near Mahbubnagar

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0002.jpg

Windmills en-route

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0071.jpg

Sunsets are my weakness. This one is from Bagalkot - Belgaum road.

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0153.jpg

Misty mountains of Chorla Ghat

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0286.jpg

Wave fishing in Goa !!

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0452.jpg

Classic "Goan" picture

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0593.jpg

Green Goa

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0918.jpg

Veg Goan Platter

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-img_20161001_152828_hdr.jpg

Colva Beach

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-img_20161003_142217_hdr.jpg

Amboli Falls

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-img_20161004_135554_hdreffects.jpg

Thanks for going through the journey. Signing off until next trip.

Last edited by amit_rai : 18th January 2017 at 17:31. Reason: Pictures re-uploaded
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Old 18th January 2017, 21:53   #2
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st March 2017, 11:33   #3
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

Hi,

Thanks for such a nice and crisp description of your trip. I am also planning to do the trip from Hyd to Goa in the last week of April in my 2015 Figo (Diesel) with 4 adults and a baby (I will be the sole driver for the entire trip). While I will break in Belgavi on the onward journey, I (optimistically) intend to do the return leg without breaking for the night.
Could you please share the information on how you booked the rooms in Belgavi and Bagalkot? Also, were there any hotels in the near vicinity of the hotels you stayed in (in case I fail to find accommodation in the aforementioned hotels)?

Thanking in advance,
Partha
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Old 22nd March 2017, 00:26   #4
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

Very nice and crisp travelogue there Amit Rai. Must say honestly, I was expecting plenty more photographs. But still a good one nevertheless. Thanks for sharing.

I am also planning to take up a trip to Goa this month, can you please shed some light on the following,
a) The Rs 250 paid while entering Goa (may seem dumb, but this will be the first time I would drive to Goa) and where to pay it.
b) How about the interior road conditions within Goa, whether they are easily manageable by any car or only a high GC SUV is required.
c) Any web link to the car inflatable bed mentioned in your log would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 08:13   #5
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

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Originally Posted by revvenant View Post
Hi,

Thanks for such a nice and crisp description of your trip. I am also planning to do the trip from Hyd to Goa in the last week of April in my 2015 Figo (Diesel) with 4 adults and a baby (I will be the sole driver for the entire trip). While I will break in Belgavi on the onward journey, I (optimistically) intend to do the return leg without breaking for the night.
Could you please share the information on how you booked the rooms in Belgavi and Bagalkot? Also, were there any hotels in the near vicinity of the hotels you stayed in (in case I fail to find accommodation in the aforementioned hotels)?

Thanking in advance,
Partha
Thanks Partha !!
I booked the room in Belgavi via Make My Trip, whereas in Bagalkot, it was booked on the spot. I believe that Haripriya Hotel might be available. Sankam Residency is a popular Hotel in Belgavi and may get full. Unfortunately, I am not a regular traveller to that area and hence do not know any hotel in Belgavi by personal experience. However, it is a decent town and I am sure there will be loads of other hotels in Belgavi.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 08:36   #6
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

Thanks. I am planning to post more pictures, not getting time due to my babies and some office workload. Will try to post in this weekend.
For your questions :
Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
The Rs 250 paid while entering Goa (may seem dumb, but this will be the first time I would drive to Goa) and where to pay it.
250 Rs. entry fees to Goa was paid as soon as I descended from Chorla Ghat. I guess this should be paid while entering the Goa State. There are total 5 entry points where this tax needs to be paid. I think there is a regulation of refund if you cross Goa within 4 or 5 hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
b) How about the interior road conditions within Goa, whether they are easily manageable by any car or only a high GC SUV is required.
Roads within Goa are decent to very good and a sedan should be able to manage it without issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
c) Any web link to the car inflatable bed mentioned in your log would be helpful.
Unfortunately, I could not locate the item back on ebay (from where I bought), However I am sure there will be other similar products on different online websites. Just search for "Car Inflatable Beds". The one I bought was of brand "Speedwav"
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Old 22nd March 2017, 09:33   #7
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Thanks to all who went through the travelogue. I am posting some more pictures of the trip.

A nice break-time and playing with babies to make them feel re-freshed
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0155min.jpg

and the road goes on and on (Bagalkot to Belgaum Road)
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0171min.jpg

Does it look like they have completed 13 hour journey? made a mess of Hotel's bedding
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0201min.jpg

On Chorla Ghat. too much Green
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0259min.jpg

Winding roads of Chorla Ghat
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0272min.jpg

Some nice location between Bagalkot and Lingusugur
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0280min.jpg

Finally reached Goa !!
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0322min.jpg

Nice Goan Architecture. Not sure what it is though. House, temple, Community hall ??
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0889min.jpg

Road from Goa to Sawantwadi
Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0016min.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 22nd March 2017 at 11:57. Reason: Deleting image - Rule #11
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Old 22nd March 2017, 11:23   #8
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Default Re: Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa

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Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
a) The Rs 250 paid while entering Goa (may seem dumb, but this will be the first time I would drive to Goa) and where to pay it.
Thanks in advance.
You dont need to worry much about it.
They have ensured that no one enters without paying 250rs. Toll booths are setup on all the major highways entering Goa.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 13:21   #9
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...I bought a Car rear seat bed from eBay which was wonderful decision
Great trip and kudos doing it with 2 small kids in tow. I did Bombay-Goa in January with 2 six month old babies and 1 five year old and 4 adults. my friend and I were alternating between driving and riding shotgun, however, the ladies bore the brunt of managing the kids.

The car rear seat bed sounds very useful, do you mind sharing some photos of the bed and some feedback on its usefulness during the trip, also, how good is it in securing the kids?. Might be handy if its only the family travelling.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 14:19   #10
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The car rear seat bed sounds very useful, do you mind sharing some photos of the bed and some feedback on its usefulness during the trip, also, how good is it in securing the kids?. Might be handy if its only the family travelling.
I found travelling with babies to be better than with Kids. You just need to keep giving enough water, take good amount of breaks regularly and avoid milk. One important point while driving is to reduce speed at curves which help other occupants of car to feel less sick.
Car bed was actually amazing which helped wife and babies sleep peacefully while I was able to crunch miles quickly. I do not drive very fast, generally driving in range of 80-100 kmph. At this speeds, while babies are sleeping wife can sit in front and we provide some cushioning in the back. While wife is back, she manages both babies together.
Bed felt secure throughout the trip, however seat belts cannot be attached with it and we relied on external cushions. I felt confident while babies slept on it and more when wife was there with them.
Babies were really comfortable in the back and kept playing almost throughout the journey (~14 hours). Even my wife slept really peacefully on that. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to lie down on the same.
Here are some pics of babies sleeping and enjoying on the bed.

Asmi sleeping so peacefully. She slept for almost 3 hours on a stretch.

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0924min.jpg

Play time

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0254min.jpg

Before we begin again (Starting from Bagalkot)

Grey Ghost goes from Hyderabad to Goa-dsc_0277min.jpg
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Old 22nd March 2017, 15:00   #11
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...Car bed was actually amazing which helped wife and babies sleep peacefully...
Thanks. Looks really comfortable. Cushioning the entire rear seat with pillows etc is a good idea too. I'll probably buy this for my car before the next long haul.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 00:06   #12
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Nice Travelogue with each and every detail of route and stays. Kudos to you and your better-half for doing such long road trip with 2 kids .The kids seem to enjoy the road-trip.

Car bed sounds good to keep kids comfortable.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 15:21   #13
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Originally Posted by amit_rai View Post

Just after your cross Bhuthpur (an intersecting road goes to Mahbubnagar), Google map showed taking a right turn. I, being an ardent Google fan, followed it. It took me to 16 km long connecting road between NH44 and NH167. Road, although being a single lane, was no less scenic and small hills on the right kept us company, with the mist on their peaks.
I have traveled twice on the route you speak of. The first time it was en route to Goa in Oct 2016 and the second time it was while going to Hampi in January 2017. The first time we covered it was in the dead of the night at around 3.30 AM (we were following google maps as well). We didn't spot a soul in that 17 km stretch and everyone in the vehicle was wide awake till the stretch was over.

The second time on the route was a much relaxed drive as we covered it was at around 8 am and it indeed is a scenic route.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 16:58   #14
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I found travelling with babies to be better than with Kids. You just need to keep giving enough water, take good amount of breaks regularly and avoid milk. One important point while driving is to reduce speed at curves which help other occupants of car to feel less sick.
Car bed was actually amazing which helped wife and babies sleep peacefully while I was able to crunch miles quickly. I do not drive very fast, generally driving in range of 80-100 kmph. At this speeds, while babies are sleeping wife can sit in front and we provide some cushioning in the back. While wife is back, she manages both babies together.
Bed felt secure throughout the trip, however seat belts cannot be attached with it and we relied on external cushions. I felt confident while babies slept on it and more when wife was there with them.
Babies were really comfortable in the back and kept playing almost throughout the journey (~14 hours). Even my wife slept really peacefully on that. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to lie down on the same.
Here are some pics of babies sleeping and enjoying on the bed.

[/ATTACH]
Kudos on the trip. Doing a trip with one kid for me is difficult, I can imagine with the 2 kids it will be even more difficult .

One suggestion from my end though, please belt your kids in car seats. Kids have the capability to sleep in the car seats as well for long periods of time and it is also not uncomfortable. It is only a case of them getting used to it. In my opinion, car seats are the only place where a child should be place, whether city or highway, more so on the highway. Irrespective of the speeds, the beds are not the right place for them to be in.
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Old 24th March 2017, 12:13   #15
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Thanks, I understand that a car bed is not possibly the most safe place for babies. Being 2 babies, it becomes little impractical to have 2 car seats which kills up the space. That's the reason we did not take many long trips with babies. I endorse the safety point completely.
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