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Old 18th June 2017, 22:14   #1
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Default Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Who doesn’t like going to GOA and chill? It’s been quite some time that Atul and I took Skiddy (our Chevy Beat) out for a drive and what best place it can be apart from Goa. Also, it was a while that we both took off and got time for ourselves. We knew traveling to Goa around mid-March would be extremely hot and humid, yet we decided to go ahead and plan the trip. Hence, the Goa trip was planned, with couple of days off from work.

Some quick bytes from the trip:

Dates: 18th – 21st March 2017 (4 days)
Travelers – Atul and I
Vehicle – Chevy Beat LT(O) P
Overall route taken: BTM (home) > Tumkur > Davangere > Hubballi > Dharwad > Mollem > Majorda > Chorla Ghat > Kittur > Dharwad > Hubballi > Davangere > Tumkur > BTM (home)
Kms covered: 1310 kms

Day 1

Packing for the trip was done the previous night along with filling up of tank and air in the tires. I think it is inevitable that we can never start a drive/ride exactly by the time we planned earlier. We were supposed to beginning the drive at sharp 4am in the morning. Arun, our friend, wanted to join with us till Davangere or breakfast point on his bike. Somehow we woke up late, got delayed, quickly freshen up, and we started at around 4:45am. Road being pretty much empty, we hit the NICE road (RS 120 toll) and headed towards the Tumkur road exit. With large number of trucks passing through the highway, crossing the toll gate of NH48 took us a really good time. Paid Rs 20 as toll fare, we went on to hit the Tumkur highway. The drive was pleasant, mild morning breeze, thin blanket of fog on the distant grasslands and our favorite music in the background. Arun on his bike, followed our car.

With a short break in between, we crossed Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere and came some 310kms away from home, time was around 9:30am. Decided to stop by at a restaurant and ordered some food, all were hungry. Ordered some benne dosa, idly, vada and tea. Took rest for some 30mins and agreed to move ahead. Arun would be returning home from here on. Bidding goodbye to Arun, Atul and I headed towards Hubballi. Till now (just before the breakfast point), we crossed 5 toll plazas. Rs 17 at Kulumepalya Nelamangala - JAS Toll Road, Rs 75 at Tumkur – Tavarekere Karjeevanahalli Toll Plaza, Rs 60 at Tavarekere – Chitradurga Guilalu Toll Plaza, Rs 75 at Hebbalu Toll Plaza. There was a toll booth in between which wasn’t working so the toll fare was waived off.

By now Sun started showing off in full strength making it really hot. Paid another toll of Rs 100 at Hadadi Devgiri Chalageri Toll Plaza, crossed Hubballi at 11:30am and took a small break. Just after crossing Hubballi the highway becomes single lane for a stretch of 30kms, making the drive difficult due to large heavy trucks trying to maneuver ahead through the steep roads and fast moving vehicle from opposite. One needs to be utterly careful and patient in this part in order to avoid any mishap. By 12:30pm we were at Dharwad. Here you pay a toll fare of Rs 61 which can be used later for entering the toll gate towards Panaji. From Dharwad we took left diversion and headed for Mollem, through SH 34 until we reached Mollem and the ghat sections at around 2:30pm. Paid toll and entry to Goa state for Rs 250 (this pass can be used for any number of days a person stays in Goa). Hotel was just some 47kms away.

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Ride through the ghat section was really pleasing, with green vegetation, small villages all along the highway and mild forest breeze. We took the Panjim-Belgaum road and then the Margao – Belgaum By-Pass road to reach Majorda and then our hotel, Shangri-La Beach Hotel at 3:45pm. This is a steal deal budget hotel for traveler like us, Rs 1200 per night for an AC Deluxe Room. After done with the hotel formalities and ID checks, we got our room, nice, clean and well-maintained. I straight away went to take a bath – Goa was HOT!

Took some 30 mins to settle down in the room, relaxed and decided to head out towards the Majorda beach to have some lunch, both of us were dying with hunger. Majorda is a beautiful village in Salcete, South Goa. A calm, quiet and not very crowded place, the Majorda beach is flocked with mostly foreign tourists. We got inside a shack and ordered our lunch – steamed rice, beef noodles and chicken xacuti. This was the best feeling of relaxing, eating your food, not doing anything, lazing around and staring the beautiful sunset across the horizon. I clicked some pictures of sun setting and nearby places, played around sea water and sitting by the beach for a while. Around 7:30pm, we walked back towards the hotel, decided to spend the rest of the evening in the room, too tired from the drive.

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Lied down on the bed to relax, we both fell fast sleep, by the time we got up it was 10pm. Called up the reception desk if we can order something for dinner now. The guys gave us number of a local restaurant who does hotel delivery. Ordered some chicken curry and rotis. Done with dinner, we both fell asleep once again. This time to get up the next morning.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd June 2017 at 08:22. Reason: As per PM
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Old 18th June 2017, 22:39   #2
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Default re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Day 2

Our day today started at 8:30am. The first thing we did was check with the hotel folks for renting bikes to roam around Goa. He made some random calls and confirmed that we could get an Activa by around 10:15am for Rs 400 per day. Till the time the guy came with the bike, we decided to take bath and get ready. The plan for today was to go see Dona Paula, Immaculate Conception Church, Aguada Fort, Baga and Calangute beach. By 10:30am the bike owner came with all the required papers, we carried our own DLs and helmets as well.

We had a total of some 100kms to cover today, so the first thing was to tank up the bike fully. We reached a petrol bunk, took fuel and air, headed for Dona Paula, 30 kms away. Rode all the way from South to North Goa, via NH 66 and reached about 11:30am. Dona Paula is a pristine beach with an aura both romantic and mythical, with many beach resorts, restaurants and water sports. The iconic Dona Paula sculpture oversees the Arabian Sea and provides a magnificent view of the sea. We spent some time here exploring the place, clicking pictures and finishing off with the lunch as well. Got into a local restaurant and ordered food, rotis, chicken curry, rice and some cold drinks. Around 1:30pm we started towards Immaculate Church which is just 7kms away.

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One of the oldest chapels in Goa, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is a beautiful and prominent landmark. Apparently, it sat atop a hill facing the square below. The exterior façade of the church, rich with Portuguese architectural styles, is painted in bright white. We spent some time here, clicked pictures and did some petty shopping. By 2:30pm we decided to head for Aguada Fort, 16kms away. The weather was getting too sultry and riding in this hot climate was too exhausting, so we did take couple of photo breaks while on our way. After some 45mins, we reached Aguada fort. There was no entry fee to get inside the premise of the fort.

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Overlooking the vast expanse of seeming to be endless blue waters in front of it, Aguada fort stands on the crumbling ramparts of what was once the most formidable, impregnable and strong Portuguese forts in India. The panoramic view of the ocean vista is just splendid, over which the fort keeps watch. With the splendor of a lighthouse at the center, the fort looks amazingly breath-taking. We spent some one hour looking around the fort, the lighthouse, clicking number of pictures with different poses and locations. But to much dismay, the heat was too scorching and made it very unpleasant to walk. Around 4:30pm we went towards Baga and Calangute beaches. The climb down the hill from the fort was very refreshing, whistling sound of the tree leaves, distant view of the ocean, colorful boats of the fisherman and greenery.

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Baga beach was some 10kms away and on our way we stopped by for some cold drinks and ATM to withdraw cash. Reached Baga beach by 5pm and shocked to see the huge crowd here. Being Sunday, the beach was flooded with tourists and there was hardly any place to stand. We didn’t want to spend much time here in this crowd and headed straight towards Calangute beach which is some 2kms far. I guess Baga and Calangute beaches attracts the largest number of tourists to Goa. Flashy resorts, hotels, restaurants, colorful clothes and accessories shops, ample number of pubs, cafes and happy people walking across the streets. Everything in Goa feels so lively and vibrant.

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Around 6:15pm we walked back towards the parking lot, had some quick bites and then headed towards our hotel. By now, sun was a bit calmer and weather turned out to be much cooler. We got into a local roadside food joint place and ordered some maggi, coconut juice, bread omelet and tea. 6:45pm and we started riding back to Majorda.

By 8:30pm we reached our hotel, took some rest and then headed to Majorda beach shacks for some peaceful dinner. The shacks were beautifully lit up with colorful lights and the evening sea just below the starry sky was just marvelous. Tables and sitting chairs were laid on the beach sand with a dim lit candle on each table. It was just so romantic, we sat on one of the table and ordered our food and drinks – chicken vindaloo, steamed rice and special seafood fried rice. We relaxed, enjoyed the atmosphere around us and had our dinner. At 11pm, we were done with the food and also, the shacks were shutting down. Paid the bills and took a walk back to hotel. 11:45pm we went off to sleep.
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Old 21st June 2017, 21:41   #3
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Default re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Day 3

8:30am and we both were up for the day. Today we planned to visit and explore some of the beaches in South Goa like Benaulim, Agonda and Palolem beaches. The Activa was still with us and we would use it for today as well, for a distance of 100kms. We had some tea, biscuits, freshen up for the day and left from hotel at around 10:30am. It was a hot sunny day, much sultrier than the previous day. However, there were still some breeze to ease things out.

Benaulim beach is some 11kms away from Majorda village. It is not as commercialized as other related beaches, though it is a popular tourist destination with few shacks and restaurants around the beach. This is the reason the beach is famous amongst the foreign tourists. We reached here around 11:20am. It was quite sunny and walking along the beach wasn’t possible. Clicked some pictures, relaxed in a shady place for a while and headed for Agonda at around 12.

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The route to Agonda via NH66 was simply heavenly. This stretch of 38kms was through thick dense vegetation on both sides of the highway, curvy roads and canopy of trees providing shade and relief from the scorching Sun. Agonda is known to be one of the only four beaches designated for turtle nesting sites under Coastal Regulation Zone. The beach is a gorgeous stretch of pristine sand, fairly unspoilt and provides a scenic view of the Arabian Sea. A plethora of yoga classes, colorful shops, beach huts and easy on pockets restaurants can be seen along the beach coastline. We also saw the famous St. Anne’s Church which has an exquisite beauty of its own. Spent some 30 mins exploring the small village and then started our ride to the last destination of our day, Palolem beach. Decided to spend the rest of our day here before heading towards hotel.

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9kms, around 1:45pm we reached Palolem beach. By now the afternoon sun started getting too harsh and both of us were starving. Walked down the shacks area through multiple shops and restaurant to finally settle down in a quiet, cozy, sea facing place. The restaurant was almost empty and we could relax here for some time. First thing we did was to order for some food – Goan style prawns curry, plain rice, chicken pizzas and nachos. While we had our food, the outside view of the waves coming in going out, the farfetched horizon and sparkling water of the sea – it was just so breathtaking.

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Palolem beach is also known as ‘paradise beach’ of south Goa and provides seclusion and idyllic scenery. With very less crowd, mostly foreign tourists getting their sun tan, this beach is definitely one of my favorite. It has a soothing aura to itself though it has lost its beauty, not able to escape from the eyes of tourists. A large area of the beach now accommodates a lot of small shacks that taper off as you move towards the south. Dolphin cruises and the fishing trips are the other popular attractions. We enjoyed this moment, ate, relaxed, clicked some pictures and when the sun started cooling off, went to the sea to play for a while. At around 6pm we decided to call it a day and head back, had plans to have dinner tonight at the famous Martin’s Corner.

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The return journey was pleasant, sun setting in the background and the hustling cool evening wind. Around 7:15pm we reached our hotel. We called the Activa guy to come and pick up his bike. We got fresh and headed for Martin’s Corner at around 8pm in our car, it was just some 2kms away from our hotel.

Martin’s is a paradise for authentic Goan delicacies, offering a wide array of cuisines which are traditional and exotic. This is an award winning local legend but now has become very upmarket. However, when in Goa, visiting Martin’s is like a tradition. Ample space for car parking, nicely done ambiance, well lit sitting space and live music performance, what more can one ask for. We quickly got a table for two, the set up was quite cozy and romantic with dim light candles. We ordered some drinks, mutton xacuti, plain rice, pork ribs, chicken lollipop and some prawns fry. Food was a bit disappointment as the standard has come down over the years. We ended the dinner with bebinca and ice cream. By 10pm we headed towards our hotel.

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Once we reached hotel, did some quick packing for the next day as we were heading home. Called the day off, we both went to sleep by 11pm.

Last edited by ampere : 21st June 2017 at 22:40. Reason: Removed mention of alchohol
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Old 21st June 2017, 21:53   #4
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Day 4

We wanted to wake up early today, but again ended up get up at around 8:30am. With much disappointment, had to leave Goa and head home. Before that had to visit the famous Chapora fort and Vagator beach. Today we won’t be taking the same route back home, would take the Chorla ghat road to reach Dharwad. Got ready, loaded the bags into the car, finished all hotel formalities and started our journey at around 10:30am.

Chapora fort was 47kms from Majorda and we had to drive through all the way up north, traffic also piled up. On our way we did a full tank of Skiddy as well. Reached Chapora by 11:30am, parked the car and walked up the way to reach the fort. The fort overlooks the Vagator beach and provides a majestic view of the sea. We walked through the outline of the fort, clicked pictures and enjoyed the beautiful nature. The Sun was as usual too harsh and it was literally getting difficult stand a single second in this heat. Decided to walk down and start our drive. In the parking area, had some water, lemon juice and ice cream.

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12:30pm and we bid goodbye to Goa, until we come back next time. Crossed many small towns, villages and single lane highways to reach the famous Chorla ghats. This scenic ghat section is located on the intersection of borders of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The natural conservatory is abundant with varied species of flora and fauna, bursting in greenery and the cool weather made the drive really amazing. From here we reached Kittur to join the Bangalore Mumbai/Pune highway. We crossed Dharwad and reached Hubballi around 3:30pm. Stopped by at a Kamat hotel to have some evening snacks before we drive continuously towards home, 430 kms away. Ordered some bhajjis and tea, took rest for a while and started in some 30 mins. Remaining part of the trip was covering as many distance as possible through the highway. However, the number of trucks and vehicles plying on the road wasn’t less despite being a weekday.

A quick detail on the toll fares that we paid on our way back home includes – Rs 61 at Dharwad – Hubballi Toll Plaza, Rs 100 at Hadadi – Devgiri section of Chalageri Toll Plaza, Rs 70 at Gabbur to Devgiri Toll Plaza, Rs 60 at Guilalu Toll Plaza from Tavarekere to Chitradurga section, Rs 75 at Tumkur – Tavarekere section for Karjeevanahalli Toll Plaza, Rs 17 at Tumkur – Nelamangala section, Rs 20 at NH4 highway toll and Rs 120 at the NICE Road junction for Bannerghatta road.

Around 10pm we stopped at a restaurant on the Chitradurga highway to have our quick dinner. Ordered some chicken biriyani, rotis, dal fry, chicken curry and cold drinks. Finished our food fast, we hit the highway once again, crossed Tumkur, Nelamangala and entered NICE road to exit for Bannerghatta road. And by 1:20am we were home, unloaded the baggage from the boot of Skiddy.

It was indeed a well spent short vacation. Goa never fails to amaze me.
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Old 21st June 2017, 22:18   #5
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Default re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st June 2017, 23:31   #6
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Default re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Vitamin SEA was good but it was too much for you Nandita
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Old 22nd June 2017, 12:11   #7
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Beautiful narration & lovely pics. You guys are well known in Bangalore biker scene, good to see the love for cars also. GOA looks so pretty in the eye of your lens Keep up all the good work. Rated a well deserving *****
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Old 22nd June 2017, 12:34   #8
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by atul.ktm View Post
Vitamin SEA was good but it was too much for you Nandita
Seriously, the heat rashes just turned me into a zombie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Beautiful narration & lovely pics. You guys are well known in Bangalore biker scene, good to see the love for cars also. GOA looks so pretty in the eye of your lens Keep up all the good work. Rated a well deserving *****
Thank you so much
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Old 22nd June 2017, 13:50   #9
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Very well written travelogue there! It might have been a short trip but you guys ended up covering quite a lot of places from Baga till Palolem and everything is between. I prefer South Goa for its laidback culture over the North Goa that is hustling and bustling all the time. Next time you might would want to venture to the North of North Goa that is Aarambol and beyond all the way to Querim beach. Thats pretty soothing as well.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 15:18   #10
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Quite frankly Baga and Calangute are over hyped and overrated, simply because they used to be good once upon a time. Its good that you both stayed in the south and gave yourselves time to explore the beaches there. In North Goa, Ashvem, Morjim and Anjuna are still a lot better than the others in that area. Overall, Palolem is my personal favourite too.
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Old 26th June 2017, 09:20   #11
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Loved the narration. I have been to Goa once, and that was last year, and this thread brought back vivid memories.

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Old 26th June 2017, 12:51   #12
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpower11 View Post
Quite frankly Baga and Calangute are over hyped and overrated, simply because they used to be good once upon a time. Its good that you both stayed in the south and gave yourselves time to explore the beaches there. In North Goa, Ashvem, Morjim and Anjuna are still a lot better than the others in that area. Overall, Palolem is my personal favourite too.
Totally agreed brother. I don't even remember when was it last time I visited these beaches. I would pick Anjuna any day over other beaches in North Goa.

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Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
The route to Agonda via NH66 was simply heavenly. This stretch of 38kms was through thick dense vegetation on both sides of the highway, curvy roads and canopy of trees providing shade and relief from the scorching Sun.
Next time when you want to visit Agonda or Palelom try coastal route. Trust me word heavenly will not do justice to the beauty. Especially for photographers this route is paradise.

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In Goa, nature beauty is in abundance. Whatever beaches you have mentioned are more or less commercialized beaches. There are many secluded and serene beaches. One of the beaches I'll recommend is Caba-de-rama beach. It is absolute beauty (Remember John Abraham's jump in the climax of Dhoom 1). You can click Sunset pictures from the cliff or can get down to embrace waves.
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Old 26th June 2017, 15:49   #13
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Another fantastic travelogue from you Nandita. Brilliant pictures and a fine narration to go with them. You have covered lots of familiar places and hangouts and rekindled some fond memories.

I agree with kpower11. Calangute and Baga have been going downhill for quite a while now. In fact, over the past few visits, I have kept away from these beaches completely. You have to reach the northern and southern tips of the state to get some peace. Nevertheless, Goa is still one of the best states in the country to visit - capable of cheering most people up.

The Chorla Ghat route is possibly the best to access Goa at the moment - both the drive and in terms of scenic beauty. Glad you took it.
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Old 27th June 2017, 14:15   #14
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Default Re: Needed some vitamin sea, so drove to Goa!

Very nice travelogue Nandita. Surely how many times you visit, one just can't have enough of Goa. You could have perhaps stayed a night or two at Palolem, which is simply the jewel among South Goa beaches. I stayed for 3 nights a couple of years back and it was one of my more memorable Goa trips. Nowadays, Palolem too is sadly getting popular and crowded !
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Old 27th June 2017, 14:28   #15
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Brilliant travelogue and beautiful pics. Goa indeed is special in its own way. I read so many travel stories and yearn to drive down, but Goa trip has somehow been elusive till date. Yes, I might be one of the few souls whose Goa dream is yet to materialize.

But travelogues like yours rekindle the dream and plans start again. Thanks for treating us with those wonderful pics and a beautiful narrative. Well deserved read.
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