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Old 8th August 2018, 12:22   #1
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Default European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180802-11.48.37-am.jpeg

With four lovely cars, eight close friends who share the passion for cars and driving, the vast unspoiled terrain of Konkan, the scenic twisty roads on the rugged coastline, and the beautiful season of monsoon, this drive was bound to be special. And it indeed was special.

The precursor to this drive was the solo monsoon drive I did in this same region two years ago (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...karnataka.html (My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka)). However, we did not merely repeat my previous itinerary. We stayed in different places and explored some new roads. As the title of this thread suggests, this was a “drive”. This was not a “sightseeing tour”. We explored the terrain while driving our cars, pretty much all day, and clocked some serious driving hours. The pattern that can best summarize this drive would be “eat, sleep, drive, repeat”.

Before going further, here is a teaser video of the drive (video credit: Robimahanta) :



The cars and the crew: This being a “drive”, the main actors were the cars. And our discussions, most of the times, revolved around the cars.

“One person's car is another person's scenery” - Jonathan Ive

The cars in this convoy were so beautiful that the above quote quite literally held true. I for sure, enjoyed watching the other cars in the convoy gracefully taking the corners as much as the scenery around those corners.

So, let’s start by introducing the cars, followed by the team of driver and codriver/navigator.

First, the hottest car in the convoy - the fast and the furious -, bhpian Zebo’s beautiful red Skoda Octavia vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_092146.jpg


And here is our “Team vRS” – codriver/navigator Robimahanta (“Robi”) along with Zebo:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_092206.jpg


Next, the fast and the beautiful, the sporty yet classy, the blue Octavia 1.8TSi, of PraveenBalan (“Balan”):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_092230.jpg


And here is our “Team TSi” – Balan and codriver/navigator Diesel_Convert:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight667.jpg


Next, the elegant, classy and deceptively fast, a car that is an integral part of our convoys for last few years, Tilt’s VW Jetta:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_092233.jpg


And here is our “Team Jetta” – Mr. and Mrs. Tilt:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_092237.jpg


And finally, the newest entry in our group, my red BMW 320d Sports Line, which I acquired (pre-owned, 2017 registration), just a couple of weeks before this drive:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_092152.jpg


And here is our “Team Joy”, yours truly, with his wife:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_092316.jpg


Photo credits: Not all pictures in this travelogue are shot by me. The pictures shot by all of us are mixed together randomly to form this travelogue (thanks guys for the permission!). Further, some of the most stunning photos were taken by Robi, who is an amazing photographer. So, if you particularly like a picture here, most likely it is shot by Robi.

With the introductions done, pick your favorite car, hop in, fasten your seatbelts, and join us as we relive this memorable journey.

Last edited by Jaggu : 10th August 2018 at 11:58.
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Old 8th August 2018, 13:44   #2
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

Day 1: Driving from Bangalore to Amba ghat.

The cars arrived at 7AM at the meeting point, which was also our breakfast point.

The Blue TSi and the Red BMW say Hi to each other:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_073003.jpg


And so do the Jetta and the vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_072928.jpg


The crew having their breakfast and getting ready for the exciting drive ahead:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_071923.jpg


Diesel_convert poses between the Blue and the Red:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-6.36.54-pm.jpeg


Informal chit chat before we crank our engines for the long journey ahead:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_072913.jpg


Our first stop was Apoorva Resorts, Davangere:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_092035.jpg


An amazing shot by Robi of the two Octavias, the hottest Red vRS and the classy Blue TSi:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight648.jpg


The Octavias were soon miles ahead of the Jetta and 320d. However, being petrol cars, they had to refuel soon, and the Jetta and the 320d (being diesel cars) used that opportunity to not only close the gap, but actually move ahead of the Octavias. Of course, this lead was only temporary, and it was soon that the Octavias reclaimed their lead positions.


The Octavias refueling near Dharwad:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight651.jpg


A quick "photo break" for Team vRS and Team TSi near the Suvarna Vidhan Saudha:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-imageedited.jpeg


The vRS in front of Suvarna Vidhan Sudha, near Belgaum:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6029.jpeg


The diesel cars had to refuel next, but only at the border of Karnataka and Maharashtra, at Nipani to be specific:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-12.35.57-pm.jpeg


Our next regroup point was Hotel White House, near Nipani:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight653.jpg


The cars taking a quick break near White House:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_130600.jpg


The Silver, The Blue and the Red, in front of the White House:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-1.00.33-pm.jpeg


The Blue TSi looking great in front of the White House:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight656.jpg


The crew use that time to catch up with each other:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_130545.jpg


One "red hot" shot :-):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-1.15.41-pm.jpeg


A random shot of the 320d:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-1.15.42-pm.jpeg


And then of the vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-1.15.53-pm.jpeg


Our next stop, the lunch stop, was at Kolapur, at Hotel Opal...:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_140611.jpg


... where we had delicious traditional Kolhapur food (mutton and jowar roti for the meat lovers, and some spicy vegetables and jowar roti for the vegetarians):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight658.jpg

Last edited by Jaggu : 10th August 2018 at 11:56.
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Old 8th August 2018, 15:57   #3
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

After the lunch break at Kolhapur, our next stop was Fort Panhala:


The Jetta and the vRS, parked on top plateau of Fort Panhala:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight659.jpg


Not too far away, the 320d and the Blue TSi, watching the fog in the front:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight660.jpg


Another shot of the cars:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_151736.jpg


The elegant profile of the red-hot vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_151916.jpg


Everyone laughing over some joke, which I can't remember now:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_151939.jpg


Views from Fort Panhala:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_153318.jpg


Robi, "The Doc", all smiles with the vast green land and grey clouds in the background:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_153315.jpg


I was busy telling historical stories. The fort is a very important historical monument, and it's history is full of stories of bravery and sacrifice:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-4.09.34-pm.jpeg


Next, we reached the "Teen Tarwaza", one of the famous landmarks on the Fort.
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_153833.jpg


The team posing outside the Teen Tarwaza...:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-6.28.33-pm.jpeg


... and then inside:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight661.jpg


Yours truly with his wife:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-6.36.32-pm.jpeg


Mr. and Mrs. Tilt:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_8978.jpg


This is the other side of Teen Tarwaza, overlooking a narrow road that goes down to the villages at the base of the Fort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_8972.jpg


I was so excitedly telling the stories, I was renamed "Raju Guide" :-):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180801-2.41.22-pm.jpeg


The Smiling Doc:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-6.36.33-pm-1.jpeg


Diesel_convert enjoying the spot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_154849.jpg


The prowess of iPhone photography. A beautiful portrait even in the relatively poor light:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight662.jpg


After a quick tour of the fort, we ordered some tea:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_155242.jpg


After the tea, we started driving towards our destination for that night, Amba Ghat.


On the way, we found a nice spot for a quick photoshoot, and the convoy pulled over. Carefully crossing the highway (NH166):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_162919.jpg


Photoshoot in progress:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.46.53-pm-4.jpeg


The ladies in the group, enjoying the weather and the drive, as evident from the smiles:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180731-11.56.56-am.jpeg


Could not resist sharing a random shot of my car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_163019.jpg


And this is the result of that photoshoot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6038.jpeg


The four beautiful cars from another angle:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6043.jpeg


And to conclude the photoshoot, another random photo of the 320d:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6043.jpg
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Old 8th August 2018, 16:24   #4
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

Our destination for that night was a resort called "Kyriad Prestige Riverside Amba Ghat". It turned out to be a fantastic place, located in a very scenic spot, right at the beginning of the Amba Ghat. The location was awesome, and even the rooms were very nice. Each room was a complete suite with a living room, a large bedroom, spacious and clean bathrooms, and a balcony with amazing views of the surrounding jungles.


The convoy reached the parking lot of the resort, and started unloading the cars:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_173638.jpg


One often quoted line on team-bhp is "If you don't turn around to look at your car after you park it, you bought the wrong car". Well, this convoy was so beautiful that not once, but we could not resist looking back at our parked cars again and again:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight663.jpg


Some views from the balcony of our suite in the resort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_175355.jpg

European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_175357.jpg

European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_180114.jpg

European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_080352.jpg


A nice little river flows through the resort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight665.jpg


A jackfruit tree along the walkways in the resort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_080727.jpg


Overall, a lovely resort and I am sure I will back here sometime soon:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_080902.jpg
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Old 8th August 2018, 16:58   #5
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

Day 2: Driving through Amba Ghat, Ganapatipule, and MH SH4:

The plan for the day was to enjoy the twisty Amba Ghats, reach Ganapatipule, and then drive northward on the picturesque Maharashtra State Highway 4 (SH4), which literally runs along the coastline. During they day, we would also take a Ferry (or two, actually), and eventually by end of the Day, reach Dapoli, which was our destination for that day.

These aptly labeled packages contained the T-shirts designed for this drive (thanks to Praveenbalan):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180727_173921.jpg


The crew wearing the T-shirts, posing with their machines:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-dji_0008.jpg


A closer look at the T-shirt design, based on the "monsoon green" theme:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight666.jpg


The cars looked beautiful, as they were bathed in the fresh morning dew:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_081813.jpg


Some fresh morning photos of the parked car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-dji_0012.jpg




European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_081954.jpg


The convoy had a heavy duty representation of the VAG cars; the three VAG cars here looking stunning covered in the morning dew:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_091711.jpg


From the breakfast place in the resort, we had great views of the river and the surroundings:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_082220.jpg




European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_082234.jpg




European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_082241.jpg


Back to the parking lot, for a group photo before we left the resort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_092501.jpg


And before leaving, we saw these interesting vehicles there. These were apparently used to carry tourists into some off-road trails. Wonder how it would be to ride in these:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_092114.jpg


After we left the beautiful resort which we really enjoyed, in no time we were in Amba Ghat:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_09374201.jpg


Where we could see clouds everywhere:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.53.51-am.jpeg


The convoy passing through a nice sweeping turn:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-4.40.03-pm.jpeg


The vRS as seen from the 320d. It was always a pleasure to watch the vRS crunching miles with the elegance of a race car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180727-4.57.49-pm.jpeg


At some place after Amba Ghats, the road was blocked because a tree had fallen on the road. Zebo checking the 320d's wheels. Everything alright with the wheels?
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_102713.jpg


This was the fallen tree, which thankfully, was quickly cut into pieces and cleared away by the staff working there:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_102807.jpg


As we joined the NH66 (Mumabi-Goa highway), it was time for refueling at Reliance. We knew it would not be easy to spot a good quality fuel pump in the remote areas where we planned to be for next two days, so we all decided to fill up here.

"Parallel Processing". The three cars getting refueled at three pumps simultaneously, while the refueled vRS rolls away:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight670.jpg


The Blue TSi at the fuel pump, looking great as always:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight671.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 8th August 2018 at 20:22.
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Old 8th August 2018, 17:02   #6
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

"At a secret beach in GanapatiPule"

Our first stop was a secret (well, not really secret, but very rarely visited by anyone) beach near Abhishek Beach Resort in Ganapatipule. I discovered this spot, by accident, during my 2016 drive.

The cars pulled over precisely where there is a small pathway leading down to the beach:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_114802.jpg


This is the small path (a few steps) that goes down to the beach, with stunning views of the beach even while walking down:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_113315.jpg


The team having fun on these steps going down to the beach:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_113158.jpg


Diesel_convert enjoying the surroundings:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_113131_01.jpg


Mr. and Mrs. Tilt seem to be happy too:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight678.jpg


While Zebo was lost in some thoughts:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight679.jpg


A clean and untouched beach all for ourselves, as we descended down the steps:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight677.jpg


The clouds, the waves and the sand. Magical combination:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight676.jpg


Mrs. AD was happy with the place too:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_113733.jpg


The waves were mesmerizing:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_113949.jpg


Robi looked like he was lost in some thoughts too:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_114047.jpg


Then he took out his camera. He spotted some great photo opportunity:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_114100.jpg


And this is what he came up with. A beautiful photo as always:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6114.jpg


After spending some time on this beach, we came to Abhishek Beach Resort for a quick refreshment:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_120502.jpg


This resort has a nice terrace restaurant, and the weather and the views were perfect...:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_123444.jpg


... for a couple of group photos:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_123517.jpg




European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_123532.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 8th August 2018 at 20:49.
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Old 8th August 2018, 17:09   #7
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

A Photoshoot at Aarey Warey Road

The next on the agenda was a photoshoot at a viewpoint on the curiously named Aarey Warey Road, a road that overlooks the rocky coastline of the Arabian Sea.

To be precise, this was the spot that we had in mind for this photoshoot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_11560701.jpg


Balan poses with "the other" Octavia, the vRS, while his own Blue TSi watches curiously (or should I say jealously) from behind:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_115427.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180801-2.35.26-pm-2.jpeg


A group photo, "between the Red and the Blue":
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight672.jpg


Another group photo, on the backdrop of the magnificent grey sea:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight673.jpg


My 320d with Tilt's Jetta. Actually Tilt and I had visited precisely this spot just recently, in February to be specific, in his Jetta. I had driven his Jetta that time. It is a beautiful car to drive, and now being at the same spot, I had a nostalgic feeling:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_115542.jpg


Again, could not resist a solo shot of the 320d:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_11550101.jpg


A solo shot of the other red car, the vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.05.24-pm.jpeg


And then of the Jetta:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.16.35-pm.jpeg


And if someone thought we only photograph cars, here are a few photos to disprove that argument:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.46.53-pm-7.jpeg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180801-2.35.26-pm-1.jpeg


The "Octavia brothers":
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180801-2.35.26-pm.jpeg


And finally, to conclude this photoshoot, a couple of stunning shots of the cars, shot by Robi:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6119.jpeg


A photo that, in my mind, captures the spirit of this drive in one frame:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6119.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 8th August 2018 at 21:10.
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Old 8th August 2018, 17:16   #8
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

From the Aarey Warey road, we started driving northward on the SH4, towards Jaigad Fort.

The first stop on that road, was this beautiful spot, almost bang on the beach:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_125306.jpg


I had taken photos of my Sx4 at precisely this spot two years ago, and it was an amazing feeling to photograph my 320d there now:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_12530302.jpg


The Blue TSi looked stunning on that background:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_12532001.jpg


While I was taking a few photos, the vRS and the Jetta were already in the mood to get going:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_125335.jpg


The next stop was Jaigad Fort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_132044.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_132255.jpg


The customary group photo on Jaigad Fort:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight680.jpg


In the background, you can see the Jaigad Ferry route (the line across the narrowest part of the river):
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-9.09.21-pm.jpeg


And we were at that ferry point in next few minutes, waiting for the ferry:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_134028.jpg


Tilt keeping the crowd entertained while we waited for the ferry:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_140809.jpg


While we were waiting for the ferry, we were all really hungry (had forgotten about lunch till then), and all we could find was a small tapri selling vada-pav there. We ordered some fresh vada-pavs, and they were amazing. The best vada-pavs we had on this drive were here. Absolutely fresh, piping hot, and delicious. We were so hungry and so happy to find this delicious food, we even forgot to take photos :-)


Finally, after some waiting, the ferry came, and we loaded the cars. While going in the ferry, captured this shot of the BMW navigation showing us entering the waters:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_141428.jpg


After the other three cars went in, the vRS boarding the ferry in reverse:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight681.jpg


It was really tight on the ferry, with barely enough space to park the cars there:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_141813.jpg


Our cars parked together, or rather packed together:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_141842.jpg


One of the hilarious moments of this drive. Praveenbalan was trapped in his car, as there was no space to open the car doors at all. His car was sandwiched between the two other cars. The only option he had was to stand through the sunroof and breath in some fresh air:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_9093-2.jpg


And he seemed to rather enjoy that, while posing for photos from different angles:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_141927.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_142234_01.jpg


Zebo closely guarding his vRS:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_9095-2.jpg


While Tilt and Diesel_convert seemed more relaxed at the far end of the ferry:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_142612.jpg


Our team was scattered across the ferry:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_142642.jpg


After some 10-15 minutes of the ferry ride, we were at the other end, and it was the Jetta that came out first:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180728-2.22.11-pm.jpeg


Next stop was Velaneshwar beach, where we were looking for a famous local shack serving hot food, especially the local seafood. But unfortunately, due to the off-season, it was closed.

The convoy parked near Velaneshwar beach, where the tired crew members decided to rest on the benches there:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight688.jpg


While I was busy posing with my back to my car..
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight682.jpg


A tired driver found a perfect spot for a powernap:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_153117.jpg


Finally, we found some nice hot food. This was a vegetarian meal (a bit of a disappointment for the fish lovers), but nonetheless, this was fresh and hot, and very tasty. We really enjoyed the meal there:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180728_155130.jpg


After this lunch, we started discussing our next move, and here, we did our only mistake of this drive. Our destination for that night was Dapoli, and our original plan was to stick to SH4, go via Guhagar, take another ferry at Dabhol, and then reach Dapoli. However, for some reason, we decided to take a detour through Chiplun and Khed (see the map below), and this turned out to be a big mistake. The roads are extremely narrow while crossing Khed, and the traffic was bad too. Overall, it was a painful drive through Chiplun and Khed, and we lost a lot of time and reached Dapoli very late, almost at the end of the day.

Our only wrong decision of this drive. We took the unnecessary detour while trying to avoid Dabhol ferry:
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Realizing our mistake, next morning, on our way back, we took the Dabhol ferry. That turned out to be lot of fun, with more scenic roads with no traffic, and in general, a much faster route.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 8th August 2018 at 22:52.
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Old 8th August 2018, 17:44   #9
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Day 3: Dapoli to Kankawali, via Ganapatipule and Aarey-Warey Road

Our resort in Dapoli, at the end of Day 2, was "The Fern Samali Resort". This was a nice place too, and we enjoyed our stay there. However, the resort was crowded, and we could not get parking for four cars together. Our cars were scattered, and that meant no customary car photo in the parking lot.

My car parked in one corner of the parking lot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_083321.jpg


While the Jetta finds itself in another corner:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_083521.jpg


Anyways, this time we took the right decision of returning via Dabhol ferry. The road from Dapoli to Dabhol is very scenic, with almost zero traffic, and we had a nice morning drive.

After a short drive, we reached the Dabhol jetty:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_103833.jpg


Zebo in reflective mood, as was often the case:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_103910.jpg


However, his mood brightens up while posing with his "Octavia Brother":
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_104011.jpg


While we waited for the ferry, some of us strolled around, and found this incredibly beautiful mosque. This is known as the "Shahi Masjid", which was built in 1659.
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight691.jpg


The ferry comes, and this time, the vRS goes in first:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight693.jpg


This ferry turned out be quite spacious, and we had more than enough room to park our cars, and even get out of the car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight694.jpg


Our cars as seen from the upper deck:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_110524.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_111853.jpg


Mr. and Mrs. Tilt, smiling as always:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_110807.jpg


The cockpit of the ferry, which was spick and span, and with those displays and control levers, looked very nice:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_110840.jpg


The ferry was packed with vehicles:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_111845.jpg


In a short time, we reached the other end and continued our journey by road.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 8th August 2018 at 23:16.
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Old 8th August 2018, 17:53   #10
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After exiting the ferry, we started driving towards Ganapatipule, and took another detour via Abloli. The roads turned out to be very scenic, and we had a great time driving through this stretch.

The three cars following the lead car, the vRS, through a very scenic stretch:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6132.jpg


A motion blur shot of the 320d:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6085.jpeg


Soon we reached an open stretch, and decided this would be an ideal spot for a photoshoot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_12355701.jpg


We spent some time shooting the cars from multiple angles:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-dji_0016.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-dji_0023.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight700.jpg


The Red vRS, hot as always:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight701.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight698.jpg


"Team TSi" pose next to their car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight696.jpg


And so does "Team Jetta":
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_12404201.jpg


Meanwhile, Praveenbalan was conspicuous by his bright attire:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight695.jpg


And was happy to pose next to his Blue TSi:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_124242.jpg


Another view of the convoy:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_12485301.jpg


Then we decided to have in-motion picture of the cars. The vRS was the first to go:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6157.jpg


A motion blur shot of the Blue TSi:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6194ar.jpeg


And then of the Jetta:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-wz4c6256.jpeg


After this elaborate photoshoot, we continued our journey, only to stop at the next photogenic spot, for one more round of photos:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_13362301.jpg


This was a nice spot overlooking a river:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight699.jpg


And here I took a chance to shoot a few solo photos of the 320d:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_13342601.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_133823.jpg


And finally, an HDR image, courtesy Robi:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight702.jpg

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Old 8th August 2018, 17:56   #11
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

We reached Ganapatipule and stopped at Abhishek Beach Resort again, but for lunch this time.

What is Zebo doing here?:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_152832.jpg

Well, he was actually just checking the mud accumulated on the front lip of the vRS.


After lunch, we started driving on the incredibly scenic Aarey-Warey road, towards Ratnagiri. The road runs along the rocky coastline, and has amazing scenic spots, such as this one:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-dji_0029.jpg


The crew lost in their thoughts, looking far away where the sky meets the sea:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_154215.jpg


Now it was Diesel_convert's turn to be in a reflective mood:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_154749.jpg


The team enjoying a quick photoshoot at this spot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_155002.jpg


Finally, a parting shot of the convoy on this really memorable spot:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180729_154948.jpg


Our plan was to visit the Ratnadurga Fort in Ratnagiri after this. However, unfortunately, some roads to the fort were closed, and a detour would have meant we would not have reached there before the closing time. Thus, unfortunately, we had to miss visiting this fort.

Our destination for the night was Kanakavali, pretty much on our way back to Bangalore. The drive from Ratnagiri to Kanakavali was actually a bit painful, thanks partly to the bad traffic on the NH66, and mostly to the road construction underway.

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Old 8th August 2018, 18:02   #12
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Day 4: Return to Bangalore via Amboli ghat

At the end of Day 3, we stayed at Hotel Neelam Countryside, in Kanakavali. This was an inexpensive place, ideally located as this is bang on the highway, and had clean and comfortable rooms to stay in. We had a good time here. Now the plan for Day 4 was to drive through Amboli ghat to Belgaum, and then drive back home to Bangalore.

Our cars, inadvertently washed by the hotel security guard, suddenly shining in the morning:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight703.jpg


The Blue TSi in Amboli ghat:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-enlight705.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-whatsapp-image-20180730-10.51.57-pm.jpeg


We regrouped for a vada-pav and tea:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_114058.jpg


European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_114401.jpg


The 320d with fog for backdrop:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_11440101.jpg


We had piping hot vada-pav:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_114431.jpg


The drivers enjoying hot tea in this lovely weather:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_114836.jpg


The Tilts enjoying their hot tea:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_114913.jpg


Hot corn, another favorite food in that weather. Notice the dog resting in the heat of the burning coal:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_115125.jpg


The ladies enjoying some hot corn:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_115518.jpg


After Amboli ghat, our next stop was Hotel Sankam Residency in Belgaum for lunch.

Final group photo of this drive, right after lunch in Belgaum:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_14381201.jpg


And finally, after the long drive from Belgaum to Bangalore, the group got together for dinner in a dhaba on the outskirts of Bangalore.


The two red cars, saying goodbye to each other, after four fun-filled days:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_202642.jpg


And to conclude, the final group photo of the four wonderful cars that were an integral part of this drive, right after dinner, before saying goodbye:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180730_20271901.jpg

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Old 8th August 2018, 18:09   #13
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Epilogue:

This turned out to be an incredible journey, as expected, and we returned home with tons of happy memories. My sincere thanks to all the wonderful people in this group, for taking out time, and more importantly, for their patience and cooperation to make this drive so much fun. You guys are the best!

The tripmeter at the end of the drive read 1932km. And notice the range after having already driven 85km since last refueling. I am really happy with the range I get on this car:
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-img_20180802_181635.jpg


For us, this year has been incredible so far for driving experiences. At the beginning of the year, we did off-roading in Rajasthan, in Isuzu V-cross with XTLO (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...u-v-cross.html (XTLO Expeditions: Rajasthan in a fleet of Isuzu V-Cross')). That was an incredible experience, and so was this monsoon drive. By some coincidence (or maybe not; maybe it was by design), both these drives included four vehicles, and exactly four days. Both the drives were really "drives", in the sense that we spent most of the time on all days in the vehicle, either driving it or as a navigator. One was an experience about sand and the parched landscape, while the other was about rain and the lush greens. Amazing contrast, but yet incredible fun.

Here is a picture than summarizes these two contrasting drives, which were both great fun!

"The sand and the sea":
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-sand-sea.jpg


Another point I feel amused about is that all of us consider ourselves hard-core driving enthusiasts, and yet, all four cars here were automatics. Not a single manual transmission in a group of enthusiast cars. This talks a lot about the times to come (or the time that has already come).


Finally, this drive was also special to me because this was my first real long drive (after a 700km Ooty trip I did the previous weekend) in the new car. This drive, which included good and bad roads, fast highways and slow narrow lanes, the straights and the turns, gave me a great opportunity to get to know the car, and understand its strengths and limitations. And what can I say? I am in total love with the car. With every kilometer I drive this car, I fall more in love with it. Anyways, that is a topic for another discussion.

With this, let me end this travelogue. Thank you very much for reading it.

Thanks,
-AD

Last edited by Dr.AD : 9th August 2018 at 00:58.
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Old 9th August 2018, 08:39   #14
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Default re: European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018

Wow. That's a nice line-up of cars with some super pics. And well-written too.

This brings back memories of a similar drive with 6 cars that we did two years back. MH is an awesome place to drive and explore during Monsoon.

@ Arrey Warrey beach
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-cl11.jpg

European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-cl01.jpg

During the jetty ride
European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018-during-jetty-3.jpg

Last edited by arun_josie : 9th August 2018 at 09:46.
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