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Old 20th March 2008, 10:32   #76
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I think we are going off topic here. What mobike008 said was in terms of safety and for enjoying the drive. It is always safer and less of a strain even if we can cover the stretch in one day.

I travelled from Hyderabad to Goa without a break and it took me 17 hrs. And towards the end I had to cross the ghat sections with some bad sections on NH4A and that too at night. My lenses were almost coming off and I had to struggle hard not get dazzled by the trucks coming down the slope.

Of course, with changing road and traffic conditions thiings said in an old thread like this may not be applicable always!
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Old 20th March 2008, 12:04   #77
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Originally Posted by watashi75 View Post
I think we are going off topic here. What mobike008 said was in terms of safety and for enjoying the drive. It is always safer and less of a strain even if we can cover the stretch in one day.

I travelled from Hyderabad to Goa without a break and it took me 17 hrs. And towards the end I had to cross the ghat sections with some bad sections on NH4A and that too at night. My lenses were almost coming off and I had to struggle hard not get dazzled by the trucks coming down the slope.

Of course, with changing road and traffic conditions thiings said in an old thread like this may not be applicable always!
Exactly, if your mindset is set, Hyderabad-Delhi is also not a big deal. What i meant was enjoy the drive and not set some records
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Old 4th April 2008, 01:54   #78
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Ok. So I was dithering for a while. I knew I had to file a report and yet was simply not getting enough time. So thought tonight I will do this anyhow.

We decided to do another Hyderabad Goa run this march. The same route as last time except for maybe the last leg. This time though the plan was to stay in extreme south of Goa. So we chose Palolem which is probably one of the southernmost beaches of Goa. Hardly many have heard of it. Afterall who needs any other beach when there is Calangute, Baga, Candolim etc. Right? Well, wrong as it turned out. But more on that later.

Just like last time we decided to leave on thurday a little early from office and head for Goa. The car was our trusted Turbo Indica aka Black Dog. As mentioned earlier in another post this time we wanted to find out if K&N makes any difference to an Indica diesel. Anyway, the plan was to make a night halt at Bijapur just like last time and then head for Goa the next day. The reason being, after leaving hyderabad around 3pm or later you can not hope to reach Goa with a continuous drive unless you are planning to reach sometime very early in the morning. So the Bijapur halt suits us fine while going to Goa. The return is always a single day drive though.

We left Gachibowli (picked up wifey from her office) around 3.20pm. Soon we discovered when it comes to hyderabad outskirts like lingampally and areas around it nothing much has changed in the last 1 year. The road is still that narrow stretch with wide shoulders on both sides, equivalent to 2 truck-width or more, still covered only with gravel and stone chips. Vehicles jostle for space on the narrow stretch of road in the middle. Everyone trying to elbow the other off the road.

Since we knew the road like the back of the palm we started driving briskly towards Bijapur once out of hyderabad periphery. Of course the NH on this side is not very confidence inspiring. Although the roads do not have potholes but they are hugely undulating and the car keeps rocking as the tire keeps running over this uneven surface at high speeds. Still we touched around 100. In between after Bidar it started raining out of the blue. This stopped soon but to start again after a while. This happened a few times.

In general the journey was the same as last time and the state highways of Karnataka can still put many a national highways to shame. In fact once we started the run on the SH we increased the speed to 120-130 kmph. Lots of villages dot the SH and once the night falls its better to be a little cautious. The roads invite you to speed but the villages and the rumbler strips on them makes you cautious. At 120 you do not even realize where they materialize out of, all of a sudden from the pitch darkness ahead. By the time you see them there is hardly any time left to make any appreciable reduction in speed. They are all unmarked! And no matter how good the SH is one huge problem is that the only light you see are those from your car and some occassional vehicle that you pass by. Thankfully we were adequately lighted up.

We reached Bijapur around 8.22pm without any major hiccup barring one. On the outskirts of Gulbarga, in the twilight time, in the day's last few rays of light, I did not realize that the smooth road all of a sudden vanished to expose a huggggggge crater the size of a meteor hit. Thankfully there was a level crossing where we had stopped before that and I was just about taking off after overtaking a lumbering truck ahead. I had reached a speed of 60 when the Indica did the calypso. It jumped into that huge crater with gusto and then the steering shook like mad. And then before I could even understand anything it did another ramba and violently took off from the other edge of the crater and jumped back onto the smooth SH. We were all shaken beyond word. My wife who was sleeping behind was thrown up and her head hit the roof and then she fell down hard. I was mighty worried of getting stuck at night with badly bent rims or twsited lower arms maybe. Only one who seemed to have taken it as business as usual was the car though. It just carried on as if nothing happened and kept gaining speed. Only difference as I realized soon was that the steering had gone a little out of the dead center position. As I discovered later after returning back to hyderabad when we took black dog for alignment that the front left rim had bent a little from inside. It was promptly rectified before being balanced.

Anyways, the 395kms or so of journey from Hyderabad to Bijapur had taken us around 5 hours and that includes a 10-15 minutes of break at Humnabad for tea and also a forced break of 10 minutes or so at the level crossing. So 80+ kmph average speed for this leg of journey. Not bad. hmmm... Black dog returned an average of 14.5 kmph with 3 people and their luggage with some spirited driving with AC full time. Not bad.

Next morning we started around 8am from Bijapur after refuelling. We did some brisk speed and reached Chikothi for breakfast at around 10am. After a 45 minutes halt we started again. Crossed the villages via Sankeswar (actually the bypass to Sankeswar) and reached NH4 very quickly. Once on the NH4 my friend Dev got the freedom to do what he was waiting to do all along. Of course many of us know what a drivers' paradise this highway is.

Hyderabad to Goa - An exhilarating experience (Now updated with Photos)-picture-018.jpg
Butter smooth surface with lanes on each side so wide that you can land a boeing on it. We were dying to test how much difference the K&N has made. All this while we knew that once the tubo kicks in at 1800rpm the car was making a whooshing sound and pickup was appearing faster than with a normal filter. We wanted to know if it has made a difference to the top whack. Unfortunately there were no roads to test that. We knew from our previous highway encounters that the Turbo is at home at 140kmph mark with full passenger load and luggage along with the AC on. So to test whether that has changed with the K&N Dev started increasing speed. The car was making that maddening whooshing sound as well as for the first time we heard that distinctive whistle of the Turbo. Somehow the Indica Turbo never ever made this whistling noise before this so prominently. As the speedo kept rising, I was watching with bated breathe. At 130 and rising all of a sudden a truck ahead decided to overtake another prodding truck and crossed the lanes. That was that. Speed rapidly climbed down to 120 and then 100 and then further down to 90 as the truck kept coming closer and closer with no signs of either completing the overtake manoeuver or of moving aside. We overtook the truck with horns blaring and giving the driver the glaring looks. He looked least bothered though. As we crossed the truck Dev again started picking up. But this time within seconds a man with his wife on a CD100 (HH bike) made a grand entry on the highway from one of the exits to those numerous villages alongside NH4, and crossed on to the high speed lane at 40 kmph. That was it. Speed again went down. Third time before we could even attempt anything we reached the toll booths.

Thereafter the traffic was a little more heavy for that highway with vehicles all over the place, hogging all the lanes and driving at barely 60-70 kmph. It was not meant to be. Most of them were not even willing to let a vehicle pass. In fact a yellow plate Qualis wala got so irritated that he made some real angry gestures at us (for honking incessantly at him as he was refusing to budge). And then as we were passing him by he all of a sudden decided to cut us off or push us off the highway. But by that time we had crossed him so he started giving us the chase. However Dev had other intentions. He had suddenly seen the vast stretch of open roads in front. He started picking up.

Soon that by now familiar whooshing sound was back. Black dog was happily gurgling. And the turbo's shrill banshi was making itself audible over everything else. As the car kept picking up speed our eyes started turning saucers. The car was loaded with luggage and 3 well-fed people with AC at 2. And it had already reached 140. Soon it crossed the 140 mark and kept rising. The rickety qualis was not even visible anymore.

The speedo kept climbing. My wife was looking a trifle alarmed. We were now above 150. I asked Dev whether it looked like it can do some more. Dev thought so as the pedal still had some more travel left and the car was not feeling anywhere close to being breatheless. We decided we shall see. The speedo kept climbing further. My wife was distinctly unhappy now as the scenery was rushing past at maddening speed. The car hit the 160 mark soon. Dev said it still had some speed left. I was astonished. A loaded Indica with AC on happily doing 160? Uh... Do we try some more? Dev said yes. Unfortunately as soon as the car touched 162 or 163 the car started vibrating. I knew we had hit the barrier. Dev pulled a face. Its the tires. The stock OEM Bridgestones won't go beyond this. Dev is sure that with wider tires the Indica with K&N will do close to 170 easily as there is still some juice left.

For next two days Dev kept hallucinating what will happen if he puts wider tires and folds the wing mirrors and then without any extra load (no AC and no other passenger or luggage) he makes the dash once again. He has still not come out of that calculation mode as yet. So? I know the answer to that question that always bugged me. Does a K&N makes a difference to a diesel indica? I am yet to test it on a NA engine. But a turbo certainly becomes a supersonic plane with the K&N on. You can take that from me. First hand experience. And yes, repeated the experience while returning and yours truly at the wheels. It hit that barrier once again just after 160 when it started vibrating. So its replicable. With everything stock but the airfilter you can touch 160 on a Turbo Indica. And yes, the tires were the bugbear as I also realized. I suspect that 170 is very much doable with better tires.

After Belgaum this time we shunned the Sawantwadi route and took the NH4A. Last time I left this stretch alone as there were no roads on vast stretches. This time it was a different story though. The road was much better, bordering on being fantastic after Ponda. Only peculiar thing was that the bridges that we crossed looked like they were separately grafted into the picture. They simply did not belong there.

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They looked like the surface of the moon. I think the bridges on NH4A fall under the aegis of some other body, different from the NHAI. And as happens only in India, the roads have been spruced up but the bridges have been left rotting! As soon as you approach a bridge on this stretch you have to come to a screeching halt. There are huge craters and steel rods poking out from those worn out structures. Its a nightmare in high noon. At a speed of 2-3kmph on 1st gear we still managed to scrape the bottom several times on these bridges!

Soon we reached Molem. Things get more exciting from here on. The road keeps going straight till you reach Panaji. However we took a left after the petrol bunk just after the Molem checkpost. Its a narrow gully kind of a thing. The map told us that this road goes into the interiors of Goa. Not the tourists' kind of Goa but the real Goa. My wife looked suspiciously at the road and then at me. "You sure it leads somewhere meaningful?". I took another look at the map and said, "trust me, or rather the map. It says it does".

Another quaint Indian state with the quinessential villages and small towns. The reason we took this never taken road (not by the visitors to the state for sure) was because this road short circuited the journey and joined us at the bottom of Goa to the NH somewhere close to Canacona/Palolem. If we continued straight till Panaji it would have meant a run across Goa on that NH for another 80 kms to reach Palolem. So the journey through the interiors, never visited Goa began. Desolate roads in the afternoon sun with not a soul anywhere. We passed by many quaint goanese districts and towns. Crossed Quepem (pronounced Kepe) and Sanguem (pronounced Saange).

Hyderabad to Goa - An exhilarating experience (Now updated with Photos)-picture-030.jpg
In between we got lost in some turns and twists and reached a jungle. Again found our way back with some serious study of our maps. Ultimately joined back the NH somewhere after Fatorda at a place called Bali. Then began another scenic drive through the ghats of south Goa. We ultimately reached Palolem at around 4.30 pm.

So how is Palolem? I will continue in the next post. I need to go and crash out now

Last edited by Zappo : 4th April 2008 at 13:22.
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Old 4th April 2008, 06:22   #79
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Hey I've been to all those places you mention - palolem, agonda, galgibag beaches, and stayed in Cotigao sanctuary! Been at that NH4a londa-molem route. You dont mention the endless ore trucks! What about molem national park - did you visit?

Very fond memories - and I'd done it at about the same time as well. Waiting for Goa snaps
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Old 4th April 2008, 07:36   #80
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Ahem! Finally you commenced the beginning of this long long report we were waiting for. Seems like you folks had a ball of a time. Look forward to the continuation and more and more pictures.
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Old 4th April 2008, 08:58   #81
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Nice update Zappo, Nice pics too, eager to hear about your next update.

Ya, Palolem is an excellent beach, the first one which we encounter from Karnataka via NH17. Hopefully you have enjoyed a lot. Did you try bagamolo beach too?

Abhi
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Old 4th April 2008, 12:47   #82
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Oh yeah guys. Palolem is fun. Its quaint, its different and its very firang! I will upload some more fotos. But then you all have to wait sometime. By the time I return home at 10 or later I am so sapped that I do not even feel like writing. haa haa haaa. Its only yesterday that I had a guilt pang and also the fact that I remembered Avi having asked me twice that I sat down so late to write this up.

phamily, you are right. Those ore trucks are a pain. Lines and lines of them. You can not even avoid them on those narrow roads. It happens somewhere around Sanguem. The scene gets only more bothersome if it rains. As we realized...
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Old 4th April 2008, 15:43   #83
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My sympathies are with you on vehicles hogging the lanes in NH4.. especially the trucks overtaking each other at 10kmph.

Waiting eagerly for the Palolem pics and related details. Probably will be the destination for my next Goa trip
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Old 7th April 2008, 01:23   #84
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Default Goa photo journal (Part-1)

Here is the follow-up post to my previous post in the series. My visit to Goa last month. While my previous post was on the journey part of it and hence was very descriptive here I will let the photos do the talking.

Of course, I would like to add here that Goa is much more than the over emphasised beaches of Baga, Calangute, Colva etc. We decided to check out the other side of Goa. The southern quiet, virgin beaches which are mostly unknown and some remain mostly unexplored even today. Agonda is one such example. These beaches are actually circled by small villages where you can stay in a very different atmosphere. These places are replete with westerners who come here for months stay or more. In fact these folks zipping around on their rented Activas reminded me of the Koregaon Park to some extent.

So here you go folks...

Gateway to the other side of Goa (through Karmanghat, a picturesque drive through the hills)

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Palolem Beach (Sun, sand and the magic of the swaying palms)

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Agonda and other virgin beaches, a quaint fishing village... (when tranquility beckons)

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Last edited by Zappo : 12th April 2008 at 23:26.
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Old 7th April 2008, 01:42   #85
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Default Goa photo journal (Part-2)

Of course Goa is also about Fun, Food and idyllic Siesta...

Hyderabad to Goa - An exhilarating experience (Now updated with Photos)-picture-055.jpg

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Squid Kalamari fry anyone?

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The village road in front of the colonial style hotel

Last edited by Zappo : 7th April 2008 at 02:20.
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Old 7th April 2008, 02:05   #86
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Default Goa photo journal (Part-3)

The other side of Goa (furious nature at its wild best)

Hyderabad to Goa - An exhilarating experience (Now updated with Photos)-picture-009.jpg
Unexpected offroading while heading for Dudhsagar falls. Crossing a raging river in the rains

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A raging fall...

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Memoirs of another day. A serene evening...

Last edited by Zappo : 7th April 2008 at 02:16.
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Old 7th April 2008, 11:34   #87
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Which all are the best fuelling stations enroute? Any shell out there?
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Old 7th April 2008, 13:06   #88
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Which all are the best fuelling stations enroute? Any shell out there?
Mahesh, I do not recall having seen any Shell pumps on the way. However you will come across a good few Essar pumps.

Having said that, I found most of the IndianOil pumps in Bijapur sells good quality fuel. So after a fill-up I reach Bijapur. Tank up there once more and reach Goa. Of course once there you are again in the safe territory.
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Old 7th April 2008, 13:20   #89
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Nice pics and trip report Zappo!!
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Old 7th April 2008, 13:36   #90
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Thanks PVS. It was due for a long time. Was not finding the time to first do the clean-up on the photos and then to select from amongst the tons of photos on the correct ones to post that could capture the mood.
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