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Old 23rd August 2008, 10:38   #1
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Default Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008

Beginning Note:
I have been meaning to write this since i got back this Monday, but, i was heavily behind work and had a frenzied week. Finally, last night, got down to the job of penning our trip details down. Here it goes :-

Trip Dates: August 13-August 18
KMS Covered : 1850
Fuel used : 117 Liters of Diesel
Overall FE: ~ 16KMPL with 90% AC
People : 4 of us, Me ( Avi) + Cousin (Jai)+ JP + Bala
Car : Pete'd + Green Filtered (Accent Viva CRDi)

General Rules :

1. No Smoking in the car due to which we smoked only 9 packets of
cigarettes during the entire trip. I am referring to the 10's pack. And, 2
people were smokers third who quit 3 weeks before this trip but could
not resist so was having a puff now and then and fourth was non-
smoker.

2. No Drinking and Driving. At least the driver won't drink. Well, you know
how it is, we broke this rule the second day :-)

Route taken ( Both ways) :

Hyderabad Hitech City- Patencheru ( 19km)-Zaheerabad (74km)-Homnabad (56km)-Basavannakalyan (24km)-Maharashtra Border (16km)-Umarga(19km)-Naldurg(42km)-Sholapur BP(42km)-Sholapur BP end
(5km)-Mohol (31km)-Pandharpur (45km)-Sangole (33km)-Nagaj(24km)-Miraj(70km)-Sangli(10km)-Jaisinghpur (10km)-NH4 (32km)-Kolhapur Bypass (2km)-Toll Gate (22km)-Nippani Bypass(15km)-Sankeshwar Bypass (22km)-Turn off NH4-Gandhinglaj-Ajra- Amboli (80km)-Sawantwadi-(25km)-Sawantwadi Bus Stand(0km)-Banda (3km)-GOA BORDER-(3km)-Mapusa(32kms)-Panjim(10kms)

Except Mapusa, I was clear on the entire route. As itís the same approach into goa as coming via. Mumbai, I don't think Mapusa comes after Goa Border but, the road leads straight to the circle from where you take a right towards Calangute area. If you go straight from the circle it leads
to the bridge which leads to Panjim City. The road condition was absolutely tops even during monsoon season.

There was nothing to complain either for me ( owner of the car) nor the passengers inside it. Of course, there were a few slightly bad patches with pot-holes here and there but, that is hugely expected. I would say the roads aren't that great between Basavakalyan for about 30 odd kms. And, again very small stretches between Pandharpur and Nagaj and finally between Ajra and Amboli. But, let me repeat, the condition of the roads is not bad for me to crib about them.

Before I begin, let me dwell a bit into the background, we four were having a drink a few weekends before the independence weekend and were thinking its been some time we drove out of town for a long weekend and decided immediately that Goa is the place that we want to go. There
was an instant concurrence and one of the friend who happens to be hyper excited/active fella called the hotel and booked the room there and then. And, after that it was just counting the days.

We were supposed to meet outside my office as it happens to be on the outskirts of the city and en-route the highway.

On the day ( Aug 13th, 4:00pm) we were supposed to head out, as it always happens had unexpected meetings and several important tasks to complete before i stepped out of my workplace. I did that at the cost of some choicest abuses from my friends who were calling me from outside my office gate.

At last, around 4pm, we piled into my car and with a huge rejoice commenced our holiday journey towards goa. The route that we took was quite well deliberated and got some awesome inputs from Ashish Pallod and HV Kumar. Infact, Kumar sent me an excel file with distances
et.all. We just simply took a print-out and whew, was that accurate. Great job guys !!!

When we started the weather was quite cloudy that filled some apprehension amongst us of rains. But, thankfully there was none until a very later part of the trip. It was a breezy drive until Sholapur. Since the scenery was so beautiful, heavy clouds and greenery everywhere we stopped at quite a few places for taking snaps.

There was particularly one beautiful sunflower field that enthralled all of us. We reached Sholapur at 8:45pm and headed straight to Tripura Sundari ( hotel found on website) and immediately came out as the rates
were exorbitant ( 4K or omething).

So decided to go to our regular hotel ( Hotel Surya International) and got a nice 3-bed + 1 bed A/C room for Rs.1200 and immediately freshened up and went upstairs to their nice bar and restaurant for drinks and food.

One special mention here is when we ordered for a full tandoori chicken, we were appalled to see the waiter bring in 8 HUGE pieces of chicken as normally in Hyderabad we get only 4 small ones for a full chicken and that too it is priced over 200 bucks. Here the price was only Rs.220.

But, man did that upset our dinner plan. We only had some jeera rice and dal and lots of curds to blanket out the spice. We wound up our session at around 1:00AM and hit the sack like four huge logs.

Next day we could only get up at 7AM and left the hotel at 8AM ( though had plans of heading out at 6AM..hehe) and then drove out towards Pandharpur and then we all started feeling hungry so stopped at a small hotel for some hot idlis,poori and aloo bonda's.

Thereafter, we decided not to stop anywhere and where enjoying the beautiful scenery and it was amazing to see the greenery around us. It was like peace to the eyes. we found most part of the roads quite alright and then we missed some turnings in Ajra and could not find our way towards the NH4 and just before getting onto the NH4, we decided to have a quick lunch so stopped at the next sign of PERMIT
ROOM and we went up to the restaurant which had nice glass windows and a beautiful view and ordered for beers. We had each 2 or 3 pints each and ordered for a heavy lunch that included there specialty Mutton Maloni ( It was actually nice but not as nice as the waiter proclaimed, he
mentioned people on way back stop and ask for that dish).

Then we got on NH4 and were looking for signs of Sankeshwar, Gandhiglaj etc. Somehow we missed it as i got carried away seeing that beautiful road and wanted to test the box and i was able to do 170kmph ( there is a picture at 160kmph) quite easily and their was still more juice in the car.

And, then suddenly saw the fuel lamp come up and decided to go another 5-10kms before taking the exit as I was aware that on Amboli and Sawantwadi there is only 1 bunk and didnít want to take chances. So after going for 10kms ahead we found one on the right and to our luck as soon as he put the hose to the car, the power went out and we had to wait for 30 mins to get the car tanked up.

Thereafter, I settled back in the rear seat to enjoy the most amazing part of the drive, Amboli Ghat-Sawantwadi-Panjim. Until now there was no rain but as soon as we crossed Gandhiglaj it was pouring like crazy and it added to the fun.

We reached Amboli Ghat section and let me not exaggerate but, due to heavy rains there was waterfalls every few meters ( we must have crossed over 30 of them) and the pressure of the water was so much that i was scared that it may wash the car away but when you come close you actually see the water is not falling on the road but, trepiding down the canal adjacent to the road but from a distance, whew it was a scary sight.

We continued our drive towards Panjim and finally reached the crossroad from where you take a right towards North Goa and reached Osbourne Holiday Resort around 6:30PM. When we reached it was raining so heavily we had trouble carrying our luggage inside the resort. And, then we checked into the rooms and immediately noticed the entire hotel is vacant except maybe for 4-5 rooms and itís a huge place. It was like a Bhoot Bangla, no lights and only candles lit here and there. I told my friends we should vacate this place first thing tomorrow as we didn't like this
definition of "off-season".

We freshened up and got out by around 8pm and headed to Molly's Malone and spent some time there over drinks and played some darts with the Firangs and was it an eye opener. Until now I was thinking, playing darts was only about hitting the bulls-eye but then its much more complicated
than that. So one take from that night, we learnt how to play that game. We partied until 2am and headed to club-city for a quick bite and hit the sack for the night.

And, next day after enjoying the complimentary breakfast and hearty time in the pool we decided to check out and checked into Molly's Malone. As we know Leslie, the owner of Molly's from the past couple of years, it was easy to get a room at dead cheap prices.

We took 2 rooms and paid Rs.1000/Room in Osbourne with Complimentary breakfast. In Molly's the deal was for Rs.800/Room and their rooms are way better than Osbourne and during season he lets out the same room for 5K/night. And, I had paid Rs.1600 for Osbourne when I was in Goa in Feb'08. Ok, this takes care of the hotel/rates et. all.

And, after dumping our luggage in Molly's immediately headed out and it was raining continuously so we decided to do a Goa darshan as we didnít want to step out of the car and headed to the nearest wine store and loaded the car with 12 pints of Budweiser beer and drove around aimlessly
and repeated the 12 pints in the next hour and then the rain was slowing down and we headed towards Fort Aguada and it was a nice time ( late evening) and it was drizzling lightly and we took our pints and walked around the Fort and nearby areas.

And, we headed back to the room and rested for an hour or two and headed out for the night and went to the usual hangouts ( Tito's, Mambo's, Cavala's, Aqua Lounge, Brittos) we stopped at each place had a few drinks and then head out to another place and we got tired by 2am and went back to the hotel.

Saturday, we decided to head south and went to Margao and then to Colva and drove back from there at 3pm towards Baga as had to reach for the meet. Due to drinking the whole day and no food plus a bad stomach, me and my cousin settled for an Idly in Kamat in Panjim. whereas my other two adventurous friends went to Sher-e-Punjab to have more beers and Murg Mussalam.

I reached the meet venue around 5:45pm and had great fun meeting our fellow bhpian's until 9pm and they all headed out to Sweet Chilly's and some of us including me went back to our respective hotels and own activitiesí was not feeling that great after so much of continuous drinking and had just a blueberry breezer as I was not feeling up to a drink again.

After re-joining my friends we did some more bar hopping and since a couple of them wanted to gamble we headed to Cidade Goa for a brief stint. I am not a gambler and I don't even know how to hold the cards ( here it was roulette and blackjack) and i was just hanging out with them.

By the time we went back to hotel early in the morning, we all were in a pretty bad shape due to so much of travelling, drinking and pit stopping at so many locations. We had earlier decided that we will leave for yderabad at 9AM Sharp. But, then with each of us having our entire set of bones aching, none got up before 9:30AM and decided on a new time, 11:00AM and someone wanted to do a quick shopping which turned out to be huge affair and everyone got themselves over half a dozen shorts, tee's etc.

Then came the main shopping request, yes, you guessed it right, the
booze.

Can you imagine we each picked up 2-3 bottles of Whisky's and 24 500ML beer cans of Fosters and KF Draught Beer, we must have bought a total of 12K worth of the precious liquid. The trunk was loaded to the brim and we headed out at 12:30pm and realized that the tank was just below half
and since we didn't want the fuel of all the reason to play a spoilsport so we headed towards Panjim instead of sawantwadi for a quick fuel stop and i was afraid that it will turn out to be more than a fuel stop and thatís exactly what happened.

We decided to have a quick lunch and went to "Delhi Durbar" in Panjim and practically got sozzled on the fresh draught they were serving ( 2 + 1
offer) and we really capitalized on this offer. We had a hearty lunch of Rotis, Murg Dakhni, Veg Shahipasanda, Special Meat Biryani and Veg biryani. It was one of the best dining experience of our entire trip.

Before I forget to mention, we didnít try any seafood this trip as a local suggested us to stick to chicken and meat as the fish is supposedly stale since fisherman don't go out to the seas during this heavy rains. So that's what we did.

After crossing Panjim/Goa limits we were sure of being knocked over by the excise folks for the amount of booze that we were carrying but as we all kept our fingers crossed and were approaching the check post, we noticed a Qualis and Indigo parked and all the officials had dug their faces
deep inside the behind of these cars and i saw this as a lovely chance of a quick and silent getaway, approached the check post silently and without looking at them we slowly crossed it and as soon as we were a few meters away, gunned the engine and got away with all that booze.

We stopped at Amboli Ghat for a long time enjoying the drizzle and had some corn and then onwards it was a fast drive until Sholapur which we reached around 11pm. Before entering the city, we had a simple yet sumptous maharastrian vegeterian thali and checked into Hotel Surya at 12am.

As everyone now had their respective work on their mind, all of us got up promptly at 4:30am and were on the highway at 5:00am. There on, it was high speed driving until we reached Hyderabad. I was at home at 9:40am. Imagine, we covered 302kms ( including a vast city stretch from Patencheru to Himayathnagar) in 4:40mins. My respect for the pete'd viva just went up a notch.

Final words, i have been visiting goa twice a year from past 4 years and decided now that its an overkill. I now plan to do Goa maybe once a year or less. After all, there are so many other places in india that i haven't seen yet. Hope you enjoyed it reading as much i enjoyed writing
it.

Highlight of our trip :
During one of the day in Goa, we stepped out of the hotel and were getting into the car. I got behind the wheel and other friends got in their seats and as I was about to start the car, noticed one Honda Activa guy ( you know the folks who let those bikes out) who was very close to
the C-Pillar on the right side and was kicking his bike and requested us to just hold the throttle while he kicks and Bala who was sitting behind got out to do just that.

And, what happened next was a hair-raising, horrific and extremely funny (only after the incident got over) as with my friend holding the throttle, the bike came to life did a massive wheelie with Bala still clutching on to the accelerator with only his right hand. The bike went crazy and spun around, took a complete 360 degrees with my friend hanging on to the accelerator all the while.

There was a mechanic shop near-by with folks working and the bike almost rammed into them. The bike twitching, spinning out of control went on for approximately 2 minutes and all of us were paralyzed in the car and finally somehow the bike came back to earth and everyone watching this
scene heaved a sigh of relief and immediately clutched their stomachs and were laughing their head off.

Whew, as the bike took off with full throttle, just imagine if it had rammed into my car, there would have been considerable damage to the doors/window glass. Or, had it ploughed into the mechanic shop were some people were working, they certainly would have got injured.

In such type of situation, you tend to get transfixed and become just a mute spectator and it does take a little while to gather your wits.

Thank god, nothing happened and except that friend we all were laughing hard the entire evening remembering that incident. Had we used some quick reflexes and filmed it, don't you think it would have been a great entry into the funniest video series.

With this funny anecdote, i sign off my holiday travelogue and let you enjoy the pictures. Keep an eye on this thread as i have loads of pictures coming up in the next few days.
P.S: Bala is the guy in cap in some of the pictures.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 10:47   #2
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Default Cont.........

These are the first set of pictures which were taken mostly while going between Hyderabad to Sholapur.

As i said, will will continue posting pictures till we returned back in hte next few dayscheers:
Attached Thumbnails
Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2781.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2791.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2794.jpg  

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Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2808.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2822.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2829.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2834.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2852.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2862.jpg  

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Old 23rd August 2008, 10:52   #3
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Oops...A loooong travelogue. But a nice account of your experience. Will wait for your pics. BTW, were all your friends t-hpians?
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Old 23rd August 2008, 11:03   #4
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Mobikek nice pictures of the land and road. The travalogue will take some reading, will do in the week-end.

Keep the pictures coming.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
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Old 23rd August 2008, 11:03   #5
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Mobike, nice travelogue and very detailed too. Waiting for more photos...

PS: Maybe you should rename the thread: Goa - bar, bar dekho! :-)
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Old 23rd August 2008, 11:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
BTW, were all your friends t-hpians?
None of my friends from team-bhp. But, still lovers of open roads, booze and travelling just like us

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Mobikek nice pictures of the land and road. The travalogue will take some reading, will do in the week-end.

Keep the pictures coming.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
Thanks, i forgot to insert a disclaimer that this travelogue will eat up half of your day
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Old 23rd August 2008, 11:23   #7
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I was expecting this travelogue.
Good to read that road suggested and hotel at solapur turned out to be good.
Had you stopped at huge waterfall in Amboli ghat ?
Looking forward for more pics.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 11:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
I was expecting this travelogue.
Good to read that road suggested and hotel at solapur turned out to be good.
Had you stopped at huge waterfall in Amboli ghat ?
Looking forward for more pics.
Thanks, i had stayed in Hotel Surya twice before, its just that i couldn't recall the name of the place.
Attached Thumbnails
Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2841.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2843.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2881.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2885.jpg  

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Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2996.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_3000.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_3003.jpg  

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Old 23rd August 2008, 12:16   #9
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These pictures taken at Pandharpur while going. We had stopped here for breakfast.

I found this old lady selling these bangles here thought of framing her.

@Ashish, while going we didn't stop at Amboli as it was raining hard. But, while coming back we stopped at the huge waterfall and had a great time. Pictures of that will come up a bit later
Attached Thumbnails
Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_2978.jpg  

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Old 23rd August 2008, 12:54   #10
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As Pandharpur is pilgrim center, lot of pilgrims [ known as varkari] come to this place.
I think, nagpanchami was there during your visit. Female items like bindi, bangle, mehandi, other items seller set shops on road and hence your pic of fancy coloured bangles.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 16:14   #11
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Here is a picture of Pete'd Viva @ 160kmph, though i touched 170 but by the time my co-passenger collected his wits and his shaky hands it dipped slightly below 160kmph.

And, ofcourse the fabulous NH4
Attached Thumbnails
Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_3024.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_3033.jpg  

Mind-Blowing Monsoon Drive to Goa : August, 2008-dsc_3036.jpg  

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Old 23rd August 2008, 16:47   #12
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Nice pics. Keep them coming.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 16:50   #13
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Quote:
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Nice pics. Keep them coming.
Sure, will not stop till someone keeps a gun to my head
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Old 23rd August 2008, 16:57   #14
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Avi..You should be named the voyager of the month..great trip dude.
Some of the pics resemble the film "Twister" !!!
Great achievement and you really gave motivation for me to do such a trip in my cedia
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Old 23rd August 2008, 17:09   #15
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Avi..You should be named the voyager of the month..great trip dude.
Some of the pics resemble the film "Twister" !!!
Great achievement and you really gave motivation for me to do such a trip in my cedia
Thanks Ram. The weather was unbelievable when we left Hyderabad, it was as if you could reach out and touch the clouds.

Don't think twice make a trip this December in your yellow beauty.
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