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|24th September 2009, 14:18||#1|
Goa vacation: Pre-dussera weekend, Sep 2009.
Last time I visited Goa was long back, during my bachelor days. After that, everytime a vacation came up, I thought of Goa, but didn’t happen. This time, I was quite determined to make it to Goa with my family. So began the numerous reseach on tbhp about the routes, places to stay, things to do and joints to eat in. The trip was finally planned for 18-24 Sep, with the onset of my son’s dussera vacation in school. Our ride was to be my 10-month-old Honda city vtec, which would be due for 4th service after the trip.
Day 1: (18-Sep)
As usual, the previous night was so full of anticipation that I could hardly sleep, even after hitting the bed at 10:30pm. After frequent breaks, woke up at 3:45am and started getting ready. Promptly at 5pm, we loaded the luggage in the boot of my vtec. After eating 1 big suitcase, 1 huge rucksuk, 2 smaller bags, 10 bottles of water and 1 water drum (5L), the honda’s boot still has enough space left. Petrol tanked-up and air-check was done the previous night, Tripmeter set to zero and I chugged out of my garage at 5:10am.
Bangalore – Tumkur – Gubbi – Tiptur – Arsikere – Tarikere – Shimoga – Sagar – Jog – Honnavar – Kumta – Gokarna – Ankola – Karwar – Madgao – Panaji – Anjuna.
Why the above route:
There are around 3-4 routes from Bangalore to Goa. But almost all routes apart from above are bad.
1. Bangalore – Mangalore – Goa is out as Shiradi Ghat section is in terrible condition.
2. Bangalore – Hubli – Alnavar – Goa is out as “Spitfire” informed that Amboli Ghat section is undriveable.
3. Bangalore – haveri – Sirsi – Ankola – Goa is out as “mclaren1885” suggested that roads between Chitradurga to Hubli were almost non-existant. He had taken 2 trips to belgaum that same week and witnessed the condition first hand.
4. Mclaren1885 also informed the shimoga route is very scenic and still better, hence settled for that route.
After hitting tumkur road via jalahalli, we found ourselves behind a sea of trucks, speed breakers, potholes and deviations upto Nelamangla! Speeds were nothing more than 40kmph. We hit nelamangla toll booth at 5:50am. With half an hour of brisk speed, we reached tumkur at 6:20am and took the bypass to Gubbi. This road was a rough stretch with big potholes and marshy slush (due to monsoons). I could barely go beyond 30kmph in this stretch. (Suggest others to take come via Tumkur city, as it's quite devoid of traffic in the mornings).
We passed Gubbi at 7:00am. The roads had improved (potholes of this route were repatched). We passed Tiptur at 7:45am, never pushing the car, just cruising and relaxing between 80-100. Crossed Arsikere (8:15am), kadur, birur, tarikere in no time. Took the Bhadravati bypass for Shimoga and reached Shimoga at 10:05am. This entire stretch (Tiptur to Shimoga) is extremely scenic, lush green fields with stooping trees making an arch on the entire road! Also, the road condition is very nice and it’s a pleasure to drive on this section. Best part was, truck traffic (or even traffic) was minimal and most of the stretch was totally devoid of any traffic.
Took a break of 15 minutes at Shimoga (tea/bathroom) and then started the drive to Honnavar via Sagar and Jog.
Reached Jog falls at around 11:40am but did not stop to see the Jog falls. Around 5kms before Jog falls (and 65 kms to Honnavar), the first ghat section began. Unfortunately this entire ghat stretch is bad. Broken in most parts, some parts had big potholes and loose stones. Few hit my vtec below the belt. Only good thing, the sparcity of traffic made driving easy and the beauty of the ghats kept me mesmerised.
Waterfall in this stretch
Finally, reached Honnavar (NH17) at 13:10 and pitstopped for my kid/wife/myself. The first restaurant we saw in Honnavar was Shiv Sagar and stopped right there for lunch, as we did not stop for breakfast in Shimoga (as planned earlier). Had 2 south Indian thalis, 1 veg noodles (for my kiddo) and 1 coke. All of it came to Rs. 110.
Around 14:00, we started from Honnavar and decided to feed the car at the first available decent bunk. Around 3 kms later, I found a IOC bunk, tanked up and put in 30.63 litres of premium petrol. I was pleasantly surprised to find petrol 8 rupees cheaper per liter than Bangalore! Finally at 14:20, I started for Panaji. Initially the first 20 kms of this stretch was good. But as I closed in on Kumta/Gokarna, the roads became worse though the surrounding beauty became better. Every now and then (read frequently), parts of the road were broken and repair work was going on. It was quite cloudy the entire stretch.
By the time I reached Ankola, the weather became awesome, it rained in some places and other places, the clouds were kissing the small hillocks.
So the entire stretch till Karwar was bad, though in driveable condition. After some time, it suddenly started smelling fishy, literally! And we had reached Karwar port and then Sea at 16:00. The first glimpse of sea always makes you excited and I felt an instant high! I wanted to have some tea, wanted to rest my legs a little and wanted to get a good view of the sea. So, stopped at “Hotel Bhadra" (near Kali bridge) for some tea.
Started from Karwar at 16:30, the roads had improved immensely and the vtec was in song! Passed South Goa- Cuncolim, Navelim in a brisk and reached Madgao around 17:40. Unfortunately, it was peak traffic within city and it took me 1 hour to reach Panjim. Finally reached the resort(Country Club de Goa) at Anjuna Beach around 19:15pm in the middle of a slight drizzle. Driving after Karwar was fun, brilliant tarmac made the pre-goa entry ghats look easy and all the bad KA roads were forgotten! Afterall, we were in Goa and we just wanted to have fun! We were quite happy to see the resort and our room. Since we were tired and the bed looked inviting, we took a quick bath and hit the hotel restaurant “The café garden”. Had a sumptuous dinner (soups/chicken starters & gravies/ rotis) with some drinks. The bill came to Rs. 600. It was almost 22:30 and we retired for the day.
Total distance (home to hotel): 665 kms.
Approx Time: 14hrs, 10 mins.
(This time includes 4-5 bathroom/smoke breaks, lunch break of 50 min and tea breaks of 40mins.)
At this point I would like to extent my personal thank to fellow-tbhpians, who become friends in the process:
1. mclaren1885- I had sent number mails to Rahul to check the best route. He sent me quite a few replies with valuable suggestions of route, resort and restaurants in goa. I called him one day prior to leaving Bangalore to get the correct picture of the route.
2. Spitfire- I had called Abhijit to find out the route to Goa via Haveri.
Finally did not take his suggested route as the one taken is more scenic and better road conditions. He also gave me a full itinerary of things to do in Panjim and South Goa which helped me immensely in my trip!
3. Akroy- for pushing me to drive without night halts as that turned out to be the highlight of this trip to Goa!
[To be continued- Day 2 and feedback on resort].
|24th September 2009, 14:42||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked: 5,862 Times
A goa travelogue can never be boring. Look forward to rest of the details.
I am especially interested on where you stayed, tarrif info etc. I like to stay at different places whenever i go to goa.
|24th September 2009, 14:44||#4|
|24th September 2009, 15:28||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 149 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)
Are you uploading few more photos ? Those 3 photos are not enough for a Goa outing
|24th September 2009, 15:56||#6|
Day 2: North Goa beaches.
Day 2: (19-Sep)
Like always, my sleep was quite disturbed due to several factors- new place, new bed (quite small for 2+1). After several breaks, finally got out of bed at 5:50am and went out for a walk.
The first thing which caught my attention was the resort. Country Club de goa was small yet a nice resort. It has a nice clean swimming pool with a children’s pool (both were quite small though). The entire resort was asthetically done and was intentionally made very green with trees, plants, shrubs everywhere. The Resort’s restaurant (The café garden) was also nicely decorated and food was tasty, though portions per dish were sometimes insuffificient. The liquor price was reasonable (it’s always like that, isn’t it)! The resort is situated near Anjuna beach (half km away). The approach road was very narrow, no parking space inside resort, but have a makeshift parking space in the open field, adjacent to the resort. The rooms were studio apartment types, with a Queen sized bed, split ac, tv, mini-bar, a small dining table, 1 sofa set with a center table. It also had a granite slab and a kitchen sink at one side. Infact my wife was happy and that was enough for me! We had got a Garden view room (basically non-swimming pool facing room) at Rs. 2700/night (incl tax) and I felt it was reasonable. The resort also had a good gym and ayurvedic spa, but we did not use them.
The Resort entrance.
The swimming pool.
The spa and gym.
The resort was next to Anjuna beach (15 mins walk), so went to the beach and took some snaps of the beach.
Found a unique Japanese car, I thought it was a future indication of 2 Jap car-manufacturing powerhouses uniting…due to recession (?).
Innova with Honda alloys
Had some tea at a shack next to Anjuna and then headed home briskly, as tea triggers the musician inside me and my place of making music is inside the loo! After freshening up, went out to hire bikes. There was a rent-a-bike place just in front of the resort. Negotiatied for Rs. 200/day and after paying in advance for 2 days, I got an activa for myself (in fair condition).
At 10:30am, I left the resort and landed in Shiva’s café for breakfast. Had some bread butter and omlettes with Tea, cost came to Rs. 110 for 2.
From there, we started our morning beach hopping. Reached our first destination, Calangute at 11:45pm. Parked the bike and hit the sea straight. My son played in the water for 30 mins. Around 12:45, left for Baga beach, as the lifeguards prevented us from taking bath due to high currents. Reached Baga beach around 1pm and the sea again looked inviting. This time, we got into the sea and had fun till 14:30.
Sea makes you hungry, so we went straight to the resort to change in dry clothes. We took bath and around 15:40 we hit Blue Tao’s pizzeria for lunch. Ordered 2 pizzas, 1 pasta and some cold drinks and they took their own sweet lazy time to bring the food. The food was nice, perfect Italian pizzas, though the pasta tasted quite bland to me! Our brief Italian journey cost us Rs. 620, by the time we completed our lunch, it was around 17:00 and then we returned to the resort.
We relaxed in the resort till some of my friends arrived at 19:30 and then went out for dinner (without even digesting lunch). We went to “Dhum Biriyani and Kebabs” close to our resort in Anjuna.
Dhum Biriyani & Kebabs
This shack was quite nice, lively decorated and packed with foreigners. We found a table for 10 and placed our orders. I had ordered a special kebab platter, it came with some exotic kebabs (priced at Rs. 200, can’t remember the names, as they were not common ones) and tasted superb. The pudina chutney was awesome, which enhanced the taste of the kebabs. Sorry no pictures of the dishes, could think of nothing that time apart from eating them. Finally around 23:15, we came out of the joint (bill was Rs. 560) and returned to the resort. My kid slept off on the bike, so had to carry him to the room. Day 2 over and the food, suntan and juices were making me a happy man!
[To be continued- Day 3: More North Goa & dinner at Tito's].
|24th September 2009, 16:08||#7|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2006
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@nnandi nice pics & good travelogue
|24th September 2009, 16:09||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Thanked: 26 Times
Nice start nabarun, Excellent pics. brings back my memories to Goa few years back. Eager to see the rest of the travelogue. How come your petrol so cheap in honnavar (which is in KN)? I guess you filled inside Goa.
BTW, didnt know the resort is so beautiful.
Last edited by akroy : 24th September 2009 at 16:10.
|24th September 2009, 16:13||#9|
|24th September 2009, 16:14||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 280 Times
Nice travelogue, very good pictures of your drive , the resort and goa. You sighting of Honda alloys with toyota innova was real interesting. how did you spot it.Carry on and post some more pictures of the journey. Looking forward to it.
|24th September 2009, 20:33||#11|
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Delhi / Agra / London
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|25th September 2009, 11:19||#13|
Day 3: North Goa Beaches continued.
Day 3: (20-Sep)
As usual had a bad sleep, partly because son was quite cranky and had disturbed sleep the full night and partly because of the small bed. Woke up at 7am and went out for a walk in Anjuna. Came back at 8am after having tea. By this time wife and son had also woken up. I hit the bath room and got ready to leave at 8:40am. Then found out that the bike key (rented yesterday) was missing from the room. Searched the room several times, also the entire path I had taken for the morning walk, but no luck. So went back to the rent-a-bike guy and told him the issue. He was a little irritated, but finally gave me a duplicate key. I promised him that I will search the key once I am back from the morning trip.
Hit the “Munchies” restaurant at 10:40am for breakfast. The place was awesome, the food was very tasty, presentation of food was very chic and atmosphere was laid back. My wife ordered an Indian breakfast of Aloo parathas and I ordered some becon and cheese and a portion of bread. The bill came to Rs. 250. Though the quantity was less (or my appetite had increased in Goa!), it was quite satisfying.
We finished our food by 11:30am and started another North goa trip. Today’s agenda was Fort Aguada. First stop was at the Aguada Jail whose boundary wall was next to sea. It had a beautiful view of sea from the inside. Could not take a jail snap (the gaurds stopped me), but kept thinking that Goa Jails definitely gave a better view to the inmates than most other Indian Jails!
View from Aguada Jail
Next destination was the Aguada fort. It was quite hot by the time we reached Aguada Fort and everyone was sweating profusely. The Fort was quite nice from outside; someone said the “Dil Chahta Hai” song was picturised in this location, so the excitement was quite palpable inside us! As if we would still see the cast sitting on the same location! Inside the fort was a grassland but shots from the fort of sea was quite nice.
Around 13:00, we started for Sinquerim beach. This sandy beach had shrunk quite a lot from the last time I came here. The locals said due to monsoons, the tides were quite high and that’s why the beach has less sand space and more water. The abandoned old ship at the backdrop created a nice background. Took some more interesting pictures, spent some time in the beach and left at around 13:50.
Sinquerim beach and fort
We felt that we could have an early lunch and then continue exploring north goa more! Headed to “Sweet Chilli” and was quite happy to see that the entire restro was empty except us. Ordered some drinks, wife lassi and son coke, and some starters- Prawns masala fry. Main course was goan prawns curry and rice and chicken vindaloo and jeera rice. They took some time to get the food to our table and I did some photo shots of the place. The food was very very tasty, every single dish was prepared to prefection and we loved them. The Jeera rice was brilliant and my wife ate it without mixing any gravies. I enjoyed the goan curry and finished it alone!
Around 15:30, we settled the bill (Rs. 500) and then wife insisted on checking out the shopping district on Calangute/Baga road. She found some interesting stuff and went on a buying spree and I went on a grudging spree. Good part was, the price of all items was quite reasonable and the total was not alarming (definitely after bargaining for every pie!). Then we left for our resort in Anjuna at 16:40. I wanted to search the lost bike key, so asked my wife and son to hit the pool and I searched the room in peace. Finally got the key in my son’s bag, so I knew who the culprit was. I returned the keys (the lost&found one and kept the duplicate one) and relaxed in the pool for an hour. By now 18:30, it was rainly quite heavily and we went to our rooms.
By 19:30, we were ready to hit Tito’s in Baga. Reached the place around 20:00, only to find that there was quite a rush in the place as 2 english premier league matches were getting screened back to back. First between ManU vs ManC and the second one between Chelsea vs Totenham. Myself being die-hard EPL fan, jumped into the game and wife made the orders. The food was spectacular and very tasty. Order a grilled prompfet, chicken chowmien, prawns curry and rice and some drinks. I finished every morsel of food which was available in my plate (and also the leftovers from my son and wife’s plate).
Around 22:00, my son started turning ill, frequently sneezing, coughing and a little stomach upset. So we dropped our plan of hitting the disc at Café Mambo and settled the bill (Rs. 1225). Reached our resort by 22:45 and gave some medicines to my kid. Kid and wife instantly feel asleep and after surfing the TV for another half hour, I quit around 23:30.
[To be continued- Day 4: Panjim and South Goa]
|25th September 2009, 12:18||#14|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Thanked: 48 Times
Munchies is on for 24 hours
Just an FYI for anyone heading to Anjuna,
Munchies is open round the clock (24 hrs) and Sushant is very helpful as well.
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