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Old 25th September 2009, 10:02   #1
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Wink Bangalore - Jog Goa Amboli Bangalore (4 days)

Let me brief the background and Goal of this trip. We havent taken any vacations recenly considering my baby boy to too young for a trip and ofcourse the IT work nature added to tireness. We wanted a short break to refresh ourself since the only confirmed vacation to native is during December which is again after three months. Our goal is to enjoy the drive and chillout in Goa covering whatever is in and around without much travel again inside Goa. Laluk's travelogues on Goa was my bible to make my 4 days the best. "Bangalore - Goa.... which route?" is my primary reference when it comes to route queries, thanks to Ravibhat and all who helped in planning the whole trip, routes and stops. This is my first travelogue, request all your support in advance!

19th September 2009, Saturday - The day has arrived. Our frind family (Shajin and Chikku) had reached the day before evening from Chennai and halted in Bangalore with us. Baggages were already packed and loaded in the car on Friday evening itself. We all got up around 1:30AM and got ready quickly. With full pack, Accent started rolling @ 2:15AM with Me (driver) and Shajin (navigator) on front row, my wifey and chicku with our 8 month old Son Joshua in rear seats (Joshua has his comfy baby seat placed in the center of rear seat). It was raining heavily as we entered NICE road from Electronic City to Tumkur Rd, only one deviation where NICE is not completed which was bad for cars. In less than an hour, we exited NICE rd before Neelamangala and the Bad roads welcomed us since work is going on in NH4. There were lot of unscientific humps and we had to restrict ourself to 50KMPH and even less at times. Few miles after Neelamangala, roads improved and we retained pace entering
NH206 from Tumkur @ 4:15AM. NH206 welcomed us with some surprise humps but not at all huge hence no damages. Roads were 99% good though 2 laned and could easily reach Shimoga @ 8:15AM. Roads were very scenic throughout the travel and We halted for a little more than an hour in Hotel Jewel Rock for breakfast and refreshment and started for Jog. Decent food, cooperative staff and very affordable (Thanks to Ravibhat for refering this place).

Roads between Tiptur and Shimoga (NH206)


Hotel Jewel Rock, Shimoga


Roads between Shimoga and Jog (NH206)

Last edited by jacs : 25th September 2009 at 10:15.
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:42   #2
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Sorry guys, images didnt load correctly, hence continuing as a new post.

Roads between Tiptur and Shimoga (NH206)


Hotel Jewel Rocks


Roads between Shimoga and Jog (NH206)



Got update from AMohit that he's also on the way to Jog from Shimoga and caught them on the way. Amohit was on his Pearl silver Esteem and TBHP sticker on the rear bumpers helped me identify him easily. We drove together till Jog through the green lushes, not too fast not too slow but enjoyed the convoy drive .Reached Jog Falls by 11:30AM, roads were again 99% good but lot of curves which added thrill to the drive. Fall was not in full glory but moderate crowd were there. The height off the fall made us excited, and we spend an hour here taking snaps and chatting. AMohit had to reach Dabolim airport by 6 hence started first, we also started soon after feeding the baby.

Jog Falls


Bridge connecting Jog and Honavar road

View from bridge

Drive till Honavar was fascinating green forest kind but Sunny and roads were almost 80% good (Bad 20% is also Drivable but slow) and joined NH17 around 2PM. Earlier plan was to break for lunch in Hotel Sapna, Ankola but time ran like anything and so as hunger, we had to stop for an hour in Garden Family Restaurant, Honavar. Had Fried Rice, Butter Chicken with Roti along with a gulp of KF lager to chill out the hot noon. Started again around 3PM, crossed Karwaar border by 5PM with again 20% bad roads but drivable. Karwaar beach is good after harbour with a park incorporated, we had a tight schedule to reach Paloem hence didnt stopped here.

Karwaar Beach

Paloem was less than an hour away from Karwaar and is the most spectacular beach we've seen in our life. Tourist and shacks playing music colored the ambience of the sunset. We played around for an hour and
started to Anjuna where we had our reservations for stay.

Paloem Beach Entrance

Starfish in Shajin's hand

Me, Wifey and Baby Joshua in paloem Beach

Soccer in Paloem beach

Sunset @ paloem

Anjuna (Near Mapusa) is almost 70KM from Paloem which is about 2 hour travel but Monsoon was showering its best when we crossed Margao and its dark. Till we reached Panajim, I was astonished to see thick vegetation and very less population. Panajim was a true Citi capital, beautiful in night with lights. We had to struggle a little to reach the destination near 10PM since I didnt get time to set the GPS correctly. Odometer reading showed 679 KMs and its 18hours since we started from Bangalore with less than 6 hours break.

Jackpot Inn where we stayed was in renovation phase with very less rooms ready for stay. But luck was with us, they had given a family suite (Living cum bed room + one more bed room) which had ample space for fun. We managed to order the dinner though its late, filled in the refrigirator with Juices, Wines and Beer and turned the AC on. After a shower, had the dinner with some travel fun recap and retired to bed with full satisfaction though tired after continuous drive (My wifey could not help since baby was mostly awake during day).

Total Distance Travelled : 679
Time from Source to Destination Including breaks : 18 hours
Excluding breaks : 12 hours +
Points Covered : Jog Falls, Paloem Beach


Day 2 coming in next post.....
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Last edited by jacs : 25th September 2009 at 10:52.
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Old 25th September 2009, 13:30   #3
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Wow. I read 2 Goa travelogues today from Bangalore back to back. Waiting to here more from you Jacs.
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Old 25th September 2009, 13:42   #4
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Nice travelogue. Is it me only, i can't see the pictures completely. Can you re-post them?
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Old 25th September 2009, 14:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Nice travelogue. Is it me only, i can't see the pictures completely. Can you re-post them?
I'm able to see al the pics in second post.
First post pics are not visible(He has mentioned the same)
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Old 25th September 2009, 15:41   #6
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Default Day 2 : Old Goa, Panajim, Vagator beach

Day 2: -
20th September 2009, Sunday - Got up late at 8:30AM and decided to visit the churches in Old Goa. This time I didnt wanted any chance and configured GPS to reach the destination. Its 10AM, we had to travel till Panajim and then take a left to Old Goa road which is leading to Belgaum from Panajim. Roads are superb except two laned, we reached Basilica of Bom Jesus where the body of St.Francis is preserved in less than an hour from Anjuna.

Roads to Old Goa from Panajim

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Basilica was almost crowded with vistors being a Sunday. Its an amazing monument we should say, the pictures would help to have a quick walk through. Photography is restricted in side the church and also silence is
expected to be preserved (though not preserved). You can also see SE Cathedral adjuscent to Basilica. Time is now 1PM and we are hungry like anything due to quick breakfast. On the way from Old Goa to Panajim through the road adjacent to Mandovi river, we saw a hotel near to the ferry jetty. Had a quick sip of Coconut Feni along with some King Prawns fry, followed by Kingfish curry and rice, Goan cusine rocks! Drove back to Anjuna seeing the Panajim river front and cruises (time restricted us from doing a cruise).

Rear Entrance to Basilica
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Me Photographing My wife and Chikku in Basilica
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Church Entrance
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Church Altar
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Body of St. Francis in corpse
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Basilica from SE Cathedral side
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SE cathedral from basilica
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King Prawns Fry
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Huge boat seen from hotel in Mandovi
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Roads beside Mandovi (way back to Panajim)
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Cruises in mandovi (seen from panajim bridge)
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By the time we reached Anjuna, it started drizzling followed by heavy down pour. Spent some quality time in gossipping with KF Lagers. By the time rains retired, we decided to go to Vagator beach which is very near our stay. Ladies did some shopping for the coral jewellary and stuffs (Bargain hard and start from 1/3), my wifey baught some beautiful necklaces, shawls (But the best shopping place in Calangute - Baga beaches which happened on third day). After locking the shopping stuff in car, drove near to beach. Sea was really rough and Water sking and all enthusiasts retired due to the rain. Beach was all ours with very few people around, we enjoyed a lot though it was drizzling at times. My 8 month son was jumping with joy when he touched the waves. It got
dark soon and decided to visit Chapora next day. Just drove around Anjuna for the Goan Cusine, yes we got Squid and Pomfret prepared 100% goan style with lot of coconut and spices parceled. Reached back Hotel and had the yummy dinner. We all admited the trip is going well, no tight pack plans. Slept dreaming Chapora for next day.
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Old 26th September 2009, 13:52   #7
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Good report Jacob, Perfect time to visit that part of country! Rain GODs have stopped so its very pleasant time although weather is bit hot.

Ravi.
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Old 26th September 2009, 14:16   #8
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Never get bored of wataching/reading about Goa/coast

Good report....
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Old 7th October 2009, 15:43   #9
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Default Day 3 : Chapora - vagator - Mapusa - Calangute - Baga

Day 3: -

21st September 2009, Monday - We all got ready by 8:30AM, Chapora is just 10 minutes drive from our hotel and its a sunny day. Roads are narrow and u could reach till the foot of the Chapora hill in your vehicle, its little tricky to park the vehicle on the sloppy sides but no other go. We can see the fort on top of the hill, its a real climb especially in sun. Not to forget to carry some water else you could only pray to the rain god after reaching the top. I was carrying my son in the Kangaroo bag and somehow managed to reach the top in 15 minutes, took rest in the shades of the corridor until my wifey and others reached the top. Its green spread and many peacocks and parrots and many other birds around. Its a must see in North Goa with Vagator beach on left and Morjim beach on right as seen from the fort. Its becoming hotter and We climbed down for heavy breakfast (though we broke fast with coffee) and then to Vagator.

Fort view from Parking
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Fort Entrance
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Peacock
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Me with my son inside entrance
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Chapora Fort
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Boats near Morjim beach, seen from fort
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Vagator beach from Chapora
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Lake view from Fort
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Banyan near Chapora
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We reached Vagator by 10:30AM, very less tourist (may be 10-15 people around) which made us feel free. Straight we jumped into water, played like small kids till the water-scooter is ready for the ride (they had to do basic checking, fuel fill etc). To our surprise Mohit and Wife with another friend family also entered the water. We all took a ride on the beast Yamaha which is a never forget part of our journey. It costed 150 bucks per head for a ride of less than 10 minutes, but sea was rough making it a worthy trip through the tides. We again returned to water till 1PM and hunger forced us to retire. Previous day we got acquinted with a guy from Kerala who is working as a supervisor in Hotel Samudra which is adjuscent to Vagator beach and he did invite us to his place. Samudra supplied some good fish variants as promised. Bit costly compared to quantity but tasty, we decided to visit Mapusa, Calangute and Baga after a nap.

Chapora Fort on top from Vagator Beach
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Vagator Beach
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Water Scooter ride in Vagator
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Me going for the ride
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My ride
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Lunch from Samudra
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Mapusa is almost 10KM from our place and we reached there before 5PM and roamed around the circle and market. Bought Feni, Wines, Sousages, Cashews etc at very reasonable price from Mapusa market. Its already getting dark and we had to rush to Calangute. Calangute-Baga stretch is perhaps the most happening place in Goa flooded with business and tourists. Lot of shacks and shops well lit in dark, travel is slow due to traffic and by the time we reached its dark and less chance for camera. We took a walk through the beaches and shops. Finally decided to settle in a beach shack in Baga. Brittos was fully crowded and we had to choose another one which is near by. Good ambience and attractive menu. Gulped few cocktails and some mouth watering food varieties like Shark Vindaloo, Chicken Xacuti, Chicken Kafreal etc. There were some fire plays with trance music to steal our attraction. Bill ran quickly into four figures, but it was an amazing night (last Goan night in our trip). A rare experience dining in the beach (water came nearer as night approached) and worth every penny spent.

Ladies exploring Mapusa market
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Flower shop in Mapusa Market
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Famous Motorcycle taxi in Mapusa
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An antique shop on the way to Calangute
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Fire-play in Baga beach
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Our candle light dinner in Baga
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Old 7th October 2009, 16:19   #10
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Default Day 4 : Sawanthwadi - Amboli - Belgaum - Bangalore

Day 4: -

22nd September 2009, Tuesday - We decided to get up late and prepare ourself for the return drive. After breakfast, we played in swimming pool for an hour. Packed everything refreshed and checked out around 12 noon.

Nirvana in Pool
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Had lunch from a restaurant in Vagator but specials were not at all special! Our return route is via Belgaum covering Savantwadi and Amboli. Its a pleasant day and we bid goodbye to Goa by 2PM. Roads are amazing until
Maharashtra border. After entering maharashtra, roads are narrow but quite decent for driving. As we crossed Sawantwadi, and real toast to eyes with green scenaries every now and then. Amboli is a very fascinating place, we had Vadapav and Masala tea near the small waterfall which refreshed us. As we reach Amboli view point, its amazing view of the grooved green cliffs. There are some hotels like Kamat and Tourism dept one near by. After Amboli, its typical village roads but some bad patches were there. We crossed Belgaum by 6PM sharp as planned and we had to travel 500KM to reach Bangalore. GQ was simply amazing till Haveri with few 2 lane stretches and rest all 4 lane rubberized roads. Speed averaged 80Kmph and we had dinner on the way before Haveri. There were bad stretches every now and then till we reach Neelamangala where we entered NICE road to
Electronic city due to 4 lane work. Had to be really slow to ensure no underbody scrapping, average speed was 40Kmph. Reached home by Wednesday morning 4AM.

After Goa- Maharashtra border
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Just after Sawantwadi
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On the way to amboli
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Waterfall before Amboli view point
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Tea shops near the waterfall
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View from tea shop
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Amboli
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Me @ amboli
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Amboli view
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Roads after Belgaum
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Here ends my 4 day trip
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Old 7th October 2009, 17:18   #11
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Good pictures there Jac. Just back from Goa and i have almost similar pictures that you shared here. Except that this time i didnt visit Old Goa.

Amboli ghat looked empty when you passed that wada pav center.

Whereas, it was jam packed both the times that i passed through there.
Other familiar pictures are the fire player who does it right outside Brittos in Baga. And a final similarity is the car that was used ( even mine is an Accent CRDi).
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Old 7th October 2009, 19:09   #12
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To add to what mobike008 said, Amboli not only looks empty, but also quite dry.

I went there a week after you and it was foggy and wet---the falls were much more in intensity. Funny how things change over a week, eh?
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:27   #13
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Quote:
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Dude, where was this photo taken? Wow!!! You've got a star fish there. Where was this taken?
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Old 13th October 2009, 12:40   #14
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Jacs, Good snaps, sure you guys had a great time in Goa, King prawns looks mouth watering. Yep any time sea food is excellent in Goa (can be better only in Kerala)
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Old 23rd October 2009, 14:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Good pictures there Jac. Just back from Goa and i have almost similar pictures that you shared here. Except that this time i didnt visit Old Goa.

Amboli ghat looked empty when you passed that wada pav center.

Whereas, it was jam packed both the times that i passed through there.
Other familiar pictures are the fire player who does it right outside Brittos in Baga. And a final similarity is the car that was used ( even mine is an Accent CRDi).
Thanks mobike, hope you had a nice trip too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
To add to what mobike008 said, Amboli not only looks empty, but also quite dry.

I went there a week after you and it was foggy and wet---the falls were much more in intensity. Funny how things change over a week, eh?
It was bit foggy so that the pictures are not at all clear and doesn't do justice to the beauty of this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveloholic View Post
Dude, where was this photo taken? Wow!!! You've got a star fish there. Where was this taken?
It was taken from Paloem Beach in South Goa. We've seen them in other beaches also. Starfish, shells, crabs and some kind of small sea insects also

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Jacs, Good snaps, sure you guys had a great time in Goa, King prawns looks mouth watering. Yep any time sea food is excellent in Goa (can be better only in Kerala)
Thanks gadadhar, no doubt on sea food. Its amazing!!! Planning to visit some backwater resort during my Christmas vacation in Kerala, lets see
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