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Old 8th October 2009, 21:27   #61
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Thanks Manish. Glad to know your car is back to normal---but that was scary!

I was busy today (for a change), so I could not update this thread. I am yet to get the Goa pics.
Meantime I shall post some textual info with the few pics I have left.
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Old 8th October 2009, 21:37   #62
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Default Day 4---Painted Goa red all over

I woke up early on Tuesday morning and went for a small walk to get familiar with the surroundings. Got back and woke everybody up, and we had a sumptuous breakfast on the house at Osborne.

We set off at around 930 to Fort Aguada and enjoyed the scenery from the fort wall. We then left towards Panjim and crossed the Mandovi bridge. We then took a turn to drive by the riverside to Miramar beach and then to Donna Paula jetty.

Did a quick ride on the speedboats there and then drove off to wet our feet at Miramar beach. Also visited Old Goa amid light rain. The Bom Bascillica and the neighbouring one were really a sight to see---both inside and outside.

Drove back to Panjim again and had lunch at a good AC upmarked restaurant---really enjoyed Goan cuisine over beer.

Drove back to the hotel at 4 pm and had a small siesta. Had a dip in the swimming pool in the evening, and then set out to have a light dinner at Brittos. Dropped the kids and then went to enjoy night life at Mambos. Finally hit the sack at 1 am.

Here are a few pics of Brittos (we enjoyed a live performance by one Lui who sang great western numbers)

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-482.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-481.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-480.jpg
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Old 9th October 2009, 10:13   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Drove back to Panjim again and had lunch at a good AC upmarked restaurant---really enjoyed Goan cuisine over beer.
Was it Sher-e-Punjab or Delhi Durbar or Hotel Mandovi? I like all three for their excellent food. Though Delhi Durbar is quite exorbitant but a must visit for folks missing excellent north indian NV food whilst in goa
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Old 9th October 2009, 10:26   #64
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@vnabhi sir,
nice pics and travelogue.
waiting for more.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:16   #65
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Was it Sher-e-Punjab or Delhi Durbar or Hotel Mandovi? I like all three for their excellent food. Though Delhi Durbar is quite exorbitant but a must visit for folks missing excellent north indian NV food whilst in goa
Holy smoke, you seem to have memorised every hotel in Goa!!

Yes it was Sher-e-Punjab. We actually spotted Delhi Durbar first, and went around in circles trying to find a parking slot. After several exasperating circles, we found a slot right opposite to Sher-e-Punjab, so dropped the idea of walking till Delhi Durbar.

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@vnabhi sir,
nice pics and travelogue.
waiting for more.
Thanks Ashish, will post all that I have on my camera today,and the rest tomorrow.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:33   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Thanks Manish. Glad to know your car is back to normal---but that was scary!

I was busy today (for a change), so I could not update this thread. I am yet to get the Goa pics.
Meantime I shall post some textual info with the few pics I have left.
Yes , it was very scary, couldn't sleep in night, got so tensed, the water in the high mounted tail lamp on the rear windshield was the culprit.
Anyways, am enjoying reading your goa triplogue. Seems this season, it's either leh or Goa.
Waiting to see more pics.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:42   #67
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Default Day 5--Rains play spoilsport---so we leave Goa

We woke up around 8ish on Wednesday morning, owing to the late night at Mambo's. To our dismay it was raining outside---and we learnt that it was raining from the time we left Mambo's.

We had also talked to our folks at Hyderabad and they'd spoken of non-stop rain for 3 days. This being the case, we thought it would be wise to leave for Bijapur on the same day, instead of spending one extra day at Goa---we did want to stay an extra day to hit the beaches, but with rain all over, it was not such a good proposition.

So we had a quick breakfast and cleared out from Osborne at around 945 am. Drove to Baga beach as kids wanted one last look at the sea. We found it had a river mouth that was good for swimming, but the drizzle played spoilsport. We decided to do justice to Baga in our next trip.

We found Britto's was very close to the river mouth at Baga beach. Here are some parting shots of Baga creek:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-487.jpg

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From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-486.jpg

Edit--I forgot to mention that we spotted a team-bhp stickered car parked near Bom Bascillica--it was a TN registered Swift Dzire of gold colour. We could not help noticing it becuase the owner had left the parking lights on! Unfortunately I did not have the camera with me.

Last edited by vnabhi : 9th October 2009 at 12:46.
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Old 9th October 2009, 17:28   #68
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Since wifey wanted one more round of shopping, we drove down to Calangute beach. We had fun in the beach while she did her last minute shopping on the shacks.

I also called a pal in Mumbai to give me the phone number of a classmate in Sangli, so that I could get an update of the road from Sangli to Athni and Bijapur. Unfortunately I did not get a response from the number he gave me.

So at 11 am we bid adieu to Goa and drove on towards Bijapur via Amboli. We passed Mapusa in a few minutes and were on the lookout for a good petrol bunk. We finally spotted an IBP Bunk on the right side after 15 kms, after leaving the outskirts. We tanked up with premium fuel, and it was Rs 5 cheaper than Hyd---how I envy the Goans!
We reached the border soon, and the cops wanted to check the car owing to some elections. We had not concealed the half bottle of whiskey and rum that we'd bought at Hyderabad--the tags were still there. But the nitiwt cops wanted us to consume it before crossing the border---no amount of reasoning worked! Therefore we took the vicarious pleasure of throwing the bottles on a rock next to their tent, and watched their bewildered faces in amusement!

Here is what the approach to the Goa border looks like (sorry the pics are hazy due to drizzle):

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-493.jpg

The road to Savantwadi after crossing the border:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-494.jpg
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Old 9th October 2009, 17:40   #69
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Venu, an unfortunate incident happened a week before we went to Goa at exactly same place where you kids are playing in water in Baga.

Apparently, around 17 people were sucked into the sea and lifeguards could save only some of them. At this time of season the currents are pretty dangerous.

I hardly ventured into the water as lifeguards were at their strictest best.
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Old 9th October 2009, 17:45   #70
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After a km or so, we were flagged down again at the Maharashtra check post. We boldly told the cop that we had nothing to declare when he inspected the boot. He told us to proceed, and was apolegetic, and said they don't normally stop families, but owing to elections they had to check all vehicles. We smiled and left thereafter.

The light drizzle stopped and we reached Savantwadi in a few minutes. We took a right turn in front of a lake, and after around 500 metres, another right turn at a T Junction (left goes to Mumbai). We turned right again after 200 metres into the road that leads to Amboli.

The scenery that unfolded over the next 40 kms was fantastic---in fact even better than the Jog to Honnvar ghat cum forest stretch. The ghat road was fairly ok, with well-marked turnings. At one point, it was almost as dark as night (at around 1 pm in the afternoon) owing to thick foliage.
We stopped at a few places to take pics---it became foggy at some places because we were actually driving through clouds! The fields visible from the steep slope and the distant hills vanishing behind the clouds were a treat to the eyes.

Here are some pics:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-501.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-502.jpg

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From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-509.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-510.jpg
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Old 9th October 2009, 17:54   #71
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Default Few more pics of magical Amboli ghat!

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-499.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-500.jpg

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Old 9th October 2009, 18:09   #72
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Venu, an unfortunate incident happened a week before we went to Goa at exactly same place where you kids are playing in water in Baga.

Apparently, around 17 people were sucked into the sea and lifeguards could save only some of them. At this time of season the currents are pretty dangerous.

I hardly ventured into the water as lifeguards were at their strictest best.
Golly, thanks for the update----we did not spot any life guard as it was drizzling.
My wife says she saw some people swimming at the same spot the previous day (she'd gone there when I was having my siesta.
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Old 9th October 2009, 18:19   #73
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Default Mystic waterfalls at the zenith

As we climbed higher and higher through twisty roads, the fog/ cloud became thicker and thicker, causing us to switch on our hazard lights.

Just after we came through a steep curve, we saw a fleet of vehicles in the opposite direction, parked on the side with their parking lights on.We thought it was some accident, but after crossing a few of them and while we were on a small culvert, we heard the sound of water falling and flowing with great intensity. Only then we realised that this was the spot that attracts thousands of visitors to Amboli ghat.

We parked the car a little ahead and returned to explore. My kids and I dared to climb the steps that led up the falls into dense clouds on the side of the steep cliff. After sometime, I abandoned as I was scared of water spray getting into my camera and cell phone.

We also found some guy hanging on a rope, doing some kind of stunts. Here are some pics (the last from my camera). How I wish I'd carried my camcorder to record those magical sounds

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-516.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-517.jpg

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From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-519.jpg
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Old 10th October 2009, 17:36   #74
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Default The journey continues--Amboli to Bijapur-Sep 30th

After spending half an hour at the falls, we started driving again. The thick fog did not help us in spotting any good restaurant at Amboli, though we were on the lookout. We passed the arch and I knew that we would need to go upto Ajra for lunch.

We spotted a good restaurant about 2 to 3 kms before Ajra on the left, and broke for a sumptuous lunch there. The owner was a 72-year old retd Army Major who gave us directions to Bijapur. He suggested we go via Gadhinglaj to Hukeri and then proceed, instead of my earlier plan to go via Ultur to Kolhapur and then go via Athni to Bijapur.

The restaurant also had a hotel beside it and I was told they charge Rs 500 for a double room. I believe it gets full in the monsoon with Amboli visitors.

We found the road to Sankeshwar via Gadhinglaj ok to drive on (4th and 5th gear mostly) and soon we passed under the NH4 that ran at right angles to our road. We continued on the same road and found that it got wider and better---better than even National Highways.

It started raining heavily and we saw an Indigo overtaking us at 110 kmph. Not to be outdone,we sped up and shot past him till he vanished in our rear view mirrors. But in the process, we missed the left turn at Hukeri, which was a grave mistake.

We stopped and asked for directions, and everybody asked us to turn left a little before Gokak and proceed via Mahalingpur to Jamkhendi,and then to Bijapur.

No sooner had we turned left, the road went terrible---it was some kind of a state highway that was as bad as the one near Shimoga. At this point of time, my son wanted to take over, and we gladly agreed.

Little did he know what lay in store for him. The darn route was the worst road I've gone through in my life---2nd gear was a luxury on that stretch of 70 to 80 kms. Luckily it was afternoon, so visibilty was ok. But the water-filled potholes were difficult to guage---at least to know how deep they were. There was a pothole every 20 feet, and he had to zig and zag forever. It took 2.5 hours to reach Jamkhend at around 6 pm. We thought we'd be reaching Bijapur only at 9 at that rate. My pal took over the driver's seat.

There was a sudden transformation in the road from Jamkhend to Bijapur --the roads became broad and remarkably good, with cat's eyes in the centre. We could increase speed upto 110 kmph, but not more owing to rain and some narrow bridges. We were lucky that at one such place, a trucker dipped his lights to enable us to see the narrow culvert ahead of us that was covered with foliage---He also warned us to drive carefully.

Seeing the great roads, my wife suggested we give Bijapur and Gol Gumbaz a pass and drive down to Hyderabad, even if we reach late night. But the persistent rain and narrow miss was worrying us, and we also did not have an update on the road to Jevargi and Gulbarga, though it was reported to be great before monsoon.

Therefore I started ringing up our forum folks at Hyd to find out regarding good hotels to stay at Bijapur. I contacted mobike008 , who in turn suggested I speak to Zen91. mobike008 also was driving to Goa and was on the outskirts of Solapur then. But he gave us some info that there were waves of people walking towards Tuljapur that day, and he was badly delayed owing to that fact. On hearing this, we were pretty sure that we were not driving to Hyd that night.

Zen91 gave us the name of Hotel Pleasant Stay on the Solapur road, and we reached that hotel by 8 pm. The rates were reasonable, and food was ok and very reasonably priced. It was the first time I'd heard something like a 60 or 90 ml peg--we normally are used to small and large, but 90 ml was something unusual. The hotel staff were extremely courteous. The only flip side was the leaky bathroom.

To be continued...
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Old 10th October 2009, 22:30   #75
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Default Some more pics of Amboli

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-goa-trip-041-large.jpg

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The dangling ghost:-

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