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Old 13th November 2009, 22:55   #61
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Sawyer,
I know what you mean. I did a little research that from Farshi naka to Velaneshwar/Hedavi its about 55 odd kms. From there to the junction of Sh108 and NH17 at Ratnagiri district before Hatkhamba it's another 50 kms. To reach the same junction from Farshi Naka on NH 17 it's 80 km. So if I make this break I can with a good nights sleep, drive less for the day, stay the evening and night some place, have breakfast and leave for Goa the next morning. This would put less strain of a long drive on my dad cos even if I use NH4 by the time I reach Goa after 12 to 13 hours driving, it is dark and way past sunset. So maybe this will work for me.

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Old 14th November 2009, 06:59   #62
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Sawyer,
I know what you mean. I did a little research that from Farshi naka to Velaneshwar/Hedavi its about 55 odd kms. From there to the junction of Sh108 and NH17 at Ratnagiri district before Hatkhamba it's another 50 kms. To reach the same junction from Farshi Naka on NH 17 it's 80 km. So if I make this break I can with a good nights sleep, drive less for the day, stay the evening and night some place, have breakfast and leave for Goa the next morning. This would put less strain of a long drive on my dad cos even if I use NH4 by the time I reach Goa after 12 to 13 hours driving, it is dark and way past sunset. So maybe this will work for me.
Not sure if you are right about the distance from Velneshwar to NH17 at Hatkhamba - seems to me by dead reckoning that it would be closer to 80kms. It would be around 50kms if you got back to NH 17 at Nivli, which is where the road from G'pule meets NH 17.
And even if you were correct, the 100 kms on internal roads in the Konkan would take, proportionately, a lot more time to cover than the 80 kms on NH 17.
I suggest three other options based on my reckoning. One, take the stopover at Chiplun at the Riverview Inn that Taj ran earlier, that one does not take you too much off the highway and is known to be a good stopover. I believe they have decent food too.
Or, if you want to see the beach, do the homestay thing, go to Guhagar from Chiplun for a good homestay/meal/beach and then come back to Chiplun and head back down Nh 17. The Chiplun Guhagar road is a pretty decent one all its length.
Third, you can take a break on NH 4 at Kolhapur, and take the Gaganbavda road down to Talere, that was a lovely drive when we did it just before the monsoon and reached Goa by 1 pm after a 7 am start. Or take the Phondaghat road that is also scenic with the lake on the right for long stretches going down from Kolhapur, if you can accept some poor road surfaces between Kolhapur and Radhanagari for a 50kms stretch. I guess Mumbai to Kolhapur by NH 4 would take you 6-7 hours, which means you can get out of Mumbai after an early lunch too. The advantage of doing this is that for all its charms NH 17 requires you to stay alert all the time, it remains a two lane, no median strip highway with high traffic levels all the way. This way, you get best of both worlds, by using NH 4 to erase significant distance before getting on to NH 17. You could also head on till the Nipani turn off, but I am bored of that one, though it is the quickest way to Goa from Mumbai/Pune. Too much of NH 4 for my taste!
Choices, choices!!
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Old 14th November 2009, 10:56   #63
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Sawyer,
I have got the distances from mapmyindia mireo black edition. Hopefully it's correct. I agree with all the points you have listed in your post. Many thanks for that and it's appreciated. Yes I am quite bored of the NH4 Amboli route too and understand that NH17 requires a much hgher degree of mental alertness which I was avoiding. Your idea of the Kolhapur stay or passing onward through Gaganbavda or phondaghat makes good sense of getting the best of both worlds. It shows an additional distance of about 65 to 80 covered on the NH 17 comapared to the Amboli route depending mainly which route is used from kolhapur Sh115 or (Sh130, Sh133,Sh116). Unbelievable but true, I haven't driven on the NH17 since the new millenium. I remember a stretch that used to be straight as an arrow coming up at about 4ish in the evening after a morning start from Bombay. It had tall trees on either side of the road and a bit of sand too. After the winding ghats sections all day this used to wake me up and one coudl really drive fast on this section. Do you have any idea as to where exactly this is and if it would come up if I drove in via Gaganbavda or phondaghat. As you say there are choices galore. But one has to know someone who has tried it out or be very brave to experiment with a new route specially if there are too few fellow travellers in the vehicle and only one driving.
I am inclined to go with your option 3 for my next trip.
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Old 14th November 2009, 11:04   #64
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Unbelievable but true, I haven't driven on the NH17 since the new millenium. I remember a stretch that used to be straight as an arrow coming up at about 4ish in the evening after a morning start from Bombay. It had tall trees on either side of the road and a bit of sand too. After the winding ghats sections all day this used to wake me up and one coudl really drive fast on this section. Do you have any idea as to where exactly this is and if it would come up if I drove in via Gaganbavda or phondaghat.
Regards
No, I can't say I have seen that section. I have seen NH 17 from Hathkhambe to Goa this time around, and I did not come across any such stretch, and for both the routes from Kolhapur, you would come on to NH 17 after Hathkhambe. I am not familiar with the Mumbai to Hathkhambe part, so maybe it is on that stretch. Others who know the entire road could throw more light.

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Old 16th November 2009, 17:35   #65
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Looks like a great trip. Nice pics - my favorites are the bridge near G'Pule, the Sting Ray and the pair of mouthwatering Surmai
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Old 16th November 2009, 21:07   #66
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Looks like a great trip. Nice pics - my favorites are the bridge near G'Pule, the Sting Ray and the pair of mouthwatering Surmai
It was better than it looks, though the sting ray was inedible! And before we got to the famous bridge we crossed two others, each of which I thought was it, so when we got to the final one after a long drive, it was a relief to see it. I misjudged how far it is from Velneshwar.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:47   #67
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Sawyer!! - What a travelogue!! Amazingly written and rightly spiced with wonderful pictures. Konkan has a soft cornor in my heart all along for the only reason - the warmth and hospitality of the people coupled with scintillating mother nature - hills, forest cover and virgin beaches that are not yet spoiled by commercialization. The cusine of the region appeals to Veggies and non-veggies alike.

AND, thank you for introducing us to Wildernest. It is a must destination on my next trip to southern Konkan or Goa. I also liked the way you enjoyed your holiday at leisure truly soaking in the surroundings on your way.

Thanks for all the efforts you took to share it with us.

takecare and drive safely
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:23   #68
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No leeches this time around, although we were prepared for them. In the monsoon it would look a different place with its own charms, but the views would be fog/cloud bound, I imagine.

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Will post a relevent pic shortly.
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:28   #69
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I thought of posting a monsoon pic of Wildernest too, but thought better not hijack this thread. If its okay I will try and do that.
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Old 17th November 2009, 20:26   #70
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Go ahead, no worries.
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Old 18th November 2009, 10:34   #71
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Wonderful one sawyer. I loved the pictures of the resort. Very well done one
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Old 18th November 2009, 21:53   #72
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Ok here is one from Wildernest during the monsoons - the ever present twin waterfalls.
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Back from a ten day break in konkan/goa in the Gypsy-waterfalls.jpg  

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Old 19th November 2009, 06:33   #73
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V nice, the spray of the waterfall at the bottom is well captured, but I am sure it must be better in real life. The only thing about the rains is that the clouds may obscure the views most of the time? And the leeches of course! But the feel of the place must have a charm of its own, we got a sense of it the last night/morning when it had started drizzling with the advance weather ahead of the cyclone that followed. I think we got out just 24 hours ahead of the ensuing chaos.
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:06   #74
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And even if you were correct, the 100 kms on internal roads in the Konkan would take, proportionately, a lot more time to cover than the 80 kms on NH 17.
Not really. If you time it right the route via the internal route is actually faster! I did this route a couple of times, always by bike and found this to be the case.

The key here are the ferry crossings required on these internal roads. There is one between Hedvi and Ganapatipule which operates every hour or so. If you time it wrongly, you may have to wait for upto an hour to catch your ride across the backwaters to the other side.

Just FYI: you need not leave the internal roads after Ganapatipule. The "internal roads" continue to Velneshwar, the osuthernmost tip of Maharashtra, and from there onwards to Querim in North Goa: another ferry crossing between Velneshwar and Querim. If Arambol is your target in Goa (as it is almost always for me), then the internal roads are an interesting option!
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:22   #75
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Cougar, things may work out differently for cars and bikes in terms of the speed differentials, is what I find, doing both myself. On the bike I cannot/do not hold the same speeds as cars on highways, but I can usually do better than cars on back roads that are not in so good a shape because a single line between potholes is a lot easier to find and that is all a bike needs, while standing on the pegs allows for the potholes to be taken faster as well. Also, some of the ferries may not take cars? For instance, the one from Hedvi, is that a car ferry?
Re the Velneshwar you refer to, are there two in the Konkan? The one I visited is next to Hedvi.
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