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Old 15th October 2010, 00:28   #1
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Default White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!

First of all, I'd like to say that I feel privileged to be able to share my experience with everyone on Team-BHP. And I felt quite handicapped when my internet gave me constant problems through the week. That's precisely why I'm four days late!

It all started about 10 years back when we decided that every year, at around this time, we as a family would pack our bags and head to India's Miami-Florida.. Goa! We would do in excess of 1500 km each time and it was such a pleasure to take the wheel about 3 years back when I turned 18 and acquired my driver's license.

The main objective of our Goa road-trips was to visit our family Temple that is located in the sleepy town of Ankola/Aversa, about 40 km from Karwar in Karnataka. And every year, we sought the blessings of our Goddess Katayani and we will continue to do so for years to come.

And since we drive down and cover over 500 km one way, we'd decided to turn it into a relaxing holiday as well!

Back in 2001, our dark-green Ford Ikon 1.6 would be pressed into service for the long drive and we used to have a ball with it. Even to this day, I remember my father feathering the 170 km mark on some of the arrow-straight state-highways. It was as steady as a rock! And since we've been driving down to Goa every year, we kept experimenting with our routes and listening keenly to feedback from others who frequented Goa from Bangalore as well.

Fast-forward to the 1st of October, 2010. We get all our papers organized. The Civic's documents are neatly organized; the tyres checked for air-pressure and a dry-run in jacking-up the car and undoing the wheel in case we experience a puncture during the drive. We stayed at The Royal Goan Beach Club, Benaulim. The booking was done months in advance since accommodation at RCI resorts is always in high demand, especially during peak-season (October-February)

Here are some important statistics:

Distance one-way: 625.4 km

Distance covered in total: 1739.6 km

Date of arrival and departure: 2nd October, '10 and 9th October, '10.

Route: Bangalore - Nelamangala - Sira - Hiryur - Chitradurga - Davangere - Harihar - Ranibennur - Haveri - Sirsi - Mirjan - Ankola/Aversa - Karwar - Cancona - Margao - Benaulim.

NOTE: I'm a complete novice at photography and I was armed with a 6 year old Nikon Coolpix. And most of the pictures were taken while on the move. Some of them might be blurred and I've edited them a little. I'm open to criticism and would love some feedback.

More text and pictures with exclusive captions to follow soon. Watch this space!
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Old 15th October 2010, 01:24   #2
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Day 1:

Our bags are packed and stuffed into the Civic's 400 litre boot and we're ready to hit the road. My father takes the wheel and we head towards Mekhri Circle. The digital clock on the dashboard reads 5:00 am. Our aim was to get out of the city and cross Nelamangala before the truck-traffic clogs the roads around Peenya/Nelamangala. And we did!

The Civic is quite the mile-muncher and a great car for long-distance travelling, barring of-course the low ground clearance, that inevitably becomes lower when there are 5 large suit-cases and 4 people inside!

Before we knew it, we made our first pit-stop at 9:10 am at Davangere for breakfast..

Pit-Stop:

Davangere for breakfast at Old Sagar Benne-Dose. (strain your eyes a bit and look at the board in front of our car)

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3476.jpg

Fantastic food at very reasonable prices. It will put a smile on your face without a doubt! A meal for 4 here including tea/coffee will lighten your wallet by Rs. 150-200 depending on how much of a foodie you are! Great ambiance and super service has guaranteed a table for four for us every year! Twice! Brilliant!

After 45 minutes, we set off again and I took the wheel as we got onto the GQ and headed for Haveri. The GQ wasn't completed and it was pretty obvious. The tarmac seemed freshly laid and there were several diversions that required us to take the other side of the road and vice-versa. It is quite a hairy experience as sometimes, you'll find trucks coming towards you when you're cruising at 100+ km/h!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3479.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3482.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3483.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3485.jpg

As you can see above, the shoulder of the road had just been finished.

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3486.jpg


The stretch from Haveri to Sirsi/Kumta wasn't very good and the stray cattle and pot-holes slowed us down quite a bit. We were off the GQ and onto the state-highway by then. The state-highway was in a pretty good condition. Several twists and turns ensured that my dad was on his toes while I was driving!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3487.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3489.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3490.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3492.jpg


The digital clock on the dash read 3:15 pm when we made our 2nd Pit-Stop of the day, 20 km shy of Karwar @ Kamat Upchaar..

Pit Stop:

Kamat Upchaar, 25 minutes from Karwar. Great south Indian and Konkan fare. A meal for 4 would cost anywhere from Rs. 150 - 350. Definitey worth a stop!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3564.jpg


We gobbled up the Konkani-Khottos (idlis cooked/steamed in leaf) and a cup of coffee later, we got back onto the road and headed for Karwar. A small Ghat section greeted us before Karwar and the rain-Gods decided to do their thing at that very moment. As we climbed, the visibility dropped and the rain reduced.

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3500.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3501.jpg

10 km later, we found ourselves on the other side, going down-hill, negotiating a few hairpin-bends and the sun-glasses were back on!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3503.jpg

We entered the coastal town of Karwar at 5 pm.

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3504.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3507.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3508.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3509.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3510.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3511.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3512.jpg

At this point, unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was behind the wheel and my Dad was fed up of taking pictures so I do not have photographs of the roads and signs at Candolim, Margao and Benaulim. I did take a few pictures on the way back though, and they shall be put up here very soon! Watch this space!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 15th October 2010 at 01:28.
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Old 15th October 2010, 08:58   #3
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White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3538.jpg

Note:
During our 1700 km drive, we found ourselves stuck on the road a dozen times at least, thanks to stray cattle, pigs and sheep. They would occupy the entire road and hold us back for about 5 minutes each time if not more! The state highway is full of them and although there isn't much one can do about it, it's extremely annoying!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3540.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3554.jpg
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Old 15th October 2010, 10:26   #4
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Nice travelogue. I am hooked on to it. The roads looks all freshly laid out and new. I guess they have been quick after the rains.

The pics have come out nice.

Do share the FE you got on a fully loaded Civic. I would assume 10 kpl.
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Old 15th October 2010, 13:11   #5
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Nice narration so far Suhaas. Looking forward to the "Foodie" part.
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Old 15th October 2010, 17:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Nice travelogue. I am hooked on to it. The roads looks all freshly laid out and new. I guess they have been quick after the rains.

The pics have come out nice.

Do share the FE you got on a fully loaded Civic. I would assume 10 kpl.
Thank you vkochar!

Surprisingly, the roads, especially the state highway from Haveri to Davangere weren't good at all. Massive pot-holes and very narrow roads are bad enough, but NWKSRTC buses hurtling towards you without showing any signs of slowing down or giving way posed quite a problem for us. Especially since we were fully laden! But I'll get to that and the FE in a bit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Nice narration so far Suhaas. Looking forward to the "Foodie" part.
Thank you Samarth!

Oh the 'Foodie Part' will not disappoint you!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before I get down to penning our 2nd day, I will like to share some interesting observations that I'd made throughout the drive and the holiday!

- Although several people followed highway etiquette, there were a few twits who would try and pull off stunts and make life hard for the others who followed the rules of the road. While most trucks stuck to the left lane, there were a handful who irritated faster moving vehicles in the right-most lane by refusing to budge. Almost all bus-drivers were on the right lane and that too, clipping at speeds that scared other road users silly! There was one twat in a white Hyundai i20 that was tail-gating me when I was doing a good 110!

- Most people in and around Goa wear seat-belts. Even CV drivers and cabbies buckle up. Very heartening!

- Most two-wheelers haven' head of helmets in Goa. I must have seen only 2 riders wearing helmets. Heck, even one guy on a blue Hayabusa (that I spotted in Margao) wasn't wearing a lid! Shame on him!

- Everyone follows the rules in Goa. They give the right-of-way for those on the main-road and even follow lane-discipline to an extent! Indicators are used correctly and the lights at night as well! However, there are a few bad apples, but I guess you'll never find perfect drivers anywhere!

- More than 50% of the private vehicles on Goan roads seemed to be driven by women! And they were driving pretty well too! Kudos to them!
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Old 15th October 2010, 21:31   #7
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Day 2

We woke up the next morning, fresh after the long drive, and raring to go! We pulled out the map and made a mental-note of the directions to Martin's Corner, Betalbatim. It wasn't far from our resort and it took us about half 'n' hour to get there.

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3518.jpg

Martin's Corner is one of Goa's assets if you will. A fantastic restaurant that's been around for over two decades. A great place to chill out and have a relaxed and authentic Goan meal. We make it a point to stop by for lunch at least once every time we're in Goa.

We'd ordered a an array of appetizers to begin with; Shrimp-stuffed Papad, Butter-garlic prawns, Fish fingers etc and for the main-course, a serving of King Fish Curry Rice, Naan and Dal Fry. Great ambiance, superb food and top-class service! A meal for four will lighten your wallet by Rs. 1500 - 2500 depending on what you order. It's a must visit for sure! Highly recommended!

Oh, and I spotted this peach of an Accord at the restaurant's parking-lot.

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3513.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn3516.jpg

We headed back to our resort and put up our feet for the rest of the day!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Day 3

Although we are quite familiar with Goa and its hot-spots, we decided to give the regular restaurant visits a miss this time and try out other places. We were told about this restaurant that's located in Utorda, Goa and it's right by the beach, so we decided to check it out. What a brilliant place it turned out to be!

It's called Zeebop By The Sea. It's basically a big shack right on the white, sandy beach of Utorda, right opposite Hotel Kenelworth.

We'd ordered a humongous Red Snapper that was split into two plates and served in two separate sauces. We'd also ordered crab-stuffed papads and garlic shrimp. The food had plenty of flavour and colour and the Red Snapper was the 'catch-of-the-day'; it was that fresh! Although it's a little pricey, it was totally worth it! And the service was great as well. Despite the presence of several foreigners at the restaurant, they gave us equal and even more attention! We were pleased! And not only that, the breeze from the sea and the sound of the waves added lots of drama!

A meal for four will set cost you about Rs. 2000 - 3000. Although we were recommended the lobster, we didn't take it, and decided to go in for the usual. Big mistake! try the lobster, it's fantastic, I'm told!

After the heavy meal, we went back to our resort in Benaulim and kicked back with a, err.. Orange juice!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Day 4

We have plenty of relatives in Goa and we generally visit them every time we plan the holiday. And day 4 was just that. Our relatives had called us over for lunch and we obliged.

The lunch was scrumptious to say the least. Goan prawn curry, peas pulav, mackerel and king-fish fry, assorted salads and yellow lentils was the spread and it was superb! A short drive around Panaji and some shopping kept us busy after lunch and it was around 10:00 pm by the time we reached our resort.

I'm sorry, I have no pictures from day 3 and day 4; but I've made up for it by going beserk with the camera on day 5! Watch this space!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 15th October 2010 at 21:39.
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Old 15th October 2010, 21:50   #8
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Awesome man and great timing as well. I will be there for 3 days at the end of the month so making all the notes
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Old 15th October 2010, 21:53   #9
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Nice write up Suhaas!

Goa is my family's ultimate destination too. Like your family we too cover temples near Mangalore like Anegudde Ganesha temple, Kollur, Gokarna etc on the way to Goa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
- More than 50% of the private vehicles on Goan roads seemed to be driven by women! And they were driving pretty well too! Kudos to them!
Your 6years old Nikon's pics are pretty good!

How about some pics of the women and their cars too?!
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Old 15th October 2010, 21:55   #10
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A goa travelogue is something that never tires me as even i have been doing a monsoon trip from last 4 years except missed out this year.

If i am not wrong Martin's Corner is near Colva and you take the lane next to the Colva Church and go deep inside when this restuarant comes. And, this also happens to be Sachin Tendulkar's favorite restuarant in Goa and there is a crab dish named after him as Sachin loves crabs.

Being a foodie myself, i am keen to hear your cuisine exploration and some pictures of nicely laid out table

Last edited by mobike008 : 15th October 2010 at 21:56.
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Old 15th October 2010, 22:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Awesome man and great timing as well. I will be there for 3 days at the end of the month so making all the notes
There is much more coming up, Samarth! Keep your note-book ready!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EARTHed View Post
Nice write up Suhaas!

Goa is my family's ultimate destination too. Like your family we too cover temples near Mangalore like Anegudde Ganesha temple, Kollur, Gokarna etc on the way to Goa.



Your 6years old Nikon's pics are pretty good!

How about some pics of the women and their cars too?!
Thank you EARTHed!

Why don't you put up a travelogue too? it will be interesting and great to compare notes!

Mobike008,

Quote:
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If i am not wrong Martin's Corner is near Colva and you take the lane next to the Colva Church and go deep inside when this restuarant comes. And, this also happens to be Sachin Tendulkar's favorite restuarant in Goa and there is a crab dish named after him as Sachin loves crabs.
Martin's Corner is indeed near Colva, in Betalbatim. A little known fact: Sachin also bought a plot right next to Martin's and even constructed a villa. He stays there occasionally. We all know the reason!

He even took some of the Chefs from Martin's and got them to whip up some fantastic recipes at his own restaurant in Mumbai!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Being a foodie myself, i am keen to hear your cuisine exploration and some pictures of nicely laid out table
I feel like kicking myself now for not taking pictures of a nicely laid out table! In fact, at Zeebop, they brought a lobster, a crab, baby shark, king-fish and even a Red Snapper on a platter and showed it to us before preparing it. I should have captured it on lens!

I do have a line of restaurants that I'd like to post about though, and I will do that in the next few days!
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Old 15th October 2010, 22:35   #12
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Hey Suhaas- Nice travelogue ! Have you tried the benne dosa at Kotreshwara center opposite to Bapuji college in Davangere ? (its supposed to be the best !) If not try it out on your next visit, awesome dosas, and no place to even set a foot in, its so crowded !

What an awesome Accord at Martin's !! Lovingly maintained & cool rims too !
Every time i go there i take a look at the pics on the wall of the who's who who've visited the place. The food never disappoints !

Do share with us the foodie places you visited
Hope you visited Britto's too ?! I just love their french fries, the best ive come across
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Old 15th October 2010, 23:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nirmaljusdoit View Post
Hey Suhaas- Nice travelogue ! Have you tried the benne dosa at Kotreshwara center opposite to Bapuji college in Davangere ? (its supposed to be the best !) If not try it out on your next visit, awesome dosas, and no place to even set a foot in, its so crowded !

What an awesome Accord at Martin's !! Lovingly maintained & cool rims too !
Every time i go there i take a look at the pics on the wall of the who's who who've visited the place. The food never disappoints !

Do share with us the foodie places you visited
Hope you visited Britto's too ?! I just love their french fries, the best ive come across
Thank you Nirmal!

We have tried the Benne Dose there as well and it is one of the best, I agree!

We didn't go to the regular hot-spots like Britto's, Tito's or Suza Lobo this time. We've been there several times earlier and yes they are great places to dig in! I shall come to that later though!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before I post our 5th day, I'd like to take you'll a few years back in time with some interesting sights captured on lens during our '08 Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore holiday!

Flashback!

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2704.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-copy-dscn2739.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2737.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2740.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2748.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2757.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2758.jpg

White sand, seafood and a few curves thrown in.. Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore!-dscn2765.jpg
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Old 16th October 2010, 00:37   #14
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Awesome, this travelogue is more like a foodie's guide and I';m loving it. Thanks a ton for these pointers for the restaurants. Will surely try them out next time I go to Goa.
And nice pics of the road, loved them.
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Old 16th October 2010, 00:49   #15
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Some really nice snaps there, Suhaas! The narration is great too

I really like the looks of that Accord - something very 'mafia' (for lack of better word) about it's looks in black with those rims!


PS: Never knew Sachin was so much of a foodie...!
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