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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:28   #1
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Default Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Herbie and Bonnie together with Mr and Mrs megazoid planned Goa this July hoping to experience great driving roads, delectable food and a chance to visit old churches. I would be lying if I said we were prepared for the surprises in store for us.

We were three cars, a Porsche Cayenne S diesel, an Octavia RS230 and a BMW 330i and four friends. Another friend staying in Goa would join us at our place of stay making it a five member group. The Cayenne and the Octavia drove down from Cochin to Bangalore and the three cars started off to Goa in the wee hours of a working day. A short compilation of the few days.


Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:13.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:37   #2
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Default Interior road sections and water logging

The weather that weekend looked bleak. It was raining continuously and the forecast mentioned rain everywhere. The early start helped and we made our way quickly out of town and onto the open highway. The roads for the most part were good and progress was brisk even though rain was a constant companion. Stopped for coffee at a CCD outlet and munched on some home made breakfast with CCD coffee. We ran into a spiritedly driven Q2 who took a dislike in general for anything faster. But in the end all was well and we made peace by veering off the highway. The Q2 moved well and the the AWD might have come very handy on the wet roads.

All hell broke loose once we got off the main highway. The back roads in places were flooded with nearby lakes and rivers running full and overflowing.
The two sedans went behind the Cayenne to stand some chance of making it through the water crossings. The roads were not too bad but the persistent rain kept speeds down. After driving for the better part of an hour, we were promptly stopped by cops. Got news that the highway ahead via Ankola was blocked and would take time to clear. We were asked to go via Haliyal instead. This turned out to be quite an adventure as every possible road to get to Haliyal was submerged. We tried about four different routes and not one gave us a chance. But whatever roads we drove were extremely beautiful, passing through forest sections. After trying multiple routes, we had no other go than to retrace to Yellapur once again. In one of the many detours that we experimented with, the road ended abruptly with the river overflowing onto it. We chose this place to park up and have our packed lunch, taking shelter from the pounding rain at a forest rest house.

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submerged roads


water crossings

We had our lunch standing in a makeshift shed adjacent to the rest house as the rain came down heavily. The Cayenne picked a puncture in one of the forest sections on the way back to Yellapur. We got that fixed at a road side shop with an enterprising kid doing the job well. I got bumped by a cow that changed direction like a mini cooper and the left front of the BMW has a dent to show for it.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-vlcsnap2021080320h55m54s766-2.png
Got some amazing roads to drive

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:13.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:43   #3
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Default Gokarna at midnight

Getting onto the four laned highway and making a dash for it wasn't possible as all the regular routes touching the NH4 to Goa were blocked for one reason or the other. Quickly called up Robi Mahanta asking for updates about road conditions that he could get from his friends. Meanwhile, checked the internet and got to know that one particular route via Honnavar was open. Made a dash for Sirsi and these roads were simply superlative to drive, even in pouring rain. By now, it was evening and we were five to six hours away from our destination. At Sirsi, we dived into a hotel for tea and a quick bite, and made route enquiries. Everyone gave us bad news about blocked roads due to landslides or uprooted trees. Spoke to petrol pump attendants, rickshaw drivers and other transport drivers but all had only bad news. We got a route via jog to Honnavar that was open and one we could try. By now it was dark and raining but this section of the drive turned out to be delightful. We had a real blast enjoying the curves in the night. Hit Honnavar very late and thought that the the coastal highway would be a piece of cake.

Well, we were wrong.

After driving for sometime along NH66 we were stopped by cops who informed us of a road closure ahead and stated that we could not proceed. We started from home at five in the morning and now the time was close to 11pm and we still hadn't reached Goa. Made an impromptu plan to halt at Gokarna for the night and booked a place. At around 12 in the night, we landed up at Gokarna and found that cars could not get to the resort owing to slush due to the heavy rains and we had to park up and walk down. The RS meanwhile tried to do some off-roading and promptly got stuck in the slush. A bunch of resort staff and us together pushed the RS out of the slush back to a concrete road. Time was well past midnight by now. Since all of us had OCD about parked cars being vandalized, we decided to look elsewhere for stay and finally landed up at a nice place that Herbie had visited before on one of his bike rides. That was a nice stay and we got the much needed driving break. By now it was close to 2am and we promised ourselves an early start to get to Goa and crashed. That we were tired is an understatement!

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-img20210724073134.jpg
Gokarna stay

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:13.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:49   #4
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Default Goa finally

Next day we set out after a nice breakfast, confirming with the resort owner about the route being all clear till Goa. Speeds picked up and we drove quick. I started my journey from Bangalore with 2600km of rear pad life. The condition based service did not give me the chance to replace pads before the journey. After all the driving of the past one day the pads literally were gone and I had absolutely poor brakes driving into Goa. I lost nerve on a curvy section when the car just refused to stop well behind another vehicle and decided to ease it through to service. The other cars slowed down for me and we trooped into BMW service at Goa. The efficient SA, Rahul Mendez quickly checked up on the parts and confirmed stock was available (a big surprise to me) and got to work on the car. I was thinking of parts having to come from other continents and having to nurse the car back home. Meanwhile, we decided to take a break and headed out for lunch to a nearby place.


Rahul Mendez was a cool service advisor, the pads and rotors were replaced and BSI plus made sure that we did not have to spend anything. He was quick with the billing and did not keep us waiting as he knew we were tourists and BMW service was not on the tourist map. We bid adieu to BMW Goa and made our way to the place of stay. It was evening by now and the roads had a lot of traffic. We darted in an out of gaps and inched forward to our destination at Siolim. Reached our villa at Siolim and were greeted by the caretaker who had been waiting for us the whole of the previous day. It was a very very long drive to Goa and one that could have spoiled plans but what made the cut for us were the myriad roads that we got to drive on. There were fast highway sections, single lane forest roads, two laned canopy filled sections, broken tarmac passing through beautiful villages, dangerous water crossings, puncture incidents, cows running amok and undriveable pothole filled roads. The entire drive was unforgettable and even though we lost a full day, it was well worth the effort.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-dsc00294.jpg
villa at Siolim

Quickly grabbed tea and hired scooters to get around. My scooter was not in good shape and the last thing i wanted was to fall down and get injured. Thankfully, managed to get through the evening unscathed. Drove the scooter around to a place for beer that had pizza as their specialty but on this occasion owing to a non functioning oven, the pizza wasn't on the menu when we asked for one. At least they had beers and we had beers! But the food was good and the service excellent and we spent a lot of time there just chatting away. A friend of ours from Goa would join us at our place of stay that night.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-churchnight.jpg

Saw this beautiful church on our way back from dinner.

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:12.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:54   #5
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Default Enjoying Goa

Slept late after never ending conversations and woke up well rested the next day thanks to overnight rain and comfortable rooms. We planned to go to Artjuna for breakfast and decided to take the Cayenne.

Had a grand breakfast at Artjuna, celebrated Herbie's birthday there and moved to Parra road for the customary snaps and some fun.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-dsc00333_edited.jpg
parra road

This road is found in the movies and the discussions in the car went to why Kerala cant have its own Parra road in the coastal belts. After Parra, we landed at Fort Aguada and got drenched in a sudden downpour. We spent good time at Aguada, enough to make the upcoming lunch justifiable. And what a sublime lunch it turned out to be. Sublime was the place we went to and it rocked! The food was outstanding. Herbie's birthday was celebrated over some fine food and conversations. Thank you Herbie for a wonderful treat!
Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-img20210725132832.jpg

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-img20210725131304.jpg
sublime is the place!

We were also interested in visiting old Goa churches and made our way to a few of them. Some restrictions were in place but we saw the Relics of St Francis Xavier and Catholic church of St Francis of Assissi, the viceroy's Arch and the Church of St Cajethan.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-church.jpg

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-church2.jpg

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-cayenne1.jpg


We wanted to do a small drive and decided to visit harvalem falls. Was a good idea as there were not many folks and the pouring rain made us hunt down a place for garam chai and onion pakodas at the waterfall. It was a gushing waterfall and looked ominous.


harvalem falls

By then it was almost twilight and we decided to head back to Rider Cafe at Baga for dinner and to visit their museum. Our friend from Goa showed us around the place and was a gracious host.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-dsc00290.jpg

It was quite late by the time we finished dinner. Drove to our villa and crashed dreaming of sport plus downshifts.

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:12.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 20:59   #6
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Default Driving joy again

The next day was our return leg and we wanted to also do Cabo de rama in south Goa. Got up leisurely, had a nice breakfast and packed some for our onward journey and decided to hit the roads. We had a long drive to Bangalore and no one wanted to go the shortest route. Crossing Goa was arduous but all frustration vanished when we were at Cabo de rama. It was a fabulous place and offered brilliant views and the weather cleared. We spent a lot of time here clicking pictures and had a nice lunch too at one of the hotels. Roads and houses looked so beautiful there.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-vlcsnap2021080223h41m32s592.png

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-dsc00281_edited.jpg


The BMW that was happy drinking fuel and eating brake pads suddenly woke up and showed a wheel speed sensor error. There was a lot of driving to do and some good roads to drive and this error meant I could not slot it out of comfort mode for the rest of the drive. The Karnataka border failed to impress as the guardian angels of covid defense were found taking bribe from tourists and letting them through. The senior man mumbled something about the government order not being valid and how the District collector had told them otherwise. We insisted on speaking to the DC and it occurred to him that the bribe path wasn't materializing. One of the many worries I always have when newer states are spawned is that journeys get slower and slower due to the well fed but poor thinking custodian who represents law at the border. We got through into Karnataka and a search for non existent liquor ensued at the next police check. But we took this route for the roads we would get to drive and we did that in style. One of the constant worries in the evenings on the village belt is cattle being let loose on the roads. In fact, there was cattle at blind corners and at such regular intervals that we started to doubt if they were let loose on purpose.


Couple of instances

There was great joy in seeing these machines driven this way. The FWD Octavia was superbly driven by Bonnie and the AWD Cayenne by Herbie and I followed them in a RWD 330i with all its sensors trying hard to fail at the same time. Yes, the drive was fabulous.


We weren't done yet and wanted to see Jog falls on the way back and made it just in time before dark to see Jog in pouring rain. Went to the restaurant at Mayura's and had coffee and recharged for the night drive. It was raining quite heavily then.

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-img20210726180923.jpg

The dam gates had not opened but the waterfall was nice to see on the Sharavathi. The next leg of the drive was tough due to two laned roads and rain. Bonnie drove superbly as the lead car and all we had to do was slot in behind him. We reached Shimoga and decided to join Chitradurga and take the 4 laned highway home. By now the RS also lost brakes and we decided to keep a steady pace back home. Have great respect for the way the APR remapped RS moved on the straights and was driven on the ghats. Great driving Bonnie. Cayenne has a 100 liter fuel tank, runs on diesel, out accelerates and out handles everything and can go anywhere too. Herbie behind the wheel was like Don Quixote. He had a hard time remembering that other cars couldn't move as fast. As for the 330i, it drove well and except for brake pads getting fried and a wheel speed sensor waking up intermittently to fail, all else worked well.

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:11.
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Old 4th August 2021, 13:03   #7
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Default The cars

Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches-dsc00329_edited.jpg

We had front, rear and all wheel driven combination on this drive and it was a beautiful sight watching these machines piloted through the same stretches. It is also proof that whatever be the car, copious amounts of pleasure can be had on engaging roads. Perhaps, high clearance SUVs would have been great for the bad sections but we could never have had the fun on the curves that we had which brings me to the Cayenne S. I was amazed at how good a car it is. To see it drive with low slung sedans around curves changing direction with ease was an eye opener and with diesel, a 10kmpl average and a 0-100 of 5 seconds change, it just makes an excellent allrounder and all this on 20 inch rims with enormous grip from the AWD layout. The 330i damages after the drive included a leaky shock absorber, a bent rim and dent caused by a jealous bovine. The Octavia had worn out brakes by the time we made it home. Fuel was expensive and I managed a little above 8kmpl and that was the case with the Octavia too. The cayenne did better at 10kmpl if I recollect right.

Last edited by megazoid : 4th August 2021 at 21:11.
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Old 5th August 2021, 05:23   #8
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th August 2021, 07:59   #9
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Default Re: Interior road sections and water logging

Wow! An amazing travelogue with great story (and lot of drama thanks to the weather), great photography and videography, and of course, fantastic cars and their drivers! Hats off to you guys for pulling this off so well in spite of all the challenges. The pictures are lovely and tell the story quite well. This is inspirational stuff. Thanks for sharing this.

Challenges like these make the trips lot more memorable and adventurous. What you guys probably thought was a routine and fun Goa drive turned out to be a major adventure that you will remember forever and you can tell your friends about in years to come. That is the beauty of road trips. A simple road trip has a potential to turn into a memorable story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
After driving for the better part of an hour, we were promptly stopped by cops. Got news that the highway ahead via Ankola was blocked and would take time to clear. We were asked to go via Haliyal instead. This turned out to be quite an adventure as every possible road to get to Haliyal was submerged. We tried about four different routes and not one gave us a chance. But whatever roads we drove were extremely beautiful, passing through forest sections. After trying multiple routes, we had no other go than to retrace to Yellapur once again. In one of the many detours that we experimented with, the road ended abruptly with the river overflowing onto it.
This reminds me of my monsoon solo in Konkan in July 2016. I was in exactly the same position; stuck in-between flooded rivers somewhere between Kolhapur and Ratnagiri, and trying all possible tricks to find an open road to reach Ratangiri. I was all alone, parked on the side of a flooded road, and searching Google maps and talking to locals/cops for any hints and driving back and forth across multiple alternative roads only to find them closed at some place or the other. I spent an entire afternoon just trying to find an exit out of that situation, but when I found it eventually, it felt like heaven! I will forever remember that day and the experience, which was probably magnified in my mind by the fact that I was all alone.

Once again a wonderful travelogue and thanks for sharing it on a Thursday! This makes me feel like driving somewhere this weekend now.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 5th August 2021 at 08:17.
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Old 5th August 2021, 09:10   #10
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Beautifully written travelogue. This sounds like an adventure of a lifetime, one that will remain in your memories till end. Great to see that you never gave up and marched on. “Never give up till end” is a great attitude. Kudos to the team.
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Old 5th August 2021, 09:28   #11
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Thank you for the travelogue. I am fairly certain of having seen this convoy en route to my office. Had i known the convoy was of Bhpians i could have waved to you guys.

This would have been morning 7:30-7:45 ish sometime last week. I was riding along the highways towards Coimbatore around 2 Km short of L&T Bypass when the glowing DRL of this Octavia came in my rear view mirror. I was trying to guess from the stance if it was one of the hot versions when you crossed me. The Cayenne followed not more than 10 seconds later. I distinctly remember the number plate as well.

Look forward to crossing paths sometime in future. Wishing you safe and joyous journeys.
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Old 5th August 2021, 10:19   #12
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Wonderful narrative - words as well as in pictures/video.
I can imagine the 'heart in the mouth' moment when you had to wade through torrential rains en route to Goa. I too had one such moment near Goa - where every one stopped and I foolishly ploughed into 3 feet of water and emerged unscathed nevertheless.

There was a nice drone shot in your video. You had packed a drone for this. Please share some information about your gear.
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Old 5th August 2021, 11:21   #13
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Nice write up Hari and Team !! See that you guys successfully managed to navigate through flooded roads with 2 sedans. Take care as BWM 3 series having water wading of only upto 300 mm at real slow speeds.

Good that BMW Goa was helpful to get your Beamer's brake pads and discs.. Recommend to get them replaced if you have BSI Plus when CBS shows less than 5K remaining

From the lovely pictures, Goa is definitely beautiful in the monsoons !! The difficult part is getting there by road given the uncertain weather at this time.

Looking for a good drive with WDM once the monsoon ends in Sept/Oct.
Cheers !!
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Old 5th August 2021, 11:40   #14
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Default Re: Goa in search of driving roads, food and churches

Nice travelogue, awesome pics and what a journey!
Even with many deviations, car issues and other, you people went ahead, and that is what speaks a lot about love to drive and travel. This will surely be one of the memorable visits to Goa for you all.
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Old 5th August 2021, 12:55   #15
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Default Re: The cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
which brings me to the Cayenne S. I was amazed at how good a car it is. To see it drive with low slung sedans around curves changing direction with ease was an eye opener and with diesel, a 10kmpl average and a 0-100 of 5 seconds change, it just makes an excellent allrounder and all this on 20 inch rims with enormous grip from the AWD layout.
Amazing Travelogue. Quite a rare variant, since it comes with a V8 diesel engine! Not too many of them were sold I guess with this engine.
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