After a very very long time me and a few of my friends finally decided to take a road trip to ‘Goa’ (for the new year). The plan was to leave on 29th morning and return on 1st.
As planned and contrary to IST we left on time at 4:30Am on 29th morning in my Dark black “Fiat Punto”.
Route we took was.
Bangalore -> Tumkur (NH-4) ->Sira -> Davanagere -> Hubli -> Yellapura -> karwar -> Panjim
All the way from Bangalore its just NH-4 stay on that road until you hit Hubli. at the Hubli Toll , take a slight diversion to the left to reach “Yellapura” and make true until you see a diversion for karwar take that diversion and just follow the straight road to reach Panjim
After leaving Blr and passing the final toll at Tumkur we stopped for a round of Tea and some chit-chatting(As all of my friends were fast asleep). We left that place by 6:30Am and reached Davanagere(290km from Blr) by 10Am. The drive was stupendous to say the least.
It was one of the best roads I’d ever driven on in India and my god I can continue to admire it all my life 🙂
Maintaining 140-160kmph was extremely easy and as you move out of Tumkur the truck traffic reduces and you have the entire road for yourself.
Holding on to good speed we reached Davanagere by 10Am and as expected we went into the city for the very famous “Davanagere Benne(Butter) Dosa”
Its a must on anyone’s plate and considering you will get it anywhere in Karnataka its a definite try.
So moving on we spent a lot of time just catching up on stuff discussing about the drive (whatever little my sleepy friends could remember). By the time we left Davanagere it was roughly 11Am and we decided that the next stop would be Goa. Moving ahead at a healthy pace we reached Hubli and took the diversion towards Yellapura.
“Its must be noted that one should take this diversion or else you will follow the NH4 all the way to Goa, via Belgaum and that roads are HORRIBLE(as we would find out later)).
Taking the diversion was one of the best things we could have done. The drive up to Yellapura again was marked with spectacular scenery one can imagine. Lush green trees on both sides of the roads, dried up leaves and twigs on the sides of the roads making the side look dark brown with green leaves was just a feast to watch.
As the kilometers started to tumble we just went on admiring the route more and more.
We reached Panjim at 4PM (with a few quick stops on the way for some photos). But then we were in for a nightmare.
We had decided to stay in a hotel somewhere close to “Baga Beach” and the drive is just about 15km from Panjim but as we found out later New year’s eve is just not the time to be driving in Goa AT ALL.
the 15km drive will take you through one of the narrowest roads you will ever see, not to mention the crazy 2 way traffic. Buses from both sides on a 30ft wide road along with cars, bikes, 2 wheelers, people walking(and drunk) is just not the scene one would expect at arrival. But then what has to be ,has to be and we just lugged along.
By now my legs had given up after 700kms of constant driving of which 15kms was literally killing my patience.
So anyway we managed to reach Baga(with a few beers down already) and parked the car near the hotel (hoping that the next time we take it out, we will be going back to Bangalore).
We reached the place, took a shower and hit the beach at around 11PM for a walk but as expected no one was in the mood after a tiring 15km(the 700km journey was less taxing than the 15km ordeal) drive and so we ended our first day in Goa all safe and sound.
The next day (30th) we went to fort Aguda and spent some time there before heading back to the hotel to swiftly park the car . In the mornings and even till 5PM the traffic there is quite bearable . Anyway we managed to get out of that place and hit the beach for a nice round of beer on the beach as we discussed even more things about the whole place, casinos and what not. That was the end of another day in Goa.
The 3rd day (31st) we were all fully excited as it was the last day of 2011 and had made plans to visit another beach called “Anjuna”, Its like a mecca for new year wannabes and whose who of Goa will turn up there on the eve for some amazing fireworks show.
As expected we landed there with a beer in one hand and a 500Rs note in the other(entry fee for the beach).
The fireworks is a must watch for anyone .. What a show it was. Once you’re there you will forget the world for the next 30mins and just feel happy all the way.
After the show was over we left at 1Am from that place for another round of beer and then back to the hotel. But my god were we in for a shock.
I’ll just say from Anjuna Beach to Baga Beach its about 6kms and we took 3 hrs.( That’s it.)
The final day(1st, New year -2012) we just woke up packed our bags and headed out of the hotel and bid Goa a Good Bye ,never to visit it again in a car on New year.
But our misery was just beginning.
We left goa at 12:45Pm ,1st 2012 and headed towards bangalore. The first 60kms through Panjim were good and we covered good distance but then we hit the NH-4A(By-pass), and OH MY GOD. Little did we know that it would take us through the Dandeli forest( A thick natural game reserve) and the roads were a piece of crap. We could hardly maintain 40kmph and it began to get worse as we went ahead. After reaching Belgaum (I guess) the damn roads are non existent and its fully mud roads , Absolutely no asphalt. It was then that we realized that this was a bad decision but we had come too far to take another look so went ahead with the plan and thus reached Hubli (all the way on NH-4A) at 6:30PM.
“In all we had taken 5 hrs to cover 160km”.
Once we reached Hubli it was back on the NH-4 and back to driving heaven. I started to claw back the miles and with small stops on the way we reached Bangalore at 2AM.
This was one of the longest drives I had undertaken till date covering nearly 15ooKMs.
The drive was just superb and breathtaking scenery all around. It was a complete trip.
Some picks are here on my flickr account :
NOTE:: Roads are superb all the way.. Just make sure you stick to NH-4 ONLY and not take the by-pass (NH-4A) then you will enjoy the journey a lot..