Sunday, September 25, 2011

Road Trip to Goa - Again

Another of my road trip to Goa, from Bangalore. This time while planning for the trip, I was contemplating of either choosing a different route or probably stay over at night and split the journey across two days. But after a lot of analysis, especially the savings of time and money, it only made sense to finish it off like my previous trip's ie all in a day. (Start from home at 5am ,  and reach home in Goa in approx 12 hours.)

This time, we actually made it a point to note down in a diary every one hour, how many kms we had actually travelled and then looked at the average at the end. We also noted where we have the Kamath Upchar's so that anyone reading this can have it handy and plan appropriately, as we ourselves happened to forget the approx time lines as to when we would get the next.

Here was the approx plan -
Route --
Bangalore - Hubli  -                     NH4   - 400 Kms - Travel time 6 hours
Hubli - Ankola(Hitting NH17)  -  SH63  - 150 Kms - Travel time 3 hours
Ankola - Margao -                      NH17 - 100 Kms - Travel time 2 hours
Stoppages and breaks -                                                              1 hour.
                                                                                                 12 hours

Well, sounds well on paper. Previous day, we bought a lot of stuff, mainly eatables and drinks for our journey. We had preferred coconut water in our last trip, and hence packed a little extra this time. Also lot of biscuits and cakes added to it. What's most important during driving, especially on long drives is that one's stomach should be filled not necessarily full, and that ends up with lesser headaches etc.

5:30 AM - We started from our apartment, after heating up the food prepared the previous night for the journey and also a Thermos filled with tea, and two bottles of drinking water. Due to the metro construction, there are a lot of roads which lead to yeshwantpur, are actually blocked. So we ended up spending a little more time to get there. Once we were on the flyover, it was a easy drive, with only a few trucks to dodge with every now and then. After around 50kms from yeshwantpur, we get the first Kamath Upchar. Please note, the entry to this place is not clearly seen, and most cars actually end up entering this place from the exit road, which is not very easy to cut it in. The restrooms available there, fleurs is maintained well compared to other places. So I prefer this place. This is one hotel there which is more like a darshini, where you stand and eat(self service mode) and another which which is more of a regular hotel. The tea there was a good and just charges you up. The next Kamath upchar is only after 200 kms from that place, or rather 300 kms from Yeshwantpur. On the way we did take some pictures from the car. The views of the Wind Mills is especially lovely and the closer you get to it, the better it looks. Though the view is not really comparable to the one on the way to Kanyakumari, but well worth it.

There is a Kamath Upchar just after the first one, but as mentioned above, I do prefer this one. Then there is also a Coffee day just after this one. So there is a choice in case you lose out on the first one, which I would try and avoid.

Some more of the pictures on the way -

This Institute is in Davangere. The only time I had any reference to this place was during my CET counselling.

The beautiful roads of NH4, along with the cloudy skies, just making the drive relaxing. The greenery surrounding this place simply adds to the color.

And then it starts to rain, making the drive even more better and interesting. Managed to get a couple of good shots.

Then on our road to Karwar from Hubli, though there were bouts of rains, it wasn't really bad. We drove at a constant rate, averaging around 65-70 kms per hour which was good. Which meant that we were covering 200 kms in approx 3 hours which is the rate that I wanted to achieve. Though the road here is winding at some places, it cannot be called bad from any angle. We stopped at one petrol bunk for fill up, and there we also had our packed lunch around 2:30.
At 3:30 we touched Ankola, on NH17. Though its not actually Ankola, its still around 5-7 kms towards the left from that T-junction. Again, there is another Kamath Upchar almost at that junction, and you would need to travel around 2 kms to get there.
From there its around 110 kms to Margao, which you can cover in around 2-2.5 hours depending on the weather and not really much on the traffic.

We returned back the following week, on a sunday morning. We started at 9 from home at Goa, considering the fact that, there is a mad traffic if we touch Bangalore around 6-7 in the evening. Its anyday better to reach a little late after the peak has subsided, and at the same time, we dont need to leave early in the morning from home.
On the return path, we first stopped at the Kamath Upchar at Ankola, which I had referred to in my last paragraph. From there we did a non-stop to Hubli and stopped just after getting on the NH4 highway. There is another Kamath Upchar out there. Unfortunately it was jam packed since we had reached there at  prime lunch time. So we decided to anyway, get into the parking lot and eat the packed lunch that we had carried with us, along with the not so hot tea.  The as it started to get darker, we did keep eating the tit bits that we had carried, and shifting driving seat does help a lot. After around 200 kms, towards bangalore we get the last Kamath Upchar we normally stop. (Though there is another after some 25 kms and a A1 Plaza too).
The biggest bottle next on our entire journey was the toll booth at the entrance of the flyover near Nelamangala. It took around 20 min just to pay and come out. And then again it was pretty smooth and we had reached home in standard bangalore timings. The return trip took us 12 hours 45 min to be exact, which was not bad considering we were entering Bangalore.

There are numerous toll booth's on the way , and each way would cost you around 200 each side. considering the fact that, 2 toll booth's still are not yet ready. Once ready they will start to charge 35-40 each.
The NH 4 highway(till Hubli), is completely done now and one doesn't need to take detours and go on the wrong side of the road due to on-going constructions. Its just one straight smooth road and a perfect driving pleasure.

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