We had been planning a road trip to Goa from Bangalore since the past 4 years. Each time the husband brought it up, a cynical me would somewhat dismiss it saying “Not possible. That too in our little car.”
And then one fine day I unexpectedly won a contest which offered me the choice of several offbeat travel getaways all across the country, right from the Kumaon Hills in the north to Wayanad in the south, the itinerary prepared by India Untravelled. We had visited most of the southern locations and the northern ones seemed difficult, given our tight office schedule.
Finally, we zeroed in on Goa.
“Possible?” I asked the husband warily.
“Possible!” The husband confirmed emphatically.
So, Goa it was. A distance of almost 650 km door-to-door, from our home in Bangalore to the resort in Goa that we had booked for the night. The rest of the stay would be in the homestay arranged by India Untravelled.
We decided to follow the Bangalore-Tumkur-Hubli-Belgaum-Chorla Ghats-Goa route and this was further endorsed by Roberto Amaral, our Goa homestay host.
Thus, on 22nd October, we braced ourselves for a journey that we knew to be very long, and started off at 6.00 am. And what a beautiful road trip it was! The hours and kilometers flew by in a blur, thanks to the good roads, and we were in Goa even before the sun could say bye. We could hardly believe ourselves when we saw that we had clocked just 9.5 hours (including two food halts) to cover those 650 kms that had seemed so long and tiresome before the journey.
While 3/4th of the journey presented to us beautiful vistas of giant windmills atop hills and golden fields, ready for harvest, the best part of it was to come in the last leg. The Chorla Ghats. Here, have a look:
It was a hot day on 22nd and the mercury levels dipped significantly the moment we started off on the ghat roads. Cool air hit our faces as we drove in the shade of the thick canopy overhead. The world could not have been more tranquil.
On our return journey, the same ghats offered us a peek to another side of it. The even cooler side.
It had been raining since the previous day and the ghats came alive with the cheerful sound of chirping birds and bubbling brooks at every turn. We were greeted with sights of splashing waterfalls and thick mist hovering above the mountain tops. The air was cooler than the previous time and we took our time driving through. You can see why:
It offered rice meals, paired with mutton, chicken or fish, at fairly low rates. It appeared to be a family run establishment with the kitchen being run by a few ladies cooking fresh hot meals, on order. We tried the mutton rice meal and the thali came with two soft chapatis, one plate of rice and a bowl each of curry, mutton fry and soup.
The mutton was absolutely tender and scrumptious. But the real star of the meal was the soup. It was packed with the flavor of stewed chicken and mutton and served without any spices spoiling its taste. Our bowls were refilled continuously without any extra charge. That made the meal more homely and delicious.
The rains on our return trip provided an experience of having visited Goa twice - the beginning of winter as well as the receding monsoon. Besides the joy, this trip has filled us with immense confidence. Mostly about our little car whose capability till now we had grossly underestimated, despite using it as our 4WD so many times in the past.
With this beautiful road trip in our kitty, I have already started dreaming of our next trips. But then, you know what they say, the first one is always the special one. Take care!
PS: Will try to write about what I did in Goa soon. Won’t say ‘Stay tuned’ this time.