Monday, February 26, 2007

Road Trip to Goa - Day 1

It had been a long standing desire of mine to do the iconic Mumbai - Goa Highway by car, wetted by our drive to Ganapatipule last year. I finally got an opportunity to do so a couple of weekends back, and a big Thanks to my wife for supporting me!

We started our drive at 6:30 AM on Friday. On crossing Panvel, we found out that a gas tanker had overturned near Karnala, necessitating a detour through Rasayani on the old Mumbai - Pune highway. That added 30 minutes. It was close to 8 by the time we crossed Nagothane. I encountered a bit of traffic, but as I rightly guessed, the traffic was all headed to Alibaug, and surrounding areas. As soon as we crossed Vadkhal Naka (the turn off to Alibaug), the traffic thinned out. And from then on, the drive was a dream. Being Mahashivratri, there was hardly any local traffic on the highway, and hardly any long distance travelers such as us.

We reached Chiplun at noon, halted for a chai, crossed Hathkkhamba (the turn off for Ratnagiri at 1:30), halted for refueling, and continued southwards, destination Goa. We were on the lookout for a decent place to halt for lunch, but we only found one at Kankavli. Neelam Countryside Resorts is strongly recommended for a break. The food was good, service friendly, and we refreshed ourselves with a game of carroms and table tennis!

The road narrowed after Kudal, and we had to slow down while crossing Sawantwaid, and entering Goa. As it was just around 6 when we entered Goa, we decided to head for Vagator beach to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, we encountered traffic at Margao, and just missed the sunset by the time we hit the sands at the base of Chapora fort. After a refreshing drink of coconut water, we reached our destination - my aunts' place in Bambolim - a little after 8 PM.

It was an extremely fulfilling drive, and strongly recommended for all road trippers!


LUIS said...

hey sanjay,nice of you to share that experience,it remains with one forever.i too plan to take a trip like yours in didnt emphasis on your journey, the sights n sounds etc.if you would have had more time on your hands you could have stopped at some breath taking areas and spend time there before moving on.NH17 has some of the best sceaneries to offer.too bad you didnt have any photographs either as i was looking for some.nice of you to share your experience even though it lacked some dos and donts while on a long could prove helpful for first time for me i just love the NH17.i normally travel by the bus[bombay-goa]but i yearn for the maiden journey with/without a friend as in the bus one cant stop and savor the surroundings...besides this it plys during the night time where nothing is viewed.any way hope you enjoy another trip...this time stopping along the way.have a safe safely.

anthony said...

true its a lovely experience, the best NH i have driven on. i had made the trip in a Maruti Van a decade ago with a friend.Almost had a freak accident in Mahad where the van almost toppled near a sloping embankment.[ i was dead slow as a herd of cows were heading straight at the vehicle - i swerved a little and as the vehicle veered right on the opp direction - luckily there wasnt any on coming traffic. i put my foot down on the gas pedal instead of the brake, the van sped right into the sloping embankment -but in a fraction of second i realised what i had done - rest is history]i lived to tell the tale!!! Please look out for these creatures with your eyes wide open when on the highway. To this day i remember this incident vividly.