Posted by: Kiran Vaidya | September 25, 2007

The Goan Diaries – Day 2

 

September 1, Saturday:

1:30 am –

We reached Kolhapur. Gadhinglaj was still 1 hour away. We didn’t know the road and were aware that there were no signboards for the Gadhinglaj exit on NH-4. Staying at Gadhinglaj didn’t make any sense since we would have reached there at 3am and then getting up within 3 hours would have been extremely irritating. So we decided to stay at Kolhapur. Unpacking the bags in the transit hotel at Kolhapur was a bit irritating but we had no other option. We went off to sleep immediately.

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.  ~Lao Tzu

5:30 am-

Surprise: Anmol is the first one to get up. He wakes all of us. He gets ready by 6am. We are still brushing or just lying on the bed. All of us could feel his urge to reach Goa as early as possible. We depart from the hotel at 6:30am.

7:30 am-

The early morning drive was beautiful. Cloudy weather, a light drizzle, the best quality roads one can expect of and no traffic. We clicked a few snaps on the way. Mukul even clicked one while driving his CBZ @ 90 kmph. The timing and the way in which it was clicked (although by fluke 😉 ) is simply great.

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We reached the Gadhinglaj exit. The road to Goa via Belgaum was continuation of NH-4 which is in great condition, but it is at least 30-40 kms more. The road via Gadhinglaj and Amboli has one of the best scenery in Maharashtra. (After all Amboli receives the maximum rainfall in Maharashtra). I kept on persisting for the Amboli road as I was interested in driving the bike through the ghat road and the hundreds of waterfalls. However according to Anmol’s (baseless) calculations the time taken to reach Goa via Belgaum will be less than via Amboli. Mukul too felt the Belgaum road enters Goa from the Panji side which meant driving15 kms extra within Goa..as if 15 kms is a big overhead. In the end I won 🙂 . We chose to go via Amboli.

Now I was feeling extremely hungry since we were out even without tea. But then breakfast was decided to be taken at Amboli since it was “just” 45 kms away. I requested Anmol for Avenger and it was granted 🙂 :). The condition of the road till Amboli was a bit awful. We felt it more since we were spoilt by the unblemished NH-4.

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey  ~

Fitzhugh Mullan

10:15 am-

We had reached Amboli at around 9:45 am. This was our last Veg (egg is an exception) Breakfast or rather any Veg meal in the next 8 days to come. It had started raining heavily. By 10:30 we had departed Amboli. Avadhut couldn’t resist the temptation of driving Avenger and eventually asked Anmol for the same. I was sitting behind Mukul and Anmol behind Avadhut. The best drive of our entire trip had just begun. Foggy and misty weather, occasional showers and a plethora of waterfalls which was perfectly captured in my camera.

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Avadhut also made some failed attempts of capturing the beauty of driving in fog.

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We reached the largest and the most popular waterfall of Amboli.

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Expectedly it was flocked with tourists. We took just a 5 min break (Although me and Mukul would have loved to wait here for some more time).

Mukul was driving a bit slower as we wanted to enjoy the scenery. He must have been thinking of a fog light for his bike for our next trip.

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The ghat was looking beautiful- enveloped in dark mass of cloud and greenery on the hills and waterfalls cutting the road. I enjoyed clicking a few snaps.

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Mukul had decided from Pune itself that we will click a snap of the first milestone of Panji and his eyes were searching for the same. Finally he saw the milestone. Although Avenger was beyond our vision still we halted for taking the snap. I used the timer mode of my Olympus. It was perfect- exactly what Mukul had imagined it like.

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12:00 pm-

We had crossed Sawantwadi where I had clicked a snap showing a smiling picture-perfect honeymoon couple and a lake in the backdrop ;). Anmol was busy talking on his phone. I wondered how beautiful the lake must be looking at night with all the lights that were cornering it switched on.

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We had now entered Goa border where we encountered the first hurdle of our trip. Avadhut and Anmol were honking, shouting and screaming for us and we were just 10m ahead of them. CBZ’s foot gear had broken down. Mukul realized it only when he tried to slow down the bike. Mukul tried fixing the problem temporarily but we needed a service station asap. This time the Gods were with us. The nearest Hero Honda service station was only 500m away 🙂 .

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1:15 pm-

We reached at Calangute circle (finally 🙂  🙂 ) waiting for Maureeta (who will be referred to as Monitor henceforth in my blog). I use my time management skills and immediately go to hire an Activa. I wanted to hire a bike but Anmol’s idea of Activa (since it has a dickey where we can keep the camera, wallets etc) was much better.

tillgoa

A little bit of heated argument between Anmol V/s rest of us takes place on accompanying him to the hotel where Monitor was waiting temporarily. But things are immediately sorted out.

The search for a resort with a swimming pool starts. We first check in at Hotel Riverside, Baga. However the swimming pool is under maintenance. I suggest checking the 600 /- non-AC with swimming pool resort which was advertised by the Activa-guy. On our way back Anmol suggests to at least have a look at Hotel Ronil Royale. In the meantime I go with Avadhut to check the other hotel. We reach Hotel Park Avenue which is like a residential society converted into Hotel with some of the flats of the 3 buildings given on rent. A swimming pool is exactly in the middle of the 3 buildings. Mukul calls whether we have confirmed the hotel but we tell him that we haven’t even checked the rooms. We have a look at the rooms and are impressed as in 600 bucks we were getting 2 spacious rooms with a refrigerator. I tell Avadhut to book 2 such flats.

Just when we were finalizing Monitor calls and adds to the confusion. She asks me whether she should confirm the bookings at Ronil Royale. It was already raining heavily and booking the rooms at Park Avenue meant again bringing all the bags in the heavy rains here. So we decide to stay at Park Avenue after Monitor departs and spend our weekend in Ronil Royale. We get a whopping off-season discount of almost 70% :).

 

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3:15 pm-

Lunch in the same hotel was obvious since we were extremely tired of crossing the road. We decided to play a prank on Mukul and accordingly told him that Anmol has already given the order and it is *Veg* Navratna Kurma and *Veg* Kofta. Mukul couldn’t tolerate this and without even giving a second thought yelled with his entire unlimited database of slang words- all dedicated to Anmol. His words were so soothing to my ears. I enjoyed them the most. I still don’t understand how Mukul believed that Anmol has ordered for Punjabi dishes and was so easily fooled.

4:30 pm-

Me, Mukul and Avadhut went off for an afternoon nap and Anmol with Monitor went out for shopping. On returning back at 7:30 he tried to tease me that he really enjoyed shopping and also it was not raining. But it didn’t affect me. My sleep—Oh!! The lethargic feeling was awesome. I guess I had slept in the afternoon after about 5-6 months. (Mukul must be thinking “Swathacha kautuk suru zala”).

10:00 pm-

Our first dinner in Goa was very memorable…all thanks to Anmol for suggesting Britto’s Beach resort on Baga. The Sea food platter was yummy..prawns cocktail, stuffed crab, squid etc. The main course was even better. Anmol had ordered Prawns Vindaloo, a typical Goan dish. I (rather *we*) had forgotten *our* camera. The waiter got the bill and Avadhut smirked at us. It was 1800/- and like a wake-up call for the days to come. But we didn’t care as WE ARE NOT STUDENTS ANY MORE.

It seemed that the Gods had some vengeance in their minds. It was raining so heavily that even driving our bikes back to our hotel (which was only 2 kms away) seemed impossible. The worst part was it didn’t even seem as if it would stop. The only option was to drive back in these heavy rains. The dickey of the Activa came useful to keep our mobiles and wallets. (But I wont thank Haval the second time 😉 ).

It was zopi-zopi time and I went off to sleep the moment the lights were switched off..

Good night GOA!!

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Responses

  1. In my defence, Mukul was badgering me to click some snaps in the fog. So, I, the good sould that I am, instead of enjoying the “nisarga-ramya soundarya” lost in my thoughts, decided to, altruisticly, sacrifice my soul searching and click some damned snaps. Oh, and since it was raining, I was also trying to protect the bloomin’ camera, which Kiran has so greatfully said belonged to all of us! Ha ha ha…

  2. Nice! Waiting for part 3. Going by the past trends, its certainly going to be a long wait. But I’m counting on you to surprise us.

    Cmon, snap to it.

  3. good read… hey u haven uploaded all da goa pics on Flickr… they just can’t be all!!!
    Waiting for more… Yup Im also gonna complain of the waiting on your Goan Diaries…

  4. The T20 has to be blamed for my post after such a long time. But now it wont be repeated

  5. i want send u more photos of kokan……..
    ur site is just brilliant

  6. very good!

  7. tanuja sachin

  8. You seem to have taken the perfect route into Goa!


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