(This is my first writeup, please be patient on any errors you might encounter.. Your suggestions/corrections are of at most importance.. Let them flow..) PS: Due to forum restrictions, TL broken down into two parts. Part - 1
It all began a month ago over a cup of Chai, when me and a bunch of friends, all wanting to take up a road trip to release the stress accumulated in us over a period of time.
Everyone were quite excited, as always, and were discussing on the destinations to drive to. After a long discussion on places all zeroed in to Goa. Yes, GOA..!!! I had a long desire to do a road trip to this 'land of beaches' and finally some hope of fulfilling my desire.
All was decided and people were confident about their leaves on the said dates.
Since we were 4 of us, we decided to drive the Ford Figo of one of my friend who was keen in driving it all the way to Goa.
So, destination, car, dates and people were all decided and we dispersed that day with all hopes and dreams of driving to Goa, our dream destination!!!
For me, planning has never been successful and the fear of the same was taking a toll over me.
Just then, we had people wanting to opt out of the plan due to some unavoidable situations and some out of sheer pleasure of crashing the trip.
While all this roll over was taking place, I had decided not to cancel the trip come what may.
After extensive research and a lot of online readings, we decided to take two different routes to and from Goa.. which meant, we were driving to Goa from one route and coming back via another.
The route was finally decided as follows, Onwards Route: Bangalore-Tumkur-Tiptur-Arsikere-Kadur-Shivamoga-Sagara-Honavar-Kumta-Gokarna-Ankola-Karwar-Panaji Towards Route: Panaji-Dharwad-Hubli-Haveri-Ranebennur-Davanagere-Chitradurga-Sira-Tumkur-Bangalore
We had 4 days to go and the team was left out to be only 2 people, me and Uss. and hence the car was also decided to be my Alto and not Ford Figo.
With the numbers reduced to half we had two minds of whether to do the trip or postpone it to dates when everybody in the group will be able to join.
2 days before the decided dates, me and Uss made up our minds, that we are going to take it up this time without any postponing.
So here we go, 2 determined people, waiting eagerly for the start up date, 3rd Jan 2013. Preps:
Since we were about to take up a long road trip, I wanted to be sure if everything in my car was in place.
Ensured the coolants and water for the wipers were topped up.
Spare Tyre pressure checked and ready.
Tools checked and ready.
Enough music for the round trip.
Got the car water serviced a couple of hours prior to leaving. Stuffed in the luggage and was waiting for the clock to strike 11 pm to roll.
Finally the moment, most waited for about a month had arrived and bidding good byes to my beloveds I was out on the way to Uss's place to have him picked up.
Picked up Uss around 11:20 pm and headed to Frazer town for a cup of tea and later to Brigade Road petrol bunk to get a tank up. Day 0 - 3rd Jan 2013
The idea of leaving at 11 pm was to reach Goa maximum by 10.30 am including all of the small breaks but as I have mentioned already planning is not my cup of tea..
Left Frazer town and headed towards Yeshwantpur to get on to the Tumkur Road for the rest of the journey.. Tumkur road is in very good condition throughout. Reached Tumkur in no time, and had to look for a deviation for Shimoga. Located the deviation and was soon on the NH202, mostly crossing towns and villages en-route, of-course the vehicle and human population was down to nil.
Located a CCD somewhere in Hassan-Arsikere and halted there for a stretch and a quick cuppa coffee..
After crossing Shimoga, we were caught amidst dense fog reducing the visibility to 10 meters or lesser at certain points. We were initially very excited to have been driving amidst such thick fog which was unlikely to appear in Bangalore. But later as the time passed by it had become the most primary concern and I desperately wanted to get out of the fog and continue towards our destination on the scheduled time. Even though we were crawling when it comes to speed, we did halt for a small snap break.
Some snaps of the fog..
I had to closely follow a truck which was ripping even with the low visibility. Of-course I maintained enough space for me to brake in case the truck jams the brakes. I had my hazard lights on in case there was a vehicle on the opposite direction.
Time was 5:30 am and there was no sign of light anywhere around us. As the fog was playing a spoil sport, to make matters worse we had villagers who were out on their morning walk in the middle of the road, literally in the middle of the road.. I had to let the truck pass by and slowed down to give way for the villagers walking around in that thick fog.
The fog conditions continued to haunt us and it majorly effected our speed due to which I had to let go the 10:30 am target. It was around 7:00 am and there was still no sign of light. I was mostly doing a 40-50 KMPH speed even though the road was in very good condition as it hardly had any bumps or sharp curves. Day 1 - 4th Jan 2013
Around 7:20 am we had the sun out, miles away across the horizon smiling at us for the dreadful foggy night we had just bid good bye. Eventually the fog cleared and we picked up speed again, after a long time. At around 8:30 am we reached the world famous Jog Falls. As we were already running behind schedule we did not bother to go up the hill and had to satisfy ourselves with a small halt over the bridge.
Some snaps from the Jog Falls bridge..
After a small halt, we pushed off. We were mislead back to the road which we took to Jog. All thanks to the GPS we used. After a quick stop and rechecking on the GPS we were back to business with good speed. The next city/town on the map was Honavar. We were picking up speed as the road condition was exceptional. Once we crossed Honavar, reached Gokarna and could have easily taken the deviation towards the beach but due to lack of time had to continue further keeping the Gokarna beach for next time. Once we left Gokarna behind we were greeted by amazing roads freshly tarred with a spectacular view around.
Some snaps of the roads..
We continued towards our destination after this quick snap halt and were heading towards Karwar. Reached Karwar and had the first view of the Arabian Sea..
To be continued...