Date: 22nd Aug’18 – 26th Aug’18
Stay: Ramada Caravela, Varca
By: BALENO Alpha Petrol
I wanted to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, but at the same time didn’t want to travel during the long weekends.
So, decided to plan the trip on 22nd to 26th as kids were also having a few days school Holiday.
I have been to GOA many times, but never stayed or explored the South GOA.
This time I purposely booked my Resort in South Goa, to explore the south Goa beaches and tourist spots. Route: MUM-GOA: Mum-Pune-Kolhapur-Sankeshwar-Amboli-Sawantwadi-Panaji-Varca GOA-MUM: Varca-Salaulim-Mollem Ghat-Londa-Belgaum-Kolhapur-Pune-Mum (via Salaulim coz I wanted to visit the Salaulim Dam)
The plan was to leave in the night at 11.30pm, enjoy Amboli ghat in the morning, visit Bom Jesus Church in Panaji, take the blessings of the Almighty and reach Ramada Caravela by 2pm.
I arranged a customised small bed (size of the rear seats) for the kids to have a relaxed and comfortable night journey.
The bed was set, Travel bags arranged, Bisleri 200ml bottles loaded on every door and MID reset.
Off to GOA…….
Left Mumbai by 12.30pm, even at this time there was Traffic in Mumbai and add to this the miserable roads in Navi-Mumbai, my average speed was down. In fact, I got more than average traffic all the way till Pune.
After the New Katraj Tunnel, the traffic eased out but the road conditions were average with potholes and diversions.
Pune to Satara roads were not in a good condition with a small, big to very big potholes. Got hit twice badly,luckily no damage and the tyres were intact.
Satara to Sankeshwar the roads were in superb condition. It’s a pleasure to drive on this highway.
I always take the right from Hotel Goa Ves towards Amboli Ghat, but this time as I was with my family didn’t feel comfortable covering the stretch at night time. So, drove till Sankeshwar and took a right from there towards Amboli Ghat.
Heavy Fog on the way to Amboli waterfall Amboli Ghat:
The road conditions in the ghat were good except for few bad patches. The weather was cold with heavy fog,visibility was very low. Stopped for 20 mins at Amboli Ghat Waterfall. The waterfall was in full flow with Milky white water gushing down the rocks and the stairs.
Left the ghat and it was smooth driving all the way till Bom Jesus Church,Velha,Panaji.
Left the church after spending 20 mins towards the resort. All the city driving towards south Goa resort made the driving little tiresome. Once you enter Goa, you have to cross the whole city to reach the southern part, making the drive boring.
Reached the resort in an hour and spent the day relaxing in the pool and playing with kids.
Next day visited the beaches in south Goa.
The beaches are very clean and all for yourself, but the beaches are not so safe for kids to play in the sea. Almost all the beaches were having deep slope.
Very few shacks were working due to monsoons. The shacks which were operational were not at all like the shacks we find around Baga. They lack the atmosphere and ambience of a Goan shack.
If you want to enjoy the fun and feel of Goa then stick to North Goa.
After enjoyment and relaxation came the time for check-out.
Had planned to visit Salaulim dam while returning which was close to an hour drive from my resort. Salulim Dam:
The dam is located on Gmaps, but don’t follow it, because I landed up at the back verandah of a house following the maps. Its best to keep asking locals for directions.
There is an entry fee and a valid ID card is required to enter the dam.
The dam has a Huge Garden, a Canteen and a public toilet in the premises.
Once you climb the stairs and reach the top, you can see a MAGNIFICENT and MAJESTIC view of the dam. Words can’t describe this man-made Marvellous dam.
People are unaware of this gem, if you are in Goa during Aug/Sept/Oct you have to visit this place. Its Awe-inspiring.
After soaking in the beautiful views of the mountains and dam, I returned back to Mumbai via Mollem Ghat.
It was a big mistake, the ghat roads are in a very bad shape add to it the heavy vehicles traffic. The potholes are so huge that even trucks and buses find it difficult to handle and avoid them, making the situation worse. Got stuck quite a few times behind crawling and dodging trucks and buses.
Joined the NH48 via Belgaum and it was all smooth sailing all the way till Mumbai.Reached home at 1.30am
One thing I noticed was the road conditions was far better in the return journey from Belgaum till Panvel.
This was my 1st visit to South Goa, but honestly, its not my cup of tea. I would prefer going to North Goa anytime then South and enjoy the beaches,shacks and nightlife of Goa. Baga Beach has become very organised with a huge parking lot. Mileage:
I had filled the tank from Mumbai and refilled again in Panaji, got a healthy mileage of 18.1kmpl tankful to tankful method.
Overall mileage for the complete trip was 20kmpl as per MID Fastag:
This time fastag served its purpose and it was smooth sailing at many tolls.