I started off on Thursday at 4 PM from office on a bike, super-excited to pull this off! I halted at a McDonald’s at Panvel, looked at the directions and started off again, I was supposed to halt at Satara for the night. The road was smooth, like an F1 race track! And no traffic, till I reached Pune. The speed slowed down considerably and I was left finding gaps in the crowd of vehicles to get through. After Pune though, traffic eased out and I could cruise along at 80-90 kph. I halted once again for dinner before reaching Satara at 1030 PM, stayed at a highway-side lodge by the name of ‘Raj lodging’. It was pretty clean and came at a price of Rs. 500 for the night. I had ridden 250 kms already, with 310 kms still to go.
|BRIDGE OVER ZUARI|
The next morning, I started off at 730 and it was surprisingly cold. I refueled at Kolhapur and had a light breakfast before resuming the next part of the journey to Belgaum. Again, the road was too good but the temperature was rising now! By the time I reached Belgaum, or Belgavi as it is called now, it was noon and I took a lunch break. The final part of the day’s journey started at 1230 – destination : Goa. I took a few wrong turns before finally asking for directions from a polieman and getting on the right track. I was riding on the Chorla ghat route and it was brilliant! I made a few stops for clicking photographs as well before finally reaching home at 2 PM.
|CHURCH AT SALIGAO|
What followed was fun-filled day with family! We dined at a restaurant called ‘Kamlabai’ in Mapusa, which served delicious prawns! I was full, and slept like a log. Next day, I was supposed to leave at 7 AM and ride 450 kms to Velas beach to witness the hatching of Ridley turtles.
But I woke up late and by the time I left it was already 8 AM. On reaching Panaji, I came to know that it was ‘Goa carnival’ today. Cancelled Velas, decided to stay for the carnival. Due to the carnival, hotels were mostly full and whatever was left was expensive. I could not find a hotel that quoted less than 2000 bucks for a day. Finally, I reached this hotel on the Calangute road called ‘Spring Height’. The guy at reception quoted Rs. 1500 + taxes. I told him that if he gave me discount, I’d mention the hotel in my travelogue, ang he agreed for Rs. 1200. The room was great as well, much better than what was offered to me at much higher rates! I took a quick nap and went out for lunch at 4 PM at a restaurant in Calangute. It was time to have all the non-veg that I had missed out for the last couple of months! (I have been on a vegetarian diet since January). After lunch, I came back to the hotel before leaving for the carnival at 6 PM. But I was late! By the time I had reached, the carnival was over. Dissapointed, I made my way straight to the beach and hopped in to this restaurant where I wrote this part of the blog.
Part II: Goa – Nomad on wheels – II