Go Goa GoneIndeed this has nothing to do with the zombies... instead all about, our gratifying trip to Goa. The urge to visit this place with my family knew no conceit. Having visited Goa twice on various occasions, as a 10-year-old kid, and as a teenager on a tour had given me totally different perspectives to the place and the journey as a whole. What’s different this time was I played the avid navigator. It was my turn to research all about the routes... find out about the good stretches and the not so good ones. No thanks to the web search... which ended up in vain. I, then decided talking to my friends and gems of ‘road-wise wisdom’ were shared. Few people have a way of giving you a great sense of detail with utmost precision. There were two routes which were narrowed down, and we took a call with great contemplation.
As ever the strategy for a peaceful journey is to set out early, you leave the crowd behind, the weather is merciful, the roads appear to be broader than usual, no nagging honkers trailing behind, in all there is peace. Also, a pace is set and all you have to do is nothing but maintain the pattern.
Travelling with a kid has always taught me wise lessons, and a hoard of tick marks on my check list, sandwiches, kathi rolls, refreshments, stacked up.... they tend to get hungrier!! You can stop at the most scenic spot, stretch your mat, pit stop for both man and the machine.... have a little ‘picnic basket moment’, don’t know when one might catch a glimpse of the ‘Yogi Bear’.
We set course from Pune at 5 in the morning... by and large there was green cover all around appeasing to the eyes. Having driven for a couple hours, we stopped for a quick sandwich break, it was cool and calm all around and things went on just as we had planned. We crossed Satara right after this break. Setting smaller targets of towns in between brought a great sense of relief and felt one step closer to the destination. It was around 9.30 we crossed Kolhapur manoeuvring a couple of tolls. There wasn’t much traffic.
Almost around 12.30 pm the Amboli ghats seemed to stretch its mighty frontiers and invite us with a cooler breeze. It was picturesque and a thick cloud had enveloped above. After a bumpy downhill drive, we ended up at Sawantwadi. The road ahead had longer bad patches than we had expected, which obviously slowed us down.
Our friends had even suggested to make a stop-over at Amboli right on the Western Ghats. But the urge to set foot on the beach was overpowering than the prospect of hill stay. We again made a quick halt and gobbled up the Kathi rolls and had a hot ginger-flavoured tea in one of the road-side shops. More Ghat riding led us to Banda and there was no stopping us from here... up till Goa.
It was only after we hit the city that the traffic seem to swell and the ride started taking a toll on us. We were tired after reaching the much awaited destination. The physical fatigue seem to vanish the very moment our eyes set foot on the never ending ocean. This was just the beginning for our 3 day stop over at our holiday destination....'GOA'.
-- Writer Gayathri Iyer shares her experience of the road trip from Pune to Goa