This is the first time ever I am writing a travelogue. Folks please excuse my writing style if not meeting standards . It was an unexpected opportunity to take off during the Xmas vacations. I was left out with no option to do a detailed plan for a trip to somewhere and I was not keen enough to go on a southward trip again since the recent trips to my hometown in Trivandrum made another one down south, a boaring one. A quick search on the internet helped me finalize on Malvan,a beach side town in the Konkan region. It was a friday evening when I planned for the trip and quick calls were made to the resorts with all of them saying "Sorry, you are late to get a room during Xmas week". Anyways its been a while I have been to the Konkan region and nothing was a deterrant for me to go ahead with the plan. I was thinking to reach there and look for some accomodation in Malvan. Saturday, we did some foodie shopping for my daughter who is 3.5 yrs, did the packing and set alarm at 3 AM for a 3.30 start. Day 1. It was my wife, my daughter and me who all for the first time had an on time start and we hit the NICE road at the Hosur road side exactly by 3.35 AM. Paid the toll and as expected there were less number of cars than trucks on the NICE road. It was a Sunday morning and Bangaloreans on vacation would have already left the city on Saturday itself and we expected less car traffic on the highways leading out of city. NICE road was done in 30 mins and we were at the Tumkur road exit and had a peaceful early morning drive. We were in the beautiful Tumkur-Chitradurga expressway soon and stopped at a true Punjabi Dhaba for tea and continued the onward journey. It was around 7 when we reached Davengere and my plans to have "Bennai dosai" highway side went in vain as there were no signs of any restaurants en route and we were not in a mood to enter the city and have that at a famous restaurant inside the city. We continued our journey and were desperate for breakfast and I knew about a BPCL Ghar Dhaba in Ranebenur. It was 9.30 AM by then and we crossed the Kamat Upachar just before the bypass start. I was more keen to have the breakfast at the Ghar Dhaba, than eating at Kamat and fill the punto tankful at the BPCL COCO. It was a great relief when we saw the huge mast saying Ghar Dhaba from a distance and we parked the car just next to the Dhaba. To our dismay, the toilets and the wash rooms had no water and the walls and the basins were having spit marks and it was stinking. There was one guy the in charge who was sleeping on the floor and he convinced us to have food there and he will arrange water soon. With our stomachs empty and the kid being annoyed after being inside the car for sometime, we decided to have food and have a break there. He gave us idlies and vadas which were not good and we quickly finished the breakfast and my daughter started refreshing herself outside the Dhaba. By the time some unfortunate souls also came in to have breakfast at the Dhaba and their faces itself showed what came to their mind seeing the Dhaba inside. Its a must avoidable place in Bangalore-Mumbai route. Early morning pics from Davengere bypass. Ghar Dhaba at Ranebennur. It was a peaceful drive till Hubli Byepass where the 4 lane turns into a typical Kerala highway like with trucks trying to overtake an overtaking car on a 2 Lane road. however we managed to get out of that mess and were again greeted by the beautiful 4 laned NH-4 after Dharwad. We drove into Belgaum city as we had to take the Sawantwadi road to Malvan. It was 12.30 PM when we looked for a restaurant to have good lunch after the bad experience at the Ghar Dhaba. Checked with the locals on a good eatery we went to a restaurant opposite to the Civil hospital Belgaum and after a good thali lunch we hit the road again driving towards Sawantwadi. It was a homecoming feeling for me to see the typical Maharashtra roads after 4 years when I relocated to Bangalore. The road conditions were okish but the drive was awesome on the 1.5 lane road. Road to Sawantwadi from Belgaum. I was too excited to see the Amobli ghat and we reached the ghat by 3 PM. It was a magnificent view from the top but the temperatures were unbearable at that time of afternoon. Though we stopped for few mins and started again. The truckies and the 2 wheelers drive dangerously through the ghats and you can expect a truck at a blind turn and I kept honking at all turns to be on the safer side. Then we drove through the small forest kind of region after the ghat towards Sawantwadi and the roads are pretty good after the ghat. Views from Amboli Ghat. We kept on driving and before Sawantwadi took a right turn towards Kudal after joining NH 17. The roads were awesome, though 2 laned, on the NH17. I was thinking how diverse the NH17 is after starting from Edappally in Cochin, passing through Calicut, Kannur, Kasargode where both the sides are densely populated and then to to empty stretches after crossing Udupi, Ankola, Karwar and crossing Goa, Chiplun and when it finally reaches Panvel. Thoughts still lingering in my mind we took a left turn at Kudal towards Malvan. The roads were fine and we took the right hand turn towards Malvan at a crossing in which one road goes to Vengurla, which was also on our plan. Soon we were on a plateau and saw a board saying work on the Sindhudurg airport is in progress and expect deviations. It is a grassland anyways which wore an yellowish look during December and I think it would be lush green during the monsoon. The roads were bad except for the deviation made through the boundary of the airport. Some pics from Chipi-Parule. This is where the greenfield airport is coming up. Chipi Bridge. Karli river. Time was flying by and the tough task ahead for me is to find a place to stay. We crossed the Chipi Bridge on the Karli river and took some pics of my Punto on the bridge. We quickly headed to the town area and made some calls to the same numbers which I had inquired 2 days before. I got the same answer "Sorry, no rooms available". Finally one positive response from a place and we headed to Rock Garden where we checked in to "Abhilasha Home stay". Though it did look like a proper Hotel, it was named a home stay. Anyways the hotel was new, clean and good. I was desperately looking for a beachside resort and the vacation crowd made that impossible for me. We had covered 700 Km on day one and the Punto ensured that we were not tired after a long journey. My daughter was still on high spirits to play on the Chiwla beach which we visited at 10 PM after a dinner from "Bamboo hut" restaurant. I have been hearing about Malvani food for long time and we wanted to have Malvani fish thali and locals suggested this place for diner. The place was over crowded with the touring folks and we waited for good half an hour just to get a seat. The food was awesome and the fish thali was a tasty one indeed.