The most difficult part of the trip, if we plan to travel in early morning is to get a sound sleep in previous night, and in addition to it if it is going to be a drive in Fiat, it is almost impossible to overcome the excitement. and enter in to sleep. So I was not an exception and set the alarm at 4am and pretended as if sleeping ******* The evening was hectic since I had to travel 10km away to the nearest nitrogen filling station and then to the fuel station. and got the tank filled till auto cut of level. Grande refused to take it further. The operator was not happy with Grande’s refusal and pumped more like a mother try to over feed her kid. I try to convince him not to fill it till it overflow, but he was trying to make the price a multiple of ten and failed twice resulted in making Grande almost on the verge of vomiting. I have driven him back carefully till he digest those extra calories. After reaching home Grande had a fresh bath and he is ready for next days trip. Grande never like the dirt and he is very particular about the cleanliness. Always maintained the freshness. I checked his fluid levels and all is well. I had little more work to do. Prepared 500ml of coolant mix and kept it safely at rear of Grande. Kept road side assistance booklet, GP manual, laptop, net connector, secret codes of punto. etc etc. . My kid was next to me in excitement and wife was more on practical side with keeping the things in place, making a things-to-do chart and packing eatables. And finally once again gone through the google map. Took a print out of it and kept it inside the car. The route that I have to follow is Goa-Ambolim-Ajra-Nipani-panchwad-penchant-Mahabaleswar. *********************** Alarm was ringing in it’s fullest capacity . Got up quickly. Next one hour was for all routine things and had once again a detailed look of Ambolim-Nipani route . I want to avoid unnecessary stops especially for asking for routes. We planned to start at 6am but, as usual, got delayed by 45 minutes. Red Grande was looking like a ripen strawberry. The long nose was eager to take fresh air. I set the Trip A meter to zero. Grande’s big boot had accommodated all our luggage. Started the engine, given the routine two minute idling during which we use to wear the sealt belt and choose the CD. The time was 6:40 am. Goa is comparatively cooler this time than last year. Windshield is full of mist and I had to frequently switch on the AC to make the wind shield clear. Engine was getting heating up to its performance point. Selected the old malayalam melodies on cd which I used to hear repeatedly. Traffic was less and the sun started appearing through Grande’s side window and some times through the front. Grande’s sweet Italian growl was like an icing on the cake, on the background of the golden melodies, flowing from the speakers, and the beautiful Goan dawn. ******************* Grande’s first stop was much ahead than we planned . My son had a vomiting sensation and Grande just escaped from a embarrassment. NH 17 always give a blend temptation and frustration. Every year mansoon will give bread and butter for the contractors. In some places it will be difficult to call it as highway. Road condition till Sawanthwadi, which is 80 km away from Goa, is not that great. What I know is that, after Sawantwadi till Ambolim the road is better. Sun was not kind to sungoa as I found it is difficult to see the road due to the sunrays penetrating in to the cabin through front. When we reached Sawantwadi Punto had its second rest, but this time it was motivated by nature‘s first call. Also I thought I will get some toffee for my son. Ghat sections will begin after few kilometers and I simply love the dynamics of Grande in Ghat roads. At each corners and hairpins bends, Grande handled as easily as cutting a cake. After climbing the Ambolim Ghat I was in desperate need for a tea before entering in to the unfamiliar Ajra -Nipani road. So we stopped the road near a roadside shop, which is run by an old man. I have taken tea from this shop when we visited Ambolim last year. It was a grand country tea.