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Trip - Bangalore to Bambolim (North Goa)

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by achilless, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. achilless

    achilless Timido

    Grande Punto 1.3
    We had been thinking about Goa for sometime but couldn’t plan one due to the onset of monsoons, back to back trips to Shimoga, Pondy and there after all festivals in Sep/Oct. Also, we were very apprehensive about the distance to be covered (anyways, I was always excited about the drive) and the year-end work at my wife’s office.

    Meanwhile, one of our friends had come down from Goa to attend my son’s birthday function in the second week of December. While leaving, they invited us to Goa. This was second week of December and it was too late to get the leaves approved, book accommodation, our dog’s stay etc. Anyways, we checked out the hotels in Panjim. Most of them were booked and whatever available were way too expensive. So dropped our plans for the time being, but I kept myself occupied by going through the routes and directions to Goa.

    I wanted a break from the hectic work in office so taking 26th as holiday was a perfect for a long weekend. Finally, got my leave approved on 18th but didn’t plan anything for the long weekend. On 22nd, my wifey said she will manage a day off and lets pack and go to Goa. We searched for hotels in Panjim (Miramar beach resort is our favourite place) but no luck. That reminded us about our friend’s offer. My wife whatsapp’d her friend and they were happy for us to come down to Goa. Yahoooo, so the accommodation is sorted out next thing is my dog’s boarding. It’s a home stay, believe it or not they had 26 dogs for that weekend but caretaker agreed to take our doggy in.

    Next step was to finalise the route, read through a lot of forums and articles couldn’t finalise on any particular route. My destination was Bambolim in North Goa so decided not to take any route via South Goa. Then one of the articles mentioned about the beautiful Chorla ghats, so finalised on Bangalore —> Belgaum —> Chorla —> Ponda —> Old Goa —> Bambolim.
    On 24th, I did a full tank from Indianoil BTM Layout and filled Nitrogen. Also, took the pollution certificate as many people told me about the police checking along the border. Dropped my dog at the boarding place, came back and cleaned the windshields. Strapped my son’s car seat and loaded the necessary luggage. In the last couple of months, we had been to Pondy and Jog Falls on long weekends; traffic at the toll booths were horrible. So, we decided to leave as early as possible around 4am.

    Slept by 11:30, woke up at 3:45 (wished a friend Happy Birthday) and finally left from JP Nagar at 4:30am. Took the Nice road and entered Tumkur road. I was totally relieved to see that the toll booths were not crowded, especially a couple of them after Yeshwantpur. Took a 20 mins break at Kamat and reached Belgaum at 11am. Just followed the Google Maps instructions, took some very narrow roads through Belgaum (45 min) crossed a railway cross and reached the Jamboti/Chorla highway. I think traffic was less in Belgaum due to public holiday else it’s really difficult to manoeuvre through those narrow roads. Tanked up diesel for 1000 bucks and continued our drive towards Ponda. Chorla Ghats were just awesome, seems this road was constructed couple of years back still in pristine condition. I maintained very low speeds due to the Ghats section and reached Ponda by 1:30pm. Time for lunch, our usual place Kinara restaurant (above Kalpana ice cream parlour). Its not a hifi place but you get awesome Fish curry meals with Rava King fish fry at a decent price. After lunch, we had to meet someone at Ponda. We got to hear a story of St Xavier’s exposition and a glass of Port wine (made from Chaambakka). Started from Ponda at 4:30pm and reached our destination (Bambolim) at 5:45pm.

    Route map from Bangalore to Bambolim (North Goa).

    I couldn’t capture the trip meter photos but remember the average mileage was 15.2 kmpl for the journey from Bangalore to Bambolim.

    We refreshed ourselves and were welcomed by a delicious dinner of chicken curry and prawns. I would love to have fish daily but in Bangalore it may not be practical. By the way, we bought a Choco-Vanilla Swiss roll from Monginis bakery at Ponda. Had a couple of pieces and then off to bed.

    This is my 4th trip to Goa and have covered a few beaches (Miramar, Calangute, Colva etc) in the past. Hence, on 26th we decided to go to Morjim, Ashvem, Mandrem stretch. Ashvem was never a commercial beach, but there are a lot of establishments that have come up recently. Still, its a quiet place compared to others. We had lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking Ashvem beach, Prawn curry and King fish curry meals.

    Route map from Bambolim to Mandrem.

    Instead of going to Mandrem beach, we decided to head off to Chapora Fort. Its a slight deviation from the road to Bambolim. We were visiting here the second time and of course, nothing much has changed in the last few years. It was a good exercise with my son’s extra 10kgs. We sat there for an hour or so, nice breeze and it was not very hot.

    Route map from Ashvem to Chapora fort

    After Chapora fort we went to Panjim. We just walked around for half an hour and then bought another Swiss roll from Monginis, this time its just chocolate. It was late and we were tired, so headed back to Bambolim. Later, had a nice bath and watched the EPL match between ManU and Newcastle. It was a one sided game with Rooney scoring twice and Van Persie once. Long day, decided on the next day’s plans to visit Cabo De Rama Fort.

    On 27th, we woke up and watched India’s first innings for some time. We started from home to Cabo De Rama fort. My wife had gone there few years back and she was able to spend only 10-15 mins over there. Else they would have missed the last bus to the city. TO reach Cab De Rama, we have to travel through South Goa. Oh man, entire Margao flyover was choked with traffic. We crossed the Margao flyover, saw Monginis and immediately bought a Swiss roll (Choco Vanilla) for Bangalore :p By the time I came back my wife suggested that we go to Martin’s restaurant (supposed to be a good place). We followed the directions on Google maps, travelled 4 to 5 kms and reached Margao sewage treatment place and saw that one of the local shops had a name board Martin’s.

    We were disappointed and hungry but decided to continue the journey and have lunch at Cabo De Rama. On the way, we stopped at IndianOil pump to do a full tank. The guy just put the nozzle in and started pumping. I thought it was auto cut off, but it wasn’t. I had to remind the guy that it is full. I got annoyed because this is the second or third time I am facing such a situation. Anyways I paid him off and left to Cabo De Rama with a big sigh.

    We reached the fort’s entrance and I was not impressed by the looks of it. It can hardly be called a fort as its a very small place. But when we climbed to the top the views were amazing. There was a chapel within the compound from where we could hear Christmas carols. We walked down the fort and took some snaps of the sea shore. This place is not commercialised and is worth a visit for the splendid views that it offers.

    Route map from Bambolim to Cabo De Rama fort

    While returning from Cabo De Rama fort after 1-2 kms you will find a cliff overlooking the sea. You can park the car at the edge of the cliff and click some nice pics, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It reminded me of Ross islands in Andamans. There is an adjoining beach but we couldn’t go there as you have to climb down the cliff. We had lunch at the restaurant on the cliff side - Goan fish curry meals. We spent close to an hour at the restaurant. As it was already 4 we decided to head to Vasco for an awesome treat at Claudi’s corner, Bogmalo.

    We visited one of our friends in Vasco and were later joined by our hosts for dinner at Claudi’s Corner. Its a family run business with some great starters (really fresh) and main course. For starters, we tried Modso and King fish fry. We were having Modso for the first time, it was fresh and just melted in our mouth. Let me know if anyone knows where to get this fish in Bangalore. We also got Goan chilli chicken as one of the starters. For Main course, we ordered Goan prawns curry with rice. Wow, great food!!!

    We reached home, packed our luggage and slept by 12. Our plan was to leave at 4 in the morning but started by 4:50am. My friend’s father often visits Davanagere and he mentioned that Panjim to Dharwad via Alavanmar is a decent route to drive. Also, its shorter by 50-60kms compared to the route that we had taken while coming from Bangalore.

    We followed Google maps and entered the Ghats sections. The roads were good but started deteriorating when we were about to reach Karnataka check post. It continued in a similar manner for the next 20-30kms but nothing unmanageable for Punto. We reached Hubli toll booth by 8:30 and stopped at Kamat 3-4kms further from the toll booth. We had our breakfast in half an hour and then a non-stop drive till Bangalore (stopped in between for 1000Rs refuel). We reached Bannerghatta exit of Nice road by 1:30pm, picked up our dog. She was very happy to see us and was running around. She quickly climbed onto the front seat. At the boarding place we met a few puppies that were up for adoption - labrador pinscher and daschund mix. I am okay with one more but already have 2 kids at home :p

    Route from Bambolim to Bangalore (via Alnavar) PREFERRED route to/from North Goa

    So, our trip finished with reaching home at 2:30 pm.

    Trip meter figures below
    TripA - Bangalore —> Goa —> Bangalore including the travel in Goa
    Distance - 1573.4 km
    Avg Consumption - 15.1 kmpl
    Avg Speed - 57 kmph
    Travel Time - 27hr 35min

    TripB - Goa - Bangalore
    Distance - 631.1 km
    Avg Consumption - 14.1 kmpl
    Avg Speed - 73 kmph
    Travel Time - 8hr 37min

    Overall, it was a very quick trip with some awesome places and delicious food. I enjoyed the ride, Punto was butter smooth on highways and ghats. Looking forward for the next trip with a huge grin on my face :D

    Thanks to my wife for proof reading and all the blogs/forums.


    Will upload the remaining photos later, having some issues.


    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 30, 2014 ---
  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Good writeup. And Welcome to TFI. :)
    I also took the Chorla ghats when I drove to Goa last year.

    Do share more pictures from your trip.
  3. achilless

    achilless Timido

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Some more pics from the trip...
    IMG_4222.JPG IMG_4223.JPG IMG_4226.JPG IMG_4231.JPG IMG_4232.JPG IMG_4244.JPG
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 1, 2015 ---
    Thanks ramjn...
    asimpleson likes this.

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