Roadtrip Saga

If you have been following this blog, by now you'd know how much I love going on road trips with Dad. Rather than the destination, the journey itself is something I look forward to. Each journey is different and bestows a new learning experience, even if it's along the same route.

This trip had more time spent driving around. The basic idea was to make good use of the two spare days we had, in between two family functions, that we had to be a part of. And what better way to do that, than visiting my family and cousins, including a long long-pending visit!
(Created using Google Maps)
Trivia:
Route: Mangalore - Honnavar - Madgaon - Belgaum (via Khanapur) - Hubli - Honnavar - Mangalore
Total Distance: 987 kms
Duration: 4 days (almost)
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As usual, we start before dawn to Honnavar, where my family home is located. I always look forward to going there, and in the past one year of marriage, I've grown to simply love the place. The tiled roof, the beautiful front garden with a variety of flowers, the large area behind our home with fruit and vegetable plants, and most important of all, my Family- makes me want to go there as often as possible.
 
The next stop is Belgaum (Belagavi) to visit my cousin. Belgaum is the bone of contention between Karnataka and Maharashtra. Now, there are various routes to get to Belgaum from Honnavar- via Hubli, via Sirsi, etc. Probably the last route that anyone would think of is to go via Goa. 
So, why did we choose this route? Simply because we wanted to explore the Madgaon-Belgaum route.  The drive through Goa at places, passes through narrow roads lined by coconut trees and beautiful brightly coloured homes, that actually makes us forget we are on the highway. We pass by the favorite pitstop at Karmal Ghats, where we don't stop at this time, owing to the paucity of time.
 
We get to Goa for lunch, take a small detour and dine at- where else- Martin's Corner. The food is as expected- fresh, authentic and tasty. Even though there is a long drive ahead, plus a warning from my cousin to come with an empty stomach (so as to do full justice to the fab dinner that she has prepared), my gluttonous tummy makes me order Mussels and King Fish, plus Serradurra, one of my favorite desserts.
We then leave to Belgaum, choosing the road via Mollem over the route via Chorla Ghats. The drive is beautiful. And at places, scary. The ghats are thick, and the curves, acute. There are trucks huffing and puffing up the steep roads.

We reach Anmod junction; a board on the left says Belgaum- 61 kms, another one on the right says Belgaum- 87 kms. The locals tell us the latter is broader but with considerable traffic, while the former is narrow with very less traffic. What they don't tell us is that the former is also very deserted.

Almost 40 kms of this stretch is EMPTY! We retrospectively come to know that this road is also infamous for robbery as well!
The road is pretty good, though narrow. We pass through the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. Though there are various boards depicting wild animals, we unfortunately don't spot any (except monkeys of course).
We reach Belgaum by evening. All plans to visit the Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur the next day are cancelled after the day long drive. We have a ball of a time at my cousin's place, her yummy seafood, and long pending gupshup. We also visit family and friends.
On the last day, after bidding farewell to my cousin, we set off to Hubli (Hubballi) to attend a wedding, about a  100 kms away. This is the best road we have driven on, during the four days. It's broad, six-lane, well marked, and the drive is a pleasure.

Just outside Belgaum city stands the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, where the winter session of the state legislature is held. To me, it looks literally like it's catching dust! Eerie to be honest. It's a well known fact that the only purpose of constructing this extravaganza that is to be used just once a year, was to prove a point to Maharashtra, that Belgaum belongs to Karnataka. Well, so much for that idea!
 
We leave the wedding venue early to get to Honnavar for an early dinner. We take the Yellapur road this time; this one has ghats too, but the concrete roads are quite broad. There are quite a bit of curves though. We spot swirling winds over the fields, making me wonder what a hurricane would be like. This is the first time I'm seeing something like this.
 
We leave Honnavar by 7:30 PM after an early dinner of chapathis and yummy Oyster Sukka (kalwa) prepared by my Mum-in-law. We drive 180 kms straight without stopping anywhere, to drive into our home in Mangalore, by 11:15 PM. At the end of the journey, this is what the car looks like, filled with goodies from home and family.
This has been quite a trip, filled with long drives, through some wonderful routes.
Google has been a loyal faithful companion, though it did lead us straight into the busy marketplace (Bazar Galli) in Belgaum, while trying to guide us through the shortest available route.
My faithful companion :)
I hope you enjoyed reading this, as much as I did writing this down.
Do you love going on roadtrips? If so, share your thoughts!

Related Posts:
Why I Love Roadtrips!

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