Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Had a bad day..

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day -- Daniel Powter

Well well well, it was supposed to be a fun day and turned out to be a bad day.Nothing went right today for me after lunch.Things never happened according to plan.Got stuck in traffic..Said the wrong words at wrong moment and to top of all these had a small accident which broke my new baby's rear view mirror(RHS).We were lucky (and that bugger nut on the road also) to come unscathed.And after I reached home I successfully hurt my eye also.Luckily nothing major happened except the broken mirror.
Had a bad day..

[Actually things are not just going right for me last few days, all my gadgets are going through a bad phase.. First my DVD player conked off,then Digicam CCD has become history, memory card of my phone gone kaput and the phone also acting funny. God only knows what's happening with me.Hope things won't turn worse,just keeping my fingers crossed]

Saturday, November 03, 2007

1-2-3-4 Here we go.Go Goa. Day 3...and 4

Time to leave Goa as we need to see Karwar and Devbagh that day.Plan was to go to Devbagh first and then to Karwar Beach to see the Sunset.Woke up with a bad headache so though of taking the day easy and had a very nice breakfast at the place where we stayed.
Lazily we started towards Karwar and told Saket to be behind the wheels as my headache was worsening.Took some tablets and went to sleep at the backseat.Disprin works great for me and within half an hour I was ready to roll.We've reached the jetty from which we have to take a boat ride to Devbagh.Plan was to have lunch at Devbagh and spend some time there and head back to main Karwar city.
Devbagh is an awesome place and place just to walk around and relax.A lovely place and will definitely visit sometime again to spend few days there.The whole place is covered with trees and surrounded by the sea.I'll let the photographs talk :

We decided to head back by 4.30 around so that we can catch the sunset.On the way back we see the Bridge on the Kaali river bathed golden with the evening Sun.It was a sight to behold.

Soon we reached the Karwar beach and we were about to view one of the most amazing sunsets.The beach is beautiful and quite big.The only thing to do was to laze around and walk on the long stretches, oh man, I loved it so much.

After it went dark we've decided that we'll move back to Sirsi and stay at Hotel Shivani.The drive through the Devimane ghat was adventurous and scary also.We were the only people driving at that time with just 2 or 3 occasional Bus/trucks.Loved it very much and once again thanks to all the people out here who have shown me this route.Oh by the way, this time we've stayed in a kind of a presidential suite room ;-) and just for 700 bucks.If that room was to be in Bangalore probably it would've cost us a bomb.
Day 4 was just driving day and this time we've decided to take the GQ route.Took the GQ on Haveri, as everyone knows it's incomplete and there were traffic jams(bad ones) in two places, one was somewhere near Ranibennur and other was at Tumkur.We've probably lost around 40 minutes in each of the jams and lost a load of patience.But the GQ is otherwise a nice road to drive if one is enthusiast. I was constantly driving 150 kmph on the good stretches.
But anyday I would prefer to use the Shimoga route as it's much more scenic and more involving.I wish those craters will be filled up soon and it'll be smoother ride next time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

1-2-3-4 Here we go.Go Goa. Day 2...

Getting late is probably written in our blood,yes we love India and we love to follow Indian Standard(Lazy) time.Started an hour late again then the decided one and left Sirsi by 8.15am.Plan is to cross Devimane Ghat as quick as possible and reach Goa early.The road was very nice, small two laned road, not very smooth but can be driven at 80-90kmph as the traffic was very less.Crossed a few beautiful small bridges.And then I decided to stop at one of them to frame it through my lens.Vinoy got very excited to see the beautiful hill-river down below and went down to the river bed(which he regretted later ;-) )
We saw the turn that goes to Yana but as we were in a city-slicker not a off-roader we had to ignore the place and head towards Mirjan. But had to stop after sometime as there was shrieking voice that shouted something like "Beach"or something like that .. I was wondering where the hell these guys have seen a beach in the hills but it turned out that our dear Mr. Adventure boy Vinoy was been attacked by an army of leeches when he entered their territory.There were two beaches, oops sorry leeches, on the floor, both tank full of his blood.There was one more hanging on his leg sucking few more drops.Stopped the car and it was our time to pay it back.Crushed all three and after a quick check for any more of the enemies hiding inside the car we hit the road again.
Now came the ultimate test of driving skill once we reached NH17.If Shimoga road was bad then try this section.It'll top the list of worst roads in India or perhaps the world.Basically there was no road as such and we were probably going through a war-zone[who knows, may be Yana road was better] Anyway after sometime we reached the Gokarna deviation and headed towards Om Beach.But we were disappointed to know that people were not allowed to go to the beach as there was some mishap day before.So we had to turn back and head towards Karwar instead.
We reached Karwar pretty soon, the ghat section where you can see the sea on the left side was walled off in most of the places for the Sea-bird project.Would have been a great drive if those walls were not there(well,we have to sacrifice something for the country) . the view of the sea was amazing once we entered the Karwar City.Car was stopped and outcomes the camera and here are some snaps :

Now we thought that better we go ahead and have our lunch at Goa.. So in goes the camera and the car roars to life.Saket took over the driving this time as I wanted to enjoy the beauty outside and took some rest also.. Well till goa border I was repenting the decision as the road was very good and I wish I was driving ;-) .But as we entered Goa the road becomes a like a galli and I was spared with driving on that road.Few sections were even potholed badlly also.
We reached Palolem around 3.30pm and we started looking out for a place to eat.The beach was very nice with nice people all around he he.. The Outlook Traveler Goa guide became our good friend and we went to Hi Tide Coco hut's restaurant.It's a lovely place on the side of the sea.We ordered some sea-food and veg food for saket.. Me and Vinay are the fisheterians and while at Goa how can we miss it ;-) . The Food was awesome(even the veg food) tasty fish and lovely tasting Prawns, on the side of the beach .It was a lunch to remember for life,the breeze from the sea,the sun going down on the horizon and the beauty all around.If it's not bliss then what is?
We had earlier plan to go to north Goa but we ditched that plan and decided to spend the night at Palolem only.Booked a room at Palolem Beach resort(a very nice place I would recommend to anyone) just walkable to distance from the beach.The lights of he huts,the calm sea ,the sound of the waves hitting the shore and the beer bottles,ummm we've chosen the right choice.But wish we had one more day to spend atleast I could've joined other two buggers in their night adventures..Oh yeah, they had a good time and Saket almost found his Cristine he he [Don't know Cristine? You need to watch some movies my dear friend]..

Thursday, November 01, 2007

1-2-3-4 Here we go.Go Goa. Day 1...

Beaches where the mighty sea meets the land and leaves a trail of sand to let us mortals enjoy the mother nature.So when I got the leave sanctioned for Nov 2nd only thing I could think about is to make a trip to Goa and Karwar.Vinay and Saket said yes and we were ready to hit the road.After lots of research and help from Team-BHPian's(thanks a lot to the people on that online forum) regarding the routes and other things we decided to take the road through Shimoga so that we can also pay a visit to the famed Jog Falls.

So the D-Day arrived and I woke up around 5.45AM and found that BESCOM has tried to play a cruel trick with me that day.Waited half an hour for the electricity to come back which didn't happened and had to take a cold water bath,eeeeaaaawwwwwww.Well, actually that cold water bath took away all the sleepiness and it was a blessing in disguise.In the meantime Saket called to inform that he has started from his home to his office to keep his bike there.Picked him up from his office premises around 7.10am.We are already late by half-an-hour.Anyway Vinay told that he'll be arriving at the Jalahalli circle by 7.45am and we reached there exactly the same time he arrived.
Next major target was to fill up petrol at Shell and then look up for a good place to have breakfast.Those two hungry souls otherwise would have eaten me only if I don't find a breakfast point fast.But as we all know(and if didn't know before, now you know ;-) ) that @ NH4 after Neelamangala only good place to eat are Coffee day on left side and A1 and Kamat on the other side.And thanks to the highway planning we had to come back around half km to reach Kamat. and after a nice heavy breakfast with Hot Coffee,Dosas and Vadas we had to travel back around 1 more km or so to get the next turn to come to the other side.
After that till Tumkur the road was anyway almost a breeze and thanks to ABV, the wise old man who had the vision about Golden Quadrilateral (GQ)[and a thumbs down to the idiots who are incharge of the NHAI,more about this later]. I wish this road will be complete soon.
We had to take a right turn towards Shimoga and immediately welcomed with a few potholes.But luckily it was not for long and we reached the exit towards Shimoga.BTW, Auto rikshwas in Tumkur drive as horrible as their brethren in Bangalore or may be it's the common DNA inside them make them drive the way they do all over the world.[World is India in this case]
Road was very nice after Tumkur though it was a two lane-highway.Sparse traffic and scenic vistas made the drive more and more enjoyable.Soon we crossed Tiptur,Arsikere,Kadur and Birur. And suddenly after Bhadrawati we were greeted with few lunar craters on the road.For a second I thought may be we were cruising at high-speed and we somehow attained escape velocity and landed on moon itself.But hold on,it is not the moon but our very earth and we were approaching Shimoga.After holding all the 94 horses of the baleno and converting them to 2 bulls we started cruising at old world bullock cart highway driving.It was a major task not to disturb the craters and it's inhabitants(who knows, the Govt. may have plans to start some fishery on those craters when it rains;-) ) anyway after painstaking hour and half and lots of jokes starting from Indian Lunar mission to getting ministers driving on this stretch we crossed that section alive and unscathed.
After the tiring space exploration we decided to have lunch and went to a small restaurent near the Bus Stand.Nothing great to right home about so let me cut the story short.Oh yeah, before that we've also decided to try a road-side dhaba but that was also in pathetic condition.Journey after shimoga was smooth and we have seen lotsa green vistas zooming past us.It was a very nice drive after that.The beautiful greenery, winding road and to top that there were lashes of rain and then sun peeping out for few moments after the rain.Oh ,it was a bliss, will never forget this drive,never ever. We crossed a nice forest road(most probably it was after Anandapuram, but I'm unable recall correctly).Stopped by the road-side in quite a few places just to enjoy the beauty of our mother earth.To savour the grandeur to the fullest,to let the time pass by,who knows what's there in tomorrow and so better to live for today itself.Someone rightly said, enjoy the journey not just the destination and so we did.

We reached Sagar around 5.20PM, our earlier plan was to halt at Sagar and then visit Jog falls and come back to Sagar for night halt.But as it was already getting darker we were contemplating whether to stop at Sagar now itself and see Jog in the morning or directly go to Jog.Ultimately we decided to give Jog a visit and then come back to Sagar. So we went ahead and reached Jog by twilight. It was very dark by that time.Jog was not at it's full glory although we spent some time there and clicked few customary pics.Ok, now been there and done that,what next? Shall we go back to Sagar and I told my friends that I'm not tired at all and I can drive 3 more hours easily.So a quick change of plan and we decided to go to Sirsi instead and save some time for next day morning.A quick inquiring session with the helpful govt' restaurent manager at Jog[nice chap,thanks] and we found that there is a right turn just 3 km ahead from the Jog junction of NH 206 which goes to Siddapura. So off we go and start our night trip on a unknown territory on the dark of the night.

It was around 7.30pm and we have taken the plunge.Taken the right turn towards wilderness, oh sorry, Siddapura.For first few kms the road was newly tarred and very nice with clear demarcations but after around 6-7kms it turned out to be a small and not seems to be in bad shape.But we anyway have decided to go ahead and we did carry on.It was very scary as there was not a single other vehicle on the road .All the ghost stories that we've heard before about lonely roads came into mind and someone also taken out the topic.A particular section on that road was really scary as it was lined up with old Bodhi trees and in the light of the car the scene looked as if coming alive from some horror movie ;-) .Also we were fearing that may be road will turn out worser and we may have to turn back.But with Floyd singing Time, the time soon ticked away and we could see small villages on the side of the road. And luckily the road didn't turned out to be too bad.We reached Siddapura by 8.10 around and then reached Sirsi by 9.30 approx. After inquiring the local auto stands(Autowallas have become a great help to us during this trip actually, while asking directions) we decided to stay at Hotel Shivani. I was glad that we have been pointed to this place as it had a big parking place and that was my biggest concern during the whole trip.I didn't want to leave my dear Ms Baleno outside on the roadside.Also the rooms are very nice and a non-AC double room just for 400Rs with an extra bad.(would recommend this hotel to anyone who is travelling on this route)
Well, that's all for tonight and will post the rest of the journey soon on the next blog.

The Route taken :
Day 1 : Bangalore-Tumkur-Shimoga-Sagar-Jog Falls-Sirsi
Day 2: Sirsi-Mirjan-Ankola-Gokarn-KArwar-Palolem
Day 3: Palolem-Karwar-Devbagh-Ankola-Sirsi
Day 4: Sirsi-Haveri-Davangere-Chitradurga-Tumkur-Bangalore

Petrol Bunks used :
Day 1: Shell Bangalore,NH4 - IOCL Shimoga
Day 2:BP @ Gokarna cross
Day 3:BP @ Gokarna cross
Day 4: Shell Bangalore,NH4

Eateries :
Day 1:Kamat before Tumkur - a small restaurant near Shimoga Bus stand(not recommended)-Hotel Shivani (OK types but Gobi Manchurian was good there)
Day 2: Brunch at Hotel Shivaprakash(not very sure of the name) @ Gokarna -
Lunch at High Tide @ Palolem (awesome sea-food),
Dinner at a place which is at the end of the beach, nice food there also.
Day 3:Brunch at Palolem Beach Resort-Good one
Lunch @ Devbagh Beach Resort, Karwar (food was not that great but the ambiance was)
Evening snacks at Kamat Ankola,nice place.The Kamats are really life savers.
Dinner again at hotel Shivani,sirsi
Day 4: Reliance A1 Plaza on NH4 for Brunch.Good food at good price
Kamat after Tumkur.