Car : Ford Freestyle Titanium, Petrol 1.2
No. of people – 2 (young couple, both can drive)
Avg Mileage – 15kmpl
Travel time : 15hrs
Google Maps set for route: Miyapur –> Zaheerabad –> Hunmabad –> Gulbarga –> Bagalkot –> Belgaum –> Chorla Ghat –> Goa (Candolim)
We got our car washed and fuelled a day before we began our long road trip across South West Coast about which I'll be sharing the details in my upcoming blog .
We started as planned from Miyapur (NH65) at 4:30 am, to beat the sorry morning traffic of Hyderabad and to catch a glimpse of rising sun. We were not disappointed as we hit outer highway of Patancheru, we felt like we were gliding in clouds as it was filled with fog and mist.
When we reached Zaheerabad around 6:00 AM after crossing the 1st Toll at Kamkole (Rs.90/- Toll charges), we decided to take a quick break as the rising sun just engulfed us with its beautiful rays and colors.
Since we were not particular about food (not being foodies) energy bars were enough to fuel us on the go as breakfast saving us ample time towards our destination.
The 4-lane roads till Zaheerabad was very smooth. (Travelers remember to stay on NH65, else you will be traversing inside the Zaheerabad city and may be wasting precious time.) We continued straight on the highway and entered the Karnataka border in 15 mins.
As we entered Karnataka we were welcomed by patchy roads and speed breakers. My husband gave a humors comment: “Welcome to the world of Speed breakers!”
After the 2nd Toll at Mangalgi (Rs.85/- toll charges) we accelerated towards Hunmabad as the roads were smooth. An engrossing conversation made us forget to take left towards Gulbarga and drifted to Mumbai Highway bridge. A sweet voice, by Ford Navigation pre-loaded offline maps, soon alerted us to take a U-turn after a kilometer while Google maps adjusted its route via Basavakalyan. We thanked and appreciated Ford’s invention and took U-turn followed by a right turn underneath the bridge. We continued our journey towards Gulbarga shifting our gears from NH65 to NH50.
We progressed to drive on NH50 and realized the time was around 8am when we saw a field of Sunflowers pointing at the sun among endless fields of sugarcane and cotton plantation. As there were no good hotels to stop for a tea break we moved on and reached Gulbarga in an hour. Since we had a long way to go, we didn’t want to get inside the city and hence took the ring road approaching towards Vijayapura.
During a long journey towards Vijayapura so many windmills across the road welcomed us. We took the advantage of the car's off-roading skills and went closer to the windmills through a field.
From the lessons learnt in the morning we ensured to shift from NH50 to NH52 by taking a left turn near Vijayapura.
Nearly about an hour after crossing Vijayapura we were amazed to drive on Uttar Karnataka’s longest bridge built on the river Krishna situated in Kolhar.
Since we got our lunch packed from home, we took a 15min break near Bagalkot. We resumed our journey at 1pm and reached Belgaum by 3:30pm where we refuelled our car (2nd full tank).
As we wanted to drive the Chorla Ghat before Sunset we continued without further breaks. Ghat roads initially were smooth but turned out to be patchy nearing Goa. The sky dusked as we entered Goa and travelled through the dark, narrow and silent lanes of Poriem, Bicholem and Paliem. Travelling through the busy roads of Calangute we reached our destination, Candolim, by 7:30pm.
Glimpse of Ghat road
We stayed in recently constructed property in a peaceful locality of Pintos Vaddo street in Candolim.
Property details: Sonika’s Leisure. A decent hotel with in-house bar & restaurant, swimming pool and AC rooms with attached balcony and excellent Wifi connectivity. Rooms were very neat with sparkling clean bathrooms. Great hospitality and yummy food.