written by - Vaisakhi Mishra
Early morning, loudspeakers playing songs like ‘Rang Barse’, in an attempt to wake up a languid world for the festival of colours, and atmosphere waiting to be painted in hues of gulaal – and amidst all that I set out for my epic road trip to Goa with my family and some friends! Epic because it was the first road trip to Goa and we were doing a coastal Maharashtra to Goa and back route aka old Goa route and the plan was totally out of the blue and I planned out the itinerary in just 2 days. I often talk about this trip of mine but yesterday when I was writing about my recent trip to Grand Canyon, I realized I had never written about my first ever road trip on my blog. So here it is! (I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.)
Crossing Alibaug, Nagaon, Janjira, Kashid, Ganpatipule, and Ratnagiri we did manage to reach Panjim somehow in 4 days, of course halting at all those places, but the best part of the trip was being on the road and exploring, and not Goa as the destination.
Howling coastal winds, constant company for sapphire blue waters, forests, starlit nights – all of it simple yet so impactful. We chose the old Konkan way over the Bombay Goa Highway and didn't regret the decision a bit. This journey made me realize how beautiful the Konkan coastline is.
Often Indian highways are termed not cool for long, smooth road trips, and driving on old highway might seem like a crazy decision – but I beg to differ! Maybe the roads in India are not as maintained, monitored and regulated as highways in most developed countries, but they are good for any fun road trip and this trip made me believe in that thought even more.
While on the road we witnessed nature, history and culture equally, baffled by the thought – why do people not select the meandering roads accompanied by pristine blue waters fenced by dense coconut grooves and rolling paddy fields.
While Alibaug, Murud and Jaigad on the way have marvelous forts from the Maratha Period, missing out on hidden gems like Ganpatipule beach and Malgund Beach with their seemingly infinite stretch of light golden sand shimmering against the crystal blue waters seemed like a crime to me!
Yes, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and the hundreds of other beaches of Goa have their own charm, but none of them are as clean, quiet and untouched like the ones near Ganpatipule and Ratnagiri. But forget the beaches that were some ‘spots’! During the drive there were probably uncountable beach stretches or cliffs where the Arabian Ocean proclaimed its beauty and why it makes Konkan Coast so amazing! We drove in the early morning warmth on meandering hilly roads and late night on Ghats and under a very starry night and I enjoyed every bit of it!
Some experiences are beyond words, and this sure was one of them. Guess spending days on the road does that to you. Guess that is why people love road trips more than travelling by trains and planes and now so do I!
Remember to keep your mobile fully charged and carry power bank for maps of course! And before you start your drive for following destinations keep your fuel tanks filled, check your spare tyre(s) and toolbox – not just as a part of basic highway safety measure but also important since you would be travelling on a path less taken and cross some rural or non-populated areas.
2. For the Ghats, make sure your car tyres are meant for such trips and also do not try to overtake or cross speed limits – it is for the good of everyone on road! Hint - think of CEAT Tyres or its equivalents.
3. Beware of tankers and heavy vehicles! Keep at least at a space for 2 cars between you and the vehicle ahead of you while at high speeds. This road is highly curvy so the distance will give you better control and help avoid mishaps.
4. No drink and drive! I get why Goa is so famous among youngsters but hey, drinking and driving is a fatal crime and a total no no.