Goa Road Trip Mar ‘12 Ahmedabad–-> Mumbai –-> Goa
18th March 2012 Ahmedabad ––> Mumbai
Again as the previous night we were a little late for retiring for the day and were able to hit the bed only at 1AM.
Rooms at The Karnavati Club, Ahmedabad
Additionally having done 700 Kms the previous day, the drive for this day was just a little more than 500 Kms, so we thought that I could take it easy. Further as always, whenever I visited Goverdhan Thal, I never felt hungry the next morning, hence we skipped breakfast and headed straight out for Mumbai. The hotel bill settled, we were on the road at 8AM and reached the Ahmedabad- Baroda Expressway at 830, covering approximately 20 Kms. Inside the city, being early and a sunday I encountered little traffic, but I could sense that had it been a weekday and slightly later during the day, we would have encountered much more traffic.
The Ahmedabad Surat Expressway is a drivers dream and we covered the distance of 93 Kms in 58 Minutes, clocking an average speed of 95 KMPH. I was driving at 120-130 KMPH but I guess stopping at the 3 toll plazas reduced the overall average speeds. From here we took the Baroda ByPass and the NH8 all the way upto Baruch.
Old Golden Bridge
Having been already warned about the traffic jams over the Narmada Bridge, I had decided to go through Baruch City then take the Old Golden Bridge, go through Ankleshwar and join the NH8. This detour was 15.7 Kms long and took 27 mins. Further I’d been warned that the Golden Bridge would be a tight squeeze for my vehicle and yes, what a tight squeeze it was. Additionally all the passerby’s were shouting at me In Gujarati, but what they were saying I don’t know. There were several moments where I had to literally stop my vehicle, if the oncoming vehicle was bigger than a hatchback. I guess they must be thinking where has this moron got a truck on such a small bridge. By the time we joined back on NH8 it was 11:10AM and we had covered 215 KMs in about 3 Hours. Average speed was a decent 70 KMPH.
Ahmedabad Surat Expressway (left) The Old Golden Bridge (right)
Though not being too much hungry myself, the children started feeling hungry. So after having bought them chips and snacks we decided to take a halt at Navasari. Why this place? Well, sometime back in 2010 I was doing a solo drive from Bangalore to Delhi and stopped at this simple Hotel cum Restaurant and really like the food. Further as Navsari was another 80-90 Kms from this place I thought that I could manage it in a little over an hour. Reached Navsari at 12:20 PM, covering a total of 293 Kms in 5 Hours 19 Minutes.
Hotel Supreme in Navsari
After taking a well needed brunch break of 1 hour we were headed straight for Mumbai at 1:22PM. Mumbai was approximately 240 Kms. But good and heavy food along with little sleep for the past 2 night really catches up to you. Feeling very drowsy, 55 Kms from Navsari I spotted a good restaurant with many number of vehicle parked there and decided to take a small nap at this place. Post the power nap I was fully charged up thanks to the 15-20 mins of bliss, and we were off again. The rest of the roads were good and we touch Goodbandar at 4:46PM, covering 213 Kms. About 5-10 Kms before Ghodbandar there was a traffic jam due to a truck being toppled over where we wasted 15 mins and another 20-25 mins we halted for the nap.
From here on we took the Western Express Way all the way to Oberoi Shopping Mall in Dindoshi, then right for Goregaon Link Road and finally to Mindspace where I was staying at in Mumbai. Reached Mindspace, Malad at 6:20PM. Filled up the diesel tank, so we could save time the next morning.
Fuel Economy since last refill (in this case it was at Udaipur)
I bought fuel worth Rs.1000 between Navsari and Valsad and then a tankfull in Mumbai
- Distance Covered 791 Kms
- Fuel 21.54 ltrs in Gujarat & 77.28 ltrs in Mumbai Total 98.82 Ltrs @45.54 per Liter Rs.4500.26
- Fuel Economy 8.00 KM/ Ltr & Rs.5.69/ KM
- Note: This Fuel Economy I got was perhaps the worst during the entire trip, maybe cauz I was driving in speeds in excess of 110KMPH and even touching 130-140 KMPH on certain stretches.
View from the balcony in Malad
- As we were eating out for the past 2 nights and tired too, we decided to eat
ghar ka khana
- and try to call an early night. However the kids were so excited to see their cousin that they didn’t let us sleep till 1 AM.
Total Distance for Day 003 was 530 Kms with an average moving speed of 71.4 KMPH
Screen Shot of my Garmin 60csx for the drive Ahmedabad to Mumbai
19th March 2012 Mumbai ––> Goa
Again due to a late night, our start from Mumbai this day, was a tad late than what I would have liked. Got up at 6AM and were all set and moving at 7:20AM, after clicking some pictures at the apartment complex in Malad.
Me my wife and younger son (left) & My elder son, with his favorite car in the house (right)
The route that we planned to take out of Mumbai was
Malad -–> Western Expressway -–> Jogeshweri –> JVLR -–> Powai –-> Eastern Expressway –-> Airoli Bridge –-> Panvel –-> Mumbai Pune Expressway
We were on the Mumbai Pune Expressway at approx 8:30AM, encountering little traffic in Mumbai and some traffic on the Soin-Panvel Expressway and made it to the food plaza after the toll 165 at 850AM. Post a small break of 20 mins buying water and stuff we were again off. Took the Pune ByPass crossing Ginger Hotel and Bypassing Pune city, the hunger gods started calling again and we stopped at a Food plaza at 1035AM which comes after the Toll plaza (65) between Pune and Shirwal. Average speed for 193 Kms was 60 KMPH. The roads were marvelous and a pleasure to drive on
As McDonalds doesn’t serve burgers before 11AM, and I’ve never been a fan of their breakfast menu we thought that we’ll have food at Dominos Pizza, the only other option being Café Coffee Day. The Dominos guys promised to give it in under 10 minutes. As goes the old saying, promises are meant to be broken, Dominos were true to this and took 30 minutes to hand over the pizza. Had I been sitting at my home, I would have got it in 30 minutes too but Dominos people might have known that I consider my car as my second home . Further they didn’t have peperoni and I had to make do with the basic Chicken Pizza, which was only passable. Additionally the moment I took one bite, I thought that it could have easily been avoided and I should have waited for McDonalds to open up. Anyways, the kids even didn’t like it either and we got burgers and French Fries packed from McDonalds and after wasting 55 Minutes at were off for our final destination GOA.
Another non stop drive of 242 Kms we crossed Shriwal, Khambatki Ghat, Satra, Umbraj, Karad, Pet, Kohlapur, Nipani and took the right turn for Uttur around Tavandi at 2:37PM. Average Speed for this stretch was 78 KMPH.
From here on the road were quite scenic but the road conditions were the opposite. And its not the single road lanes that were the problem. I’ve driven on alot of single lanes roads but it was the condition of the roads that was the problem. Immediately after taking a right the road was very bad and only after 30-40 odd kms they became better. After the initial jolt of bad roads, they become better and then one seems to enjoy the scenery and enjoy the surroundings. The best part of these roads were the mountain curves. I enjoy mountain driving, so this was a treat. This route takes you from an altitude of approx 2200 feet to a height of 2600 feet and then gradually bringing you down to 150 Feet at the Goa State border in a total stretch of 175 Kms. This drive took us 2 hours 27 mins and we were at the Goa Border at 5PM approx. The average speed on this stretch was 48 KMPH.
Some pictures en-route
Tavandi –> Uttur –> Ajra –> Amboli –> Sawantwadi –> Banda –> Goa Border
I don’t exactly remember the name of the place but I think that it was around Ajra
From here the drive was very slow owing to the peak hour traffic coupled with the single lane roads. From the border through Bardez till Mapsa the drive of 36 KM was decent with an average speed clocked of 61 KMPH. However the balance 50 Kms was very slow owing to peak traffic, so we managed to reach Varca, in South Goa only at 7:15PM clocking an average speed of 32KMPH. It was like driving from New Delhi till Greater Noida in the 2nd /3rd gear at 30KMPH. Not to mention we were driving since 7 AM in the morning, with only 1 break.
Additionally I should add here that there are no good dhabhas or places to eat once you leave NH4. So please remember to take care of food before you hit this stretch. There’s a decent restaurant on the intersection of the road which leaves NH4 for Uttur.
Finally we were at our destination at 7:15PM we reach Ramada Carvela Beach Resort in at Varca Beach, South Goa, completing 50% of our trip.
Yipee, We’ve made it to Goa
Total Distance for Day 004 was 642 Kms with an average moving speed of 64.2 KMPH
Screen Shot of my Garmin 60csx for the drive from Mumbai to Goa
The Gadgets in my vehicle and the mini power station that’s used to charge everything
Left picture: Samsung Galaxy Note, HTC windows phone Garmin 60 csx, and Blackberry 8520
Right Picture. All the chargers powered by a Belkin Car Invertor along with a 12DV splitter