I’ve always wanted to go on long road trips, but with both Jo and me working, trying to find a contiguous block of holiday has been rather difficult. With me taking a break and Eid holiday coming during middle of the week, we got a chance to do our road trip.

With a date set, we next wondered which route to take? We considered Coastal Karnataka(Bangalore – Goa – Mangalore – Bangalore) and Tamil Nadu(Bangalore – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Thanjavur – Chennai – Bangalore), but eventually decided upon Coastal Karnataka after consulting with resident travel expert Ashwin. He also suggested few additional places(OK, he suggested a lot of the intermediate places) and we decided on this route and timeline.

Date Day Start Time From To Via Approx Drive Time
2-Jul-16 Saturday 6:00 AM BLR Residence Mangalore Hassan 8 hours
3-Jul-16 Sunday
4-Jul-16 Monday
5-Jul-16 Tuesday 9:00 AM Mangalore Malpe 2 hours
6-Jul-16 Wednesday 9:00 AM Malpe Kavimane Agumbe 3 hours
6-Jul-16 Wednesday 2:00 PM Kavimane Jog Anantpur 3 hours
7-Jul-16 Thursday 8:00 AM Jog Falls Palolem Honnavar 4 hours
8-Jul-16 Friday
9-Jul-16 Saturday 9:00 AM Palolem Bangalore 10 hours
10-Jul-16 Sunday

Bangalore – Mangalore

Our travel day was finally here. Trip meters reset, fuel filled, car serviced the week before, spare tyres checked, some snacks, biscuits and chewing gum for the road we started from Bangalore.

Odometer start

Odometer start

We usually stop for breakfast at a place right after Nelamangala, soon as we hop on to Bangalore – Mangalore highway, but surprisingly this place had not yet opened. Tummy rumbling, we decided to move on to our other usual place about 10km before Kunigal.

Stop just after Nelamangala

Stop just after Nelamangala

20 minutes later, we arrived at our spot, “New Golden Breeze” restaurant only to find that even that had not yet opened. I’m not sure why that was the case, but anyway decided to move on and have food at Kamat near Kunigal. Before reached there, we came across Sri Siddalingeshwara Cafe(lol) which seemed good enough and we stopped. Before we went in, I had a look at the scenery which reinforced how beautiful the roads are during monsoons.

Kunigal

Kunigal

The restuarant was a bit crowded but we ordered Thatte Idly & Vada and some filter coffee

Thatte Idly Vada

Thatte Idly Vada

filter coffee

Filter Coffee

The breakfast was good, the idly soft and fluffy, the vada crispy and the filter coffee hit the right spot. As we finished our breakfast and stepped out, we spotted a kitty roaming from car to car

 

#mrmeow #catsofinstagram #roadtrips #iwantacat #traveldiaries

A photo posted by Jyothsna Shenoy (@joshenoy) on

 

It was a shame we had to leave the cat back, seemed really friendly. Belly full and kitty pet, we decided to move on. Driving through the monsoons is a sheer bliss, especially if it’s not raining. Lush greenery everywhere, the cool breeze blowing, it’s really hard to not park your car aside and step out and soak in the breeze and the atmosphere.

Empty roads en route to Hassan. Pic taken near ChannaPatna

Empty roads en route to Hassan. Pic taken near ChannaPatna

We took the Hassan – Sakleshpur – Shiradi ghat route and barring few bullet tankers(aka the LPG tankers), the road was pretty much empty. We had our usual second pit stop at a different place – at Shri Durga International instead of our usual Surabhi NX

Plain Dosa stop at Sakleshpur

Plain Dosa stop at Sakleshpur

After having a round of dosa and coffee, we resumed our journey with the ghats coming up. Recently, a big chunk of the Shiradi ghats were concreted and thus driving through it was a pleasure and not the usual pothole ridden experience. The caveat however, is that the edges of the road are still not done and padded with mud. With rains, these patches erode away and leave a really steep and dangerous cut. Once the concrete roads were over though, the tarred roads had started giving away and was obvious they weren’t going to last long.

Concrete ghat section at Shiradi

Concrete ghat section at Shiradi

Yep, idiot car trying to overtake LPG tanker despite me coming at him

Yep, idiot car trying to overtake LPG tanker despite me coming at him

As we got closer and closer towards Mangalore, the tanker traffic increased and it ended up delaying our arrival in Mangalore by about 45 minutes. Once home a nice plate of fried fish cooked by Mom welcomed us(despite it being really difficult to get fish during monsoons).

Reached Mangalore!

Reached Mangalore!

At home

At home

Pomfret Fry

Pomfret Fry

Later on in the evening, I went over to my sister’s place to meet her and Shriya. She took me to a part of Mangalore, just behind her place, which I hadn’t visited since a really long time. The view of the Nethravathi river from there was fabulous.

Selfie with my niece Shriya

Selfie with my niece Shriya

Netravathi river

Netravathi river

Here’s a link to the 360° view from here. The remaining couple of days were spent at my folks’ place, my in-laws’ place and at Jo’s cousins. We went over to The High Wave(though initially it was supposed to be Froth on Top) for some decent food and good times with Jo’s cousins.

Nice poster at Highwave

Nice poster at Highwave

Chillin' at HighWave

Chillin’ at HighWave

Cool cassette tape as back cover for mobile

Cool cassette tape as back cover for mobile

No trip to Mangalore would be complete without an Ice cream from Pabba’s.. so went over to Pabba’s, grabbed some ice cream for us as well as for family and headed back home

Ice cream from Pabba's

Ice cream from Pabba’s

Part 2 will continue.. till then enjoy a sample of drive through Shiradi ghats