Bangalore to Goa – A long journey made fun and happening!

The last time I had driven down to Goa from Bangalore was some 12 years back. A couple of my batch mates hired a car and a driver and decided to drive down to Goa from our first salary. Those were the days of bachelorhood when decisions were taken at the drop of a hat!
Alas! Things are a tad different now. After eight years of marriage and a five-year-old in tow, we have to do a lot of advance planning. This time, we were being accompanied by my sister-in-law, her husband and their two young children – an outright, family trip!

The first thing to do was to book a good hotel. Recommended by a friend, we booked Quality Inn Ocean Palms at Calangute. With a confirmed reservation, the next was to plan the drive. It took some convincing by the men but the women finally relented.
Knowing well that the journey would last for about eight hours, we stocked up our car with chips, chocolates, juices, biscuits and whatnot. Travelling with young children means you need to keep their requirements in mind first.
We left Bangalore at daybreak in my Toyota Innova. I had kept the car fully tanked-up and ready, the previous night. We wanted to cover major ground before the Bangalore traffic monster could wake up!
The route chosen was Bangalore – Hassan - Mangalore - Udupi- Karwar - Goa. Though a bit longer, we choose this route because my bro-in-law hails from Mangalore, which could be used as an ideal half-way refresh point, especially for the kids.
The smooth road had an instant effect on our three young travellers and no sooner had we left Bangalore all of them began to swoon. Fortunately, my co-brother is also an avid driver, so we took turns ever two hours to allow one another to recover.

Breakfast at Hassan was at the famous Swad Restaurant. Though we are North Indian by birth, we are absolutely in love with South Indian food. The kids simply gorged on the piping hot Idlis, while the adults settled for Dosas and hot filter Coffee.

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With food in their tummies, the kids came back to life on the roomy back seats of my spacious Innova and turned into a mini boxing arena. The women preferred to the gossip (what’s new with that?) while we men were busy cutting the distance at a safe speed, not exceeding 100 kmph. The road-worthy condition allowed us to reach Mangalore in just seven hours!

Lunch was at my co-brothers place. Since they knew we were en route Goa, they had instructed the cook to keep lunch ready. This halt was a masterstroke as it not allowed us to relax a bit, but allowed the kids to free up their legs and keep them enthused for the next six hours of the drive.
We left Mangalore and the back seats fell quiet as the landscape now was awesome along the coastline. We could spot the sea occasionally, but the coconut and palm trees were our constant companions.
Finally, after three hours of the next stretch, we touched the Karnataka state border. The last major town was Karwar. Here the feeling was decidedly Goan and delightful in shop facades, clothes and even the food stacked at roadside dhabbas!

Our destination, however, was Quality Inn Ocean Palms that we could easily locate on our Google Map and drove right in, without a hassle. Road-weary as we were, we were instantly treated to a refreshing welcome drink!
The absolute fun time we had at Quality Inn Ocean Palms merits another blog, so watch this space for more!