South / South West: Hitting The Road!
The night before we were supposed to head off on our (hopefully) epic road trip, we planned to get to bed early and start at 5 am. But, you know, the best-laid plans and all.....
I got to bed a little before midnight and woke up groggy as hell to the sound of Rohit (my husband) and Sutt returning after a night of respectable and responsible drinking 😜.
After downing some seriously essential caffeine and getting hyped up at 5 am with the boys' drunk dancing, we got loaded up and headed out. Day 1, 650kms to travel and 4 hours of sleep under our belts. Already a great start!
As is our tradition on any trip outside the city, the mandatory McDonalds stop in New Bombay was our first scheduled pitstop. A quick greasy breakfast and another coffee guzzled and we finally hit the road proper.
This was my first time on a road trip of this length and I was super excited about it. I think the excitement and the anticipation of the next 10 days of vacation carried us through the whole first leg despite our lack of sleep.
I took the role of navigator and DJ for the first leg. Kay did what he would then do a lot on the trip, nap in the backseat, and Ari drove us on out of the city.
Maharashtra was dry and brown, the roads were decent and the weather outside was hot. But inside the car, we listened to music from the Top 40 hits to retro Indian Pop (Ari and I did a Colonial Cousins duet) and drove into Karnataka in the afternoon.
Karnataka roads are brilliant for the most part. The highways are smooth and well maintained. For my first time driving those interstate highways, I had a blast. I learned to do some kickass, possibly not recommended, overtaking. One of my biggest worries about the trip was the restrooms. I know, I'm a princess. But seriously, clean restrooms!
Thankfully, we found a bunch of options for decent rest stops along the way. The real fun began in the late afternoon when we drove past Belgaum through the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary towards Goa. The single-lane road went straight through a canopy of trees, almost like driving through a green shaded tunnel. We saw loads of monkeys and even a fox. We obviously HAD to get down and try to take a picture of (with?) the fox, but he was clearly not in the mood to indulge in a selfie.
Across the border in Goa, the Sanctuary turns into the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. We had to climb up and over some hilly terrain and then......it was GOA!
The landscape shifted from green forest to swaying palm trees and I swear I could smell the Arabian Sea from miles away. We were so ready to get to the shore, throw our bags in our room and sink our toes in the sand. We were racing against time to make it before the sunset and then....we made it. With minutes to spare!
That night, we walked along the beach, kicked back and chilled at a shack with some seafood, Goan Chorizo, and Kings beer. That moment, warm salty air, cold beer and the promise of the days ahead felt like the vacation had finally begun!
To read my rambling introduction to the How, Why and Who of this trip, click here.
To go read about our next day in Goa, click here.