Sunday, October 16, 2016

A road trip to cherish

Am back on these pages to reminisce another vacation and a crazy trip that we made. If I put it down here, can always return to savor those days once again.

Since the children are now studying in Kerala, one has to wait until they get a vacation for us to move around. This time it was the Onam vacation and although it would have been my first Onam in Kerala after coming to Kuwait, our promise for a road trip had to be kept. Our plan was to drive to Bombay and maybe take a break in Bangalore. No hotel was booked but only the car was serviced to ensure a smooth drive. This time around we had two drivers; one reason why we embarked on this trip. Our son who landed in Kerala year before last took his licence as soon as his age allowed and was already driving comfortably (if one can forget the occasional screams and advise given by his parents).
We left early in the morning on a Sunday and hence had an almost traffic free roads in Kerala. The road after Vadekkencherry is too good. In fact the National Highways are too good outside Kerala. Not sure how Kerala can have a 3 lane highway when the space is limited but......I mean look at the roads...

Kochi - Salem Highway (NH544)

The drive and the food is what we were all looking forward to.

At Peelemedu, we had a very delicious Thali. Along the national highway, specially in TN, one can find good restaurants and toilets behind petrol bunks. Most of them are built similarly and this one was named Gowrishankar Pure Veg. The normal meal is at IRS 80, while the special Thali(vegetarian) was IRS 150. It started with lentil soup and ended with an ice cream. The fried cauliflower even tasted like chicken to our chicken lover son who seldom relishes a vegetarian meal. The waiters hovered around asking us if we wanted anything extra or more. They ensured we ate until our stomachs were full. The bathrooms were neat too which mattered even more.

We had to break our journey either inside Bangalore or little ahead by skirting around Bangalore.  Hubby decided that we break the journey outside Bangalore, since getting out of Bangalore would be tough, so we chose Tumkur. Daughter had already chosen Naveen Regency, after reviewing them on TripAdvisor. Since it was getting late, we did not want to go hotel hunting even though the GPS was behaving pretty well. Luckily we found them very close to the highway and although they are not well maintained, the food was good. We just needed a few hours of sleep before we hit the road again.

It was only later that we realized that not getting into Bangalore was the best decision since the Kaveri riots would have cut short our trip. Oblivious to the agitation we left Tumkur early in the morning.

The roads were too good and the drivers were having a gala time. Both Father and Son reached speeds which Kerala would never give them. We passed places which we have only read about, occasionally stopping for toll gates or refreshments. I think there was a toll gate every 60-100 km and we ended up paying around IRS 2,000 for the Kochi-Bombay road.

Just before Pune, we stopped for lunch at hotel Kaveri and found that it was run by Keralites. They had a vegetarian and a non vegetarian restaurant. We skipped the vegetarian this time and headed for non veg. It was pure malabari food and tasted really great.

 We skipped Pune and headed for Mumbai. Went through many tunnels and drove down the mountains. Reached our destination after 9pm since the traffic inside Mumbai was pretty slow and the drivers very impatient. Not seeing the regular MH car but a KL registration may have made them put extra efforts to heckle. It was after two decades that we were both visiting Mumbai and I found it to be the same old Bombay.

We took a taxi to tour Bombay the next day and the driver gave us a Mumbai Darshan. The kids were more interested in shopping and that is what we mainly did in Bombay. We dined at the fairly new restaurant Bombay Vintage.

We selected the chicken and fish meals; the Mangalorean Tiffin style while the children had a Continental fare.
We had planned two days in Bombay and was supposed to return via Bangalore to visit relations, but the riot made us drop the entire route and take Goa for the return trip. Thus the much awaited Goa trip too was accomplished. Since we had a function to attend on Sunday and the kids had to return to their classes, we could spare only two nights and day at Goa. Another blog post maybe....



  1. what a lovely trip..I love road tell us what did you see in Goa and shopping too:)

  2. :) Yes..we loved it too.. seeing the many faces of India..will post Goa too..

  3. welcome back - long time no see...

    1. Thank you..stuck in twitter :(
      Was supposed to finish the trip before I forget...
      Glad to see you here :)


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