I have always loved Goa because of many reasons, most of those reasons are common to all of us but this visit to Goa, added more to my feelings for Goa. It was year 2010 and month of October. October 14 is my marriage anniversary and it was my third marriage anniversary , Every year on my anniversary , I plan for a holiday and this time also I made a plan , plan was to stay in kodaikanal for few days , relax and have some good time with my wife and my 10 months old son Abe. I planned my route to kodiakanal , I expected 12-14 hours on road, by my car and planned to leave early in the morning around 5 am , so that I can reach kodaicanal early in the evening and then relax there.
Early in the morning, i was not able to locate my sunglasses after trying to find them for some time. I finally called my friend Kumar jayant ,who lives nearby . I asked him to give me his sunglasses as i need them all the time. He came to my home and then i had a brief discussion of my travel plan to kodaicanal and the distance of that place from Bangalore. He suggested if its going to take 12-14 hours to reach kodiacanal then why not go to Goa? as it would take same amount of time. Moreover , he knew my promise to my wife jyoti , to take her to GOA after marriage. That promise was still not fulfilled. I thought about that and finally agreed to it and changed my travel plan in the matter of few minutes and over a cup of tea with my dear friend Kumar.
So new plan, was to go to Goa, bags were already packed, we just had changed the destination. My wife was happier then before. I had a GPRS/GPS enabled smartphone and used famous maps in it. As per the Famous mapping site on my cell phone ,from Bangalore till dharwad its a no confusion straight drive. Just before dharwad I had to take a left and the route was going through forest and villages in the forest. So far it was working fine. When i reached the point where i should take left, i took left and took my car to the route that was going through the forest. It was 5:15pm when i took that turn.
For few kilometers the road was fine.But after few kilometers i started hitting bad patches full of potholes. After sometime the road was all filled with potholes. It was difficult to go above 20km/h on that road. I had to slow down . I had one eye on the road and other on my GPS/ map on my phone. There were many times when it said could not find GPS signal and I was not getting routing information properly. There were multiple lanes in that forest and those villages in the forest. Soon it was dark, There was a new twist to the story and that was rainwater and mud filled potholes. In dark with car headlights on ,its not easy to judge how deep a pothole could be. So with every passing minute it was getting difficult to drive with a consistent speed. My GPS signal was also fluctuating, so i was also worried about about the correct routing information.
In the middle of this forest, in complete silence and darkness there came a train signal , I had to wait for some 20 minutes to let the train pass and at that moment ,I looked at my wife and my son and then the deep forest and then thought about my self . How wise and intellectual , i really am. I m not sure about the route. I m not sure how far this pothole road would carry on and when would i see a normal road. I was cursing my self for being in that situation at that moment. I started to get worried about this unknown deep forest and the increasing darkness, even more when i was looking at my son. On this road apart from potholes i was not seeing any incoming cars or buses. It was just me who was driving on that road. Just before the train passed, i got the GPS signal again and found that the highway that connects to GOA was 20 kms from there on this same road. That gave me some hope. Then slowly i started moving towards that road to highway.
In 5kms i was face to face with one of the weirdest potholes i have ever seen, A big pot hole,Completely filled with water and mud , There was no other way out, before this pot hole i had a narrow escape with another pothole filled with mud where my car almost broke down. Now to go through this one , i needed some faith, If my car breaks down now, what will be my next step, what will i do after that, were the thoughts, that were hitting my mind at that moment. Another thought a very negative one came to me ,was to turn around and go back. That was also of no use, I thought again. As GPS signal was really weak and backward route is even not that clear. So Going back was even more stupid. So i finally thought of giving this Giant a try. I took name of almighty and took my car into that giant pothole full of mud. It made all kinds of sound and almost stopped. Luckily it came out of that pot hole but it sounded as if the silencer got a hit, either it was about to fall or something.
My knowledge of cars, is strictly limited to driving, never put an effort to see the engine and other parts to see how they work together and never repaired my car before. So whatever the condition of the car was, i had no clue. It was making a sound ,which is similar to a sound of ferrari or any sports car, when you push its accelerator. Atleast one thing was looking clear and that was my car would break sooner.After that giant pothole we did not see much of potholes and finaly after driving 10 kms at 20km/h i was on highway. It seemed worst was finally over.But i could not accelerate enough as my car would start making weird noise. On highway i stuck to a speed of 40kms/h and one of the sign boards suggested that Ponda(one of places near Goa) was around 100 kms. For next 2-3 hours i drove my car at 40km/h and finally reached Ponda. Found lot of tourist hotels there and picked one of them and parked my jumbojet there . I thought i would see whats gone bad in the morning. It was 11pm and i was too tired to see whats up with the car.
to be continued..