Ah, at long last, - my fractured leg not-withstanding, we are on our way to Goa!!!! The last time we'd gone to Goa was a good 17 yrs back, - in 1992 when I'd gone to drop Paami off at her friend Maanvi's place in Panji. We'd made the trip then from Chennai by train.
Ok, back to our current adventure, - 17 yrs later, a marriage, a rendezvous around the world for 15 yrs and 2 kids later here we were all set to embark on our trip to Goa. We left by car, around 11am. Honestly though, I was quite apprehensive given the fact that I’d fractured my leg 3 weeks back and it was only yesterday I got the plaster removed. While the Dr. had advised another 2 weeks of the plaster, between the plaster and the Goa trip, I chose the latter. Perhaps unwise, but time would tell! It was a good thing I decided to take the Honda City Automatic!
We’d gone a good 100 odd km from Pune and hunger pangs finally started hitting us. Pretty close to the Satara exit, I stopped by the first decent looking place on the road side. Lunch was ok. Started back at around 2pm odd.
We'd heard about this place called 'Kaas' from some friends of ours. The place is supposedly beautiful in Sep when it is full of flowers! So, we decided to take a small detour on our way and go and check this place out first. Kaas is about 150km odd from Pune. The drive off of the Pune – Kolhapur freeway was initially just horrible driving through some really bad traffic, through the heart of Satara town. But, then once we were past all that, - it turned into one of the most beautiful and scenic drives. Just loved it! I guess Oct was a little late for flowers here and so, though we didn’t find any flowers, - it was still scenic, almost unchartered in some senses.
Drive to Kolhapur
We got back on track and were on our way to Kolhapur. The wonderful experience of Kaas made the trip to Kolhapur quite enjoyable. Additionally, I should say, the road was almost like you would find them in the west! Wonderful drive I should say!
About 30km from Kolhapur, saw this hotel, - ‘Sai International’ and pulled in. Filled ourselves with some Dosa, vada, etc. Checked out staying there, but then realized we were still a good 30km away from Kolhapur. Since it was only around 7/8pm, thought we could still do the extra 30km quite easily. Doing it in the morning would delay our arrival into Goa further.
Stay @ Kolhapur
Main requirement here was I didn’t want to get deep into the town for staying. It had gotten kinda dark and so when it looked like I was nearly out of town, pulled over and moved into again the first of the hotels that a few folks around there recommended. It was supposedly a 3 star, - but you know how these stars are so badly mis-used in India. I’ve never stayed at a place in India where 3 star properties genuinely looked and felt like it. But, since all we needed was a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in for the night, - we decided to go with this joint!