After a memorable vacation in Goa, it was time to head back to Aamchi Mumbai. So on Oct 24th , we started return journey at 10:30am sharp, started late so as to avoid peak traffic in Mumbai.
After the unpleasant experience of Gadhinglaj-Aajra Road while reaching Goa, me and wifey decided to take a bit longer but better Belgaum road. So after asking locals for directions, we took Colagute-Mapusa road which connects to Mapusa-Bicholim Road. On the way tanked up my S Cross before exiting Goa. Then continuing on Mapusa-Bicholim Road, we reached Poriem which connects you to SH towards Belgaum. The entire road upto Belgaum is in excellent condition barring few rough patches which is negligible.
One has to drive carefully as its a winding road which runs through Madei Wildlife Sanctuary. There are no dividers on road, so be careful about vehicles coming from opposite end. Number of heavy vehicles are very limited, so driving is a pleasure. The entire stretch is very scenic lined by dense trees on both sides which makes the drive more pleasurable. The green lining is so dense that its almost impossible to see the valley on the other side. Few excellent points on the way to take pictures; though we didn't take any as we wanted to reach Mumbai before its too late.
We made a mistake of avoiding breakfast while starting from Goa assuming we will get plenty of joints on the way, but sadly there wasn't even a single decent eatery on the road, we had to eat few snacks which we always carry with us. So we had to go hungry till Belgaum. Coming back about the road, you can easily drive at speeds of 60kmph even though the road is 2 lane and winding. We never got tired of enjoying the greenery during the entire stretch. The stretch is about 55km and it takes about 90min to cross it. On the way, there are police check posts, both of Goa police and Karnataka police, who stop you and ask if you are carrying alcohol, drugs or ither banned substances. They check your vehicle and luggage if they find anything suspicious, but there is no unwanted harrasment. So not a hassle at all.
Finally we reached Belgaum at 13:35 and from there we joined NH towards Pune. There was bit of traffic in Belgaum, so it took us half an hour to join NH. At around 14:30 took lunch break as we both were starving. We halted at Sri Ram International, a newly opened restaurant on the way to Kolhapur. After eating to our content, again joined NH and continued towards Kolhapur at 15:30. After kolhapur our journey was bit slow as there were many 2 wheelers on road till Karad, So had to drive very carefully.
Finally reached Satara at 18:15 and took another halt for tea and refreshments at Big-Bite restaurant. Small place with ok restrooms. Had tea and snacks and cotinued towards Pune. After that it was dark, so was driving at lower speed than usual. Our next halt was just random as we saw many boards of shops selling Bhel, a popular chat. So me and wife both being foodie decided to try it and it was delicious. Finally by 20:15 reached outskirts of Pune and towards Pune -Mumbai Expressway. Just before exit towards the expressway, there was huge jam and took more than an hour of our time.
At last, we reached Expressway at 22:00 hrs after battling through the jam. The journey on expressway was as expected a cruise and by 23:15 we reached Panvel. From there began our journey towards home in Borivali, it was slower due to few signals and some traffic. Finally reached home by 00:40 after almost 12 hours of driving.
But had a memorable journey and eager to do it again.
Totak distance from Baga to home : 630km
Car Fuel Economy : 16.4