Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goa – Mumbai by bus, train, air, car, and bike………..missed the water ways.

It's been a decade of traveling in this sector by all the possible modes. The route is very scenic and beautiful, especially through the trains but unfortunately most of the travel happens in the nights so most of us miss the topography and laid back country side of Konkan. The buses filled with happy and jovial tourists, young Goans traveling for interviews in Cruise line ships and the Middle East returned Goans traveling with large luggage used to hip hop through the ghats and roads of NH17 through Konkan to finally reach Goa. The better air connectivity and the introduction of Volvo buses have now managed to segregate the travelers further. The trains are generally filled by the large Konkani population from coastal Maharashtra settled in Mumbai. The trains generally get empty after Kankavli and Kudal just off Goa.

Earlier the water ways were active and the Damania shipping company used to ply between Mumbai and Goa, they wound up their operation just before the millennium. Never got a chance to travel by water to Mumbai, hopefully services shall resume again some day.

It’s a very good drive to Goa  but after a very heavy monsoon this year the roads in patches are very bad. The bike ride is not at all recommended on the NH17 and it would be better to take the coastal highway which has a much lesser traffic of buses, cars and trucks. 


I wish there were better restaurants on this route. Most of the restaurants are sad and poorly maintained. There might also be some hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Buses always stop in restaurants which have place to park and maneuver the vehicle also a little bit of  “Chai Paani” for the driver and cleaner but I haven’t found any good place worth recommending during my self exploration by car and bike.

There is this incident when I and a couple of my friends were driving down from Mumbai to Goa and we were hunting for a impressive place, debating each restaurant we saw on the way and finally we hit a stretch where there weren’t any to debate on. We did not want to go back to any of the ones which didn't impress us as hope was pulling us ahead to find one in the next corner, time & patience was running out and the great blame game had begun when I spotted a thela wala under a tree. He was about to close for the day. The only things he served there was Egg Burji, Pav’s and Tea. Too our shock and surprise he had done very good business for the evening and had only ONE egg left with him, He obliged to make a burji of that one egg for the three of us. We asked him to cut some extra onions and tomatoes to increase the quantity. At the end we laughed it out and had a burji of onions and tomatoes with some egg in it for an overnight drive to Goa.