A lot of planning, discussion, arguments and war of words happened before we finally left from Mumbai on the 17th of April. Mercifully, the date of departure remained unchallenged. The daughter's examination ended on the 16th of April and we hit the road on the morning of the 17th. 5.30 am to be precise.
We had planned to reach Bangalore by nightfall. Breakfast at a Food Plaza on the Mumbai-Pune expressway at around 7.00 am. Packed a couple of Wada Pau's for a mid morning snack. The son clicked this picture of the sunrays tearing through a hole in the cloud to light up Pune city.
Were in Belgaum for lunch, around 12.30 am. Back on the road in about half an hour. Lunch at Hotel Ramdev. This place has been around for several decades now. I still remember dining there as a kid when I accompanied my parents to Udupi during some of our annual vacations. Today it is a much more cleaner place and the service is quick and efficient, with palatable food too. When in Belgaum, the 'must-buy list includes a packet of KUNDA, a milk based delicacy and Dharwad Peda - both from any of the Purohit stores.
Reached Bangalore by about 8.30 pm. The roads are good and most of the time one is on the express way. Mumbai - Pune and then the Pune - Bangalore express way. The major hitch was when we reached Chitradurga. That was one rough patch, where the roads were bad and we lost a lot of time negotiating the heavy traffic. The roads were narrow too and we had to pass through the city as against travelling on a city-bypass highway.
The express way's have made road trips faster. But have taken away the joy of watching new places, villages flitting past you. It is a monotonous drive, but conveninent and comfortable. My daughter was fascinated by the colourful bougenvilla planted on the road divider for a long stretch in Karnataka. Whites, pinks, flaming oranges, magenta.........mmmmmm very soothing to the eyes, smarting from the grey of the roads.
After we crossed Davangere, the skies became a wee bit overcast. The children had a enjoyable time looking at the shades of green in the fields and the changing colours of the soil
Reached Bangalore in the night by around 8.30 pm, to a refreshing welcome by the rain gods and later by family with lots of affection, a warm dinner and a cozy bed.