A Monsoon Drive

You have to sit by the window of a car to know why a dog puts his head out every time he’s taken for a drive. The wind in your hair is one of the best feelings in life

Hivaykings (HvK – https://www.facebook.com/groups/hvkumar/), a strong online community of people passionate about exploring the country from behind the wheel, organizes various drives across the country where they go around with huge convoy of 50-60 cars. To be a part of this group is an amazing experience and I was fortunate to be able to join them this year for monsoon drive 2014 around the Western Ghats.The plan was a three day monsoon drive with a surprise element for all those joining. No one except for the organizing community knew where we were going. A meeting point and of course the fact that the HvK group is going to give us three days full of breathtaking views, adventure and a nagging feeling of never wanting to go back home is all we knew.

The Convoy started the 3 day long trip on a 149 kilometers long road that stretches from Belgaum to the Doodhsagar resort in Goa. Just outside Belgaum, the Green Valley Resort – our first pit stop was covered with a thick  blanket of fog that limited our vision to a 20 meters circumference. It felt like walking into the clouds and listening to a waterfall that was so close to the ears but far from sight.

I once read a book that said every building that we build should have a soul, something that begins at its core and grows through its entire structure. When you are passing through the forests on either side of this road you can feel the heart of forest pumping green blood into the veins of its soul. The green carpet all around makes you want to run on it barefoot. Driving on the roads covered with green leaves and watching rain pour down on them was the closest thing I have experienced to perfection.

On reaching the Doodhsagar resort at the end of day one and opening the door to these cozy tents, with a beautiful bed and bathrooms covered just by curtains was an unexpected and more than welcome sight. Something about the sound of rain pouring on the roof of the tent made me want to sink up to my nose in the bathtub and listen to it the whole night. But it was a road trip so I had to force myself to go to sleep.

The second day was more adventurous than the first had been. “The light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming your way” was the phrase that crossed my mind the very instance I heard a train come our way while walking on the railway track of a tunnel to get to the other end. Have you ever witnessed something so powerful that you can almost hear your own heartbeat? You’d say it only happens in the movies but I beg to differ. This is exactly what I felt when the three musketeers of this huge convoy stood on the railway track which gives a breathtaking view of the Doodhsagar falls. The view in front of us was something that would remain in my memory for a really long time. The milky water making its way through the rocks performs a graceful dance of its own.

The road for four wheelers to the falls was closed due to heavy rains so the only way up was a one hour motorbike ride followed by a 20 minute trek on foot. And when I say a motorbike ride it’s the craziest ride along the railway tracks into the forest. It’s literally along the railway track; there is no room for a road so you have to make way through the stones on the track road. It can be a bit intimidating with a tinge of fun.

We set the target to 206 kilometers the next day making a quick stop at Polem beach, Goa. It’s not an easy job to discipline 60 cars and keep them in synchronization but team HVK does a fantastic job of planning and keeping everyone in line. The expression on the faces of people watching this huge line of cars is really something. Some of them would smile at us, kids would wave at us and some would give really irritated expressions because they have to wait for a long time to be able to cross the road.

I cannot describe the road enough to make you understand the sheer beauty of it. This was my first trip to South India although I have wanted to visit it for a really long time. Well, I just saw a part of it but I am sure the whole of it is more amazing. Suddenly the forests are denser, the grass is greener and the houses are more colorful. It’s almost like the almighty painted it with a hundreds of shades of green. We crossed the Goa border and entered into Karnataka on our way to Bison Resort situated on the banks of the Kaali River.

By afternoon we were on our way back to lives we left far behind us when we started on this road two days ago. The smell of wet mud would always remind me of this trip and I would go down memory lane cherishing happy moments.

Text: Nisha Karamchandani

Images: Sasikumar, Nisha Karamchandani

Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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