Day 1: Mumbai to Hubli

Writing a road trip diary is difficult. A lot happens which is of interest to you and not to others. And a lot is observed which might not be of interest to you, but could be of value to others. Where do you draw the line? What do you tell? And what do you skip?

So, on day 1, in summary, we drove 650 kms, stopped at Panhala fort, had breakfast before Pune, and lunch at Kolhapur, stopped for the night at Hubli (and struggled a lot to find a room on the fly), and felt good about life in general. The mileage has been 14+, and my love for an automatic car has multiplied manifolds (I drive a Honda City Automatic). For those of you who wonder whether one misses the stick, now, the final answer is NO. The only question left was whether on a highway with significant change in terrain every now and then, would I miss the stick? After these 650kms, I am absolutely clear. All my cars from here onwards are going to be automatic. I will sacrifice the mileage advantage for the comfort of a good automatic. And with 14 on the highway, I am actually not complaining about the mileage either.

Panhala Fort is like the potential of Indian youth. A great idea with no tangible results. Two interesting tidbits – the west gate has hindu inscriptions on one side (Shivaji era) and muslim inscriptions on the other (Adil Shah era), AND the fort has 11 stories, of which only 2-3 are accessible now (what a pity!).

From a drive perspective, the only sub-standard stretch till hubli is after you’ve crossed Belgaum where since the GQ work is not complete, the roads become a two lane highway with no dividers, which effectively means a single lane highway. Otherwise, the drive is an absolute pleasure. I think the biwi got the raw end of the deal on driving (she drove us across Pune for a 80 odd km stretch). Much as my instincts kept kicking in trying to tell her how to do certain things (she has only recently started driving and this was her first highway drive), I think she drove quite well (insert a major proud feeling kind of thing here).

More laterz!! And yes, a comprehensive road trip diary shall also be compiled for the route we take.

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