In 2013 we had very little family vacation time. I personally travelled here and there for single nights few times due to running and other personal work. The worst was to spend a week in Calcutta just after Durga Pooja and not able to accomplish anything there. So when December vacation time was only few days away I booked for Goa for 4 nights without much thinking. Personally felt quite happy with the booking as got a decent price for Goa just before X-mas.
We left Bangalore on Saturday morning at around 04:30 morning; the road condition was great and for the first time I was maintaining 100/110 KPMH. The road widening on NH4 between Chitradurga and Neelmangla was completed and now we have 3 lanes on each side. We stopped at Kamat before Haveri and soon reached Hubli around 10ish. From there we left the toll road but the road condition did not deteriorate at all. Thanks to Supreme Courts’ verdict on Illegal mining : ) there was no over-sized dumper carrying Iron ores. We reached Karwar by 12 and did not felt like stopping for lunch that time. On entering Goa border we had to pay whooping 250 INR as entrance fees which was little surprising for us as never had to pay such fees with Private self-driven car in India.
We reached our hotel Colva kinara around 14:00, so first we had lunch and then checked in later. While checking-in got a shock of life time. There was mention of “Mandatory Gala Dinner on 24th Dec 2012(X-Mas Eve)” but the price of the same was never mentioned while booking and personally did not open the hotel coupon to read the fine prints. Now Hotel guys were asking rs.3000 per person for the same so in total 7500 for our family of 2 and half . Called up MakeMyTrip and told them they should have made this clear prior booking as it was too extravagant amount being asked by the hotel but looks like there was no option other than paying. It was a bad start .
Visited family and friends twice on the northern side in the evening ; it was OK drive but quite long.
The 4 nights stay at the hotel was event-less but the hotel was not a great for the money we spent. These 4 days we really not did do much other than drinking, eating, walking to beach, take a swim at sea and repeat the same. As got robbed on the day one due to that great dinner thought of extending the stay and even out the damage. Checked for a property in Agonda beach (further south close to Karwar) and decided to go there. The plan was if they provide us with decent room we stay or else we go back. The property was right on the beach and it was beach hut called Dersy's beach hut with minimum bare amenities. For example there was no running hot water but all we were looking for was beach, sand and tranquility.
The next 3 days were more or less similar we had breakfast at ‘On the way’ German bakery, lunch somewhere and dinner at “La Dolice Vita”. Both the place were excellent in terms of quality of food and price. Last day, we went to Palolem beach at "Cozy nook huts" right on the beach and enjoyed our lunch there.We really liked them. Afternoon were pretty hot even in December- mostly left with no option other then power nap. Two evenings I did barefoot running along the beach in the evening. But ended up getting body ache and eventually fever.
The drive back on Saturday was hard on me being sick and Aarush too was down with fever. We skipped lunch as didn't feel like eating that afternoon. I had to take a power nap (after lots of request from Pamela) for 40 minutes. But the sad part is no CCD(cafe coffee day) around or decent break area along this NH4 while returning. There is one CCD only near Tumkur and that too on the other side for which I was not at all keen to take 2 U-turns on the Highway. Thinking back, the drive back west when the sun is in-front of you its not at all easy to drive and ended up with severe headache accompanied with fever.
So after a wonderful week of vacation, I was completely down with Viral fever for almost a week and had to visit a Doctor and take antibiotic medication to recover. So going to Goa in the peak of season may not be a great idea as hotel price is just sky rocket at that time.