Goa to Vasai, can be reached via 2 highways, the undulating scenic NH 17 or the much faster,safer but less scenic NH 4- we preferred the latter. The distance can be safely completed in a day, however, we decided to halt at Pune, so that, we could arrive fresh at our destination for various reasons.
We started at 6 AM, and the drive from Mapusa to Banda, on the newly paved and widened NH-17 is a pleasure.
Just after Banda, we took a turn towards Sawantwadi, although, a similar turn can be taken much later at Kumbharli, that one for another day.
The Drive from Banda until Sawantwadi was on SH 121 which was quite good- narrow roads, but hardly any potholes.
The roads are flanked by trees for most of the section on SH 121 creating quite a pleasing canopy of greenery. After Sawantwadi, starts the Amboli ghat, whose bends, turns and loops are a pleasure to drive on- especially, with one side overlooking a scenic landscape. This time we had no luck with the monkeys, didn't spot any, else, we always do stop for a while to spend time with some adorable Macaques.
On the Amboli Ghats, approximately, a ten kilometer section at the peak is quite bad, filled with potholes. This was the only bad section of our drive.
At Ajara, we stopped for breakfast at Hotel Minerva. There are many boards on the road indicating the variable distances to Minerva. Our breakfast which comprised of masala dosa was truly lip-smacking. Below, the lovely ambiance of Minerva.
Once we reached Nipani, it was NH4 all the way until Pune. Work is in progress at some sections of Satara. Black smoke spewing, buses and trucks litter this other wise awesome road.
At Pune, we stayed at Hotel VITS which is located off the highway. The hotel is nice with a tasty spread of food that is reasonably priced.
Above a view of the VITS. Below, Aari enjoying lip smacking dinner and dessert. For Aari, the desserts were a let down, specially, the chum chum (the food connoisseur that she is), for me, though, they all tasted the same- Sweet!
At about 9am, we set off from VITS to Vasai. The drive was uneventful, except for a new development at the Vasai creek. There are two bridges that connects Mumbai to Vasai, carrying traffic in opposite directions. One of these bridges is under repairs, hence, traffic being allowed only in one direction at a time on the other bridge. The waiting period is roughly about 20 minutes, for either sides.
Below, the final leg of our uneventful journey.
That's all folks, thank you!