Day 3 – driving to Goa! (Day 1 and 2 were spent at Pune)
A and I have always wanted to do a long one month driving trip around India. Better to start small, so we beginning with two weeks, and we just felt like a do-nothing Goan sojourn. For those who know me personally, a do-nothing holiday is not a holiday, but this time, with me being 5 months into my pregnancy, it felt like a good time to just chill and have a holiday filled with the beach, sun, sea and lots of sand. We would also be travelling with our 10 month old dog, inji. It would be the longest trip we had done with him in terms of distance to travel and distance from home. It promised to be a lot of fun and mess, and lots and lots of sand.
Driving down from Pune to Goa
We reached early evening yesterday at around 4.30pm after a quick 9 hour drive from Pune. We’ve done Mumbai-Pune with Inji before, and those 4 hours were always easily accomplished with a short five minute walk to stretch his legs at Lonavala. This was an ambitious plan to begin with Inji managed with the grace and maturity of a travel veteran. Hence the mnemonic Traveling Dog.
He jumped into the car at Pune and after a few minutes of staring out of the window, crashed. At every toll booth he would wake up, survey the world outside, then once we picked up speed he would sleep off again. A had packed the back seat with cushions on all sides and it was like a soft den for inji. He used it well, cuddling up into a tiny circle or stretching out like a Prince when he wanted to. No worries of sliding off as the gap between the seats were leveled with his beds. (Yes we’re travelling with his two beds! He has more luggage than us.)
We did have some bad tummy issues mid-way where he was smelling up the car like a garbage bin, so we had to stop and walk around till he managed to take a dump, post that we were sorted for the remaining journey.
Pit-stops that were dog-friendly:
Vithal Kamat’s, which appear at regular intervals along the highway from Pune to Goa (Via Kolhapur and Amboli) offer a spacious parking lot where dogs can walk around, stretch their legs.
After Amboli, once you descend, there is a small shop where the road forks, one road going to Vengurla and one to Goa. We stopped there for a while and walked along a tiny rainwater drain.