I don’t like a sound of ‘small world.’ Somehow, it makes me feel suffocate and lazy. I still imagine the mysterious parts of the world like a little kid. So, I want it to be big, vast, and there should be many places to amaze me. When we go on a road trip, we don’t always go for the fast, comfortable or easy route. The excitement of driving through a new road makes everything better. Chasing mysteries. We always vote for new places, new towns, new mountains, and new scenery because they make us feel small in the big wide world.
Like I told you in the previous post, we consider ourselves the experts in southern Indian road trip. We have driven more than 10 times to Kerala, and each time, the fun never receding. Last time we took a trip to Kerala, we drove back to Pune via Shivamogga (Shimoga). To be honest, none of us heard about this place before. We just laid a map on the table and pointed out the route.
Before starting a road trip, you must pump up the energy level with some fabulous breakfast.
We stopped at a local restaurant where the fragrant of curry called us in. The giant dosa (Indian savory crepe) was to die for. It’s crispy on the outside, oozing and soft on the inside, served with chutney and samba. The fish curry was densed with flavor.
If you are a vegetarian, you will fall in love with these hot, puffed poori (deep fried dough) and potato stew. It’s such a humble dish, but every bite was so comforting. Don’t forget to ask for Kerala filter coffee at the end of the meal. It’s the kind of caffeine you want to be drinking everyday.
From Kerala, we retraced our step to Mangalore (as in the previous post). But instead of heading to Udupi, we turned to NH13 which took us into the heart of Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. I remembered telling my husband that I felt strangely familiar with the place. He said, he felt it, too. I guessed this route had that old city vibe that reminded us about the good old days.
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many wild animals including the infamous Indian tigers. Pretty scary, right? And we were told that we might spot some of them on the roadside.We didn’t have time to explore, but the drive was such a joy. The road was not so pleasant though. It’s narrow and twisted. But I think the scenery was worth it.
Many times, we were in the middle of nowhere. The small villages were scattered between farmlands and coffee plantations. You would be able to refill your supplies in the towns like Sringeri and Koppa. Don’t expect anything fancy. The lives in this route are so humble and down to earth.
It was a long drive, longer than what we had anticipated. We started wondering if we was about to get to the hotel that night. There was another big forest cross ahead. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. We knew that there would be a forest check-post, and we worried that they might not let us cross it after six.
We raced with time, but the sun sank fast. It’s now dark, and we still didn’t reach the forest entrance. We were thinking of camping on the roadside. But that would have been very depressing. We were aching, and our stomach needed something decent.
My husband is one of the most ambitious drivers. We powered it through the dull evening. Crossing Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was easy because the road was flat and wild. We heard that this forest was flourished with wildlife and big trees. But we couldn’t see anything that night.
We reached Shivamogga at nine. My first impression of this city was ‘how vibrant.’ But I was terribly sad that we had no time to explore the city. We checked in to the hotel, Royal Orchid Central Shimoga, and after stuffed our bellies with dinner, all we needed was sinking in the soft bed.
Have you ever felt like waking up on the way to paradise? This was it.
NH 13 was our heaven. Serene, private, and stretching between gorgeous landscapes.
You could use NH48 which runs right out of Shimogga and connects to NH4 just before Hubli, but we heard NH13 was more sceneric. Yes, we always go for scenery.
About the long road trip, sometimes it could make you feel funny. When you sit in the car for two days, numbed head was what you’re gonna get. But how lucky, we found the cure right on the side of the road. Do you know that munching on fresh tamarind would help you detoxify the nausea sensation?
We enjoyed the drive very much. The road condition was good, there was no traffic, and the weather was just perfect.
We concluded that it was one of the best driving last year.
Hey, there’s a bird sanctuary on the way, too. If you have time, go check it out.
There’re a lot of charming town on the way, but you might have a hard time finding a restaurant.
NH13 joined NH4 in the town of Chitradurga. And you know about NH4 from our previous post, right? There, we turned left and drove straight back to Pune.
Are we ever going to get bored of driving to Kerala. Oh, no! Never. Next time we do it via Goa. I know you can’t wait to hear about it.
Have a beautiful day,