Honda Drive To Discover 10: Karnataka To Goa
The 10th edition of Honda’s annual fest took us from the largest state in South India to the traveller’s paradise of our country
We all know what the pandemic did to the entire world at the onset of 2020. Everyone’s daily activities were halted abruptly and the lockdown left people wondering what to do with all the free time. I, on the other hand, was working from home all through the different phases of the lockdowns and, to be honest, I had started missing going out on trips or drives. So, an invite to Honda’s Drive to Discover 10 event was just what I needed.
Day 1: Arrival In Bengaluru And Drive To Chikmagalur
My journey began with a 9am flight from Pune to Bengaluru. On arrival, we were asked to head to the Taj Hotel opposite the Bengaluru airport, where we had lunch, followed by a briefing for the three-day event. After the presentation from Honda, we were paired up, and handed the keys to the car allotted to us.
The event was then flagged off, with all us auto journalists put in different cars from Honda’s present lineup: Jazz, Amaze, WR-V, and the new City. My colleague Gaurav Davare from ZigWheels and I were given the Jazz CVT. We all were en route to Chikmagalur (also known as the coffee land of Karnataka), with an evening break at a cafe in Hassan, roughly 180km from Taj Bengaluru. While Honda’s premium hatchback with the automatic gearbox eased things out for us on the highway, one of its downsides is that it likes to keep revving up, making you plan overtakes in advance.
From the cafe, all of us headed to Yagachi dam but unfortunately, our convoy wasn’t granted access inside its premises. That made us drive to the backside of the dam, which I have to admit, was one of the most picturesque spots I have ever been to. Naturally, it was time for a photoshoot amid that perfect backdrop.
The latter half of the evening was spent travelling from the location to our hotel in Chikmagalur. While the path towards the hotel was an uphill one, it was at that time that both of us felt lucky for having an automatic model that made driving along the narrow patches a breeze. It was followed by dinner and an end to the day’s 302km-long drive.
Day 2: Chikmagalur To Kundapura
Day two commenced with us getting up early in the morning to go to Mullyanagiri peak for some more photoshoot sessions. With the entire lineup of Honda at our disposal, there were no second guesses as to which car Gaurav and I would pick: the new City. It was the petrol-CVT model and, although the road was quite a twisty one, the sedan did not make us worry about the bad patches or sharp corners.
We then came back to the hotel, had breakfast, and awaited the keys to another car. Both of us got the WR-V diesel-manual and honestly, we were hoping for an automatic (since the first two cars had set the tone) but the sub-4m crossover from Honda, proved us wrong. Its 6-speed gearbox helped us tackle straight roads at the right speeds and even held its own on twisty roads on our way to Mangaluru.
The only break we took en route was for lunch at a restaurant that majorly serves seafood. Being a vegetarian, I believe you can guess what I may have opted for (read paneer). After lunch, both of us decided to try another model. We were asked to take the Amaze petrol-manual and I hopped into its driver’s seat. A few of us went to Kodi beach from the restaurant on wide roads with the sedan cruising at just the right speeds. After that, our convoy headed to our hotel in Kundapura. While the day’s drive was less than day one by 59km, the total distance travelled was 243km.
Day 3: Departure From Kundapura To Our Final Destination- Goa
Our third day at Honda’s event began with some of us proceeding to the scenic Maravanthe beach. This time around, we were allowed to take cars individually and it was the petrol-manual variant of Honda’s sub-4m sedan again, with the only difference being its exterior shade compared to the previous day’s model. It was one of the most gorgeous highways I have ever driven on, with an Amaze-ing view on both sides!
After arriving at our hotel and having breakfast, we left for our final destination, Goa, via Karwar. Both of us were put in the Amaze (yes, once again, albeit a diesel-manual) and I put my hands on it for the first half of the day’s trip. As soon as we hit the highway, I immediately realised that the sedan’s 1.5-litre diesel engine, with its output of 100PS/200Nm, is the one you would want on wide stretches of roads and at high speeds. During this drive, I even happened to try the cruise control feature (for the very first time in my life) and it was quick to impress me, working just the way I expected it to and disengaging when I applied the slightest of brakes.
At 5pm, we finally reached Goa after covering a total distance of 345km on the final day of our drive. Having reached earlier than most of our fellow journalists, both of us thought of exploring the resort including the marvellous Benaulim beach (of course we couldn’t miss that!). We were then treated to dinner at a beach shack that felt both surreal and blissful at the same time.
Finally, it was the day to end the road trip that gave me the chance to discover the beauty of the Western Ghats, traverse two immensely beautiful states, and, of course, get behind the wheels of the four Honda cars currently on sale. This trip has already set the ball rolling for me to plan other road journeys I wish to embark upon in the future.
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