We took the road route to go to Bangalore from Mumbai. Mainly because of Loki, driving down seemed like the best option both financially and practically.
We started early... packed idlis and chutneypudi (minus the chutney powder for Loki), and buttermilk for the way. Mapped the route on GPS, it was fairly straight forward, the only painful part being the endless toll booths one after the other in every section of the highway.
We must have left around 7:30am, and we made good time. Hit Belgaum by 2pm, including a couple of stops in between for lunch and chai. Loki surprisingly quite enjoyed the whole drive. Used to stick out his head from the window for a while, and when he got bored, curled up like a little ball and slept like a baby with his head on my lap. He did not bark or whine even once. He enjoyed the pitstops and the idlis and the rotis from a highway dhaba.
We had booked a couple of rooms at a home stay in Belgaum. One of the few places that did allow pets. It's called 'Nature n I'. A little away from the main city, the farmhouse was nestled inside a huge coconut grove, chikoo and fruit orchards. Loki loved the place at first sight, even after the long journey he was so excited to jump out of the car and explore the place.
I think for the first time we had let him free off his leash in the outdoors. Coming to think of it, it's really sad. In a city like Bombay, we are so used to living in tiny apartments. Taking your dog outside for a walk is no fun either. There are very few green areas and parks, the streets are crowded, and most people seem super scared of dogs in general, you always need to keep them leashed when you step out.
After he did a few rounds of exploring in the wilderness, he settled down this time for a proper snooze. The farmhouse was a modest bungalow with about 3-4 bedrooms. It was quite reasonable at about rs 1000/ 1500 per night and 100rs extra for food. The bathrooms were huge and clean, bedrooms were comfortable with fan and ac. The caretaker and his family were very sweet and helpful.
At the end we were happy about splitting the journey instead for the long 14 hr drive from Mumbai to Bangalore. I would definitely recommend staying over at 'Nature n I' if you are planning to do a long road trip through Belgaum.
Nature n I, Belgaum