What Happens in Goa, Stays in Goa - Renault LiveLodgycal Ride

June 19, 2015 - I was at the Kandivali Railway Station in Mumbai, waiting for the local train to arrive. The indicator showed '00:00' instead of the expected arrival time, it was raining heavily and due to water logging, the trains were shut down. Instead of wasting time there, I ran out and tried looking for a cab. After struggling for half an hour, finally an auto-rickshaw agreed to take me to the airport. It was raining cats and dogs, I was on the Western Express Highway, the rickshaw was running at full speed, and this was my rocking start to the weekend at Goa.

It took me an hour to reach the airport from Kandivali. As soon as I entered the airport, I checked-in and collected my boarding pass. I met Pradosh at the airport, he was one of the bloggers who was joining me in Goa. We cleared security checks and straight away headed to the cafeteria. The flight was delayed because of bad weather conditions, it took off an hour later than scheduled.

Day 1: Arrival

The flight was an hour long, we landed at Dabholim Airport, Goa, and an hour later than we expected. We straight away headed out and instantly spotted a guy holding welcome board. He checked our names and told us to board the Hotel Bus, here we met some other bloggers who arrived before us. We boarded the Bus and waited for the arrival of other bloggers. Within half an hour, all were aboard. The bus now had some of the best & most creative bloggers from all over the country. The bus began the 1 hour 30 minute journey to The Leela Palace Resort. During the journey, we interacted with other bloggers, introduced ourselves & tried getting to know each other. Seated next to me was Aditi Mathur, who happened to be an Author & Blogger. It was nice catching up with an actual 'Published' Author :P

Around 5 in the evening, we reached our base - The Leela Palace resort, which was a five star property, beautifully built with amazing sights & views. There were lotus ponds, greenery and even a beach, at a five minute walking distance.

As we entered the hotel, we were welcomed with garlands & refreshing coconut water. Tea & snacks were waiting, we decided to check into our rooms & get freshened up. I was sharing my room with this great guy - Atul Sabnis, who was very friendly & warm person. We settled in our rooms, changed our clothes and left the room. 

A Lodgycal Start

We were told to show up at the ballroom at 7 PM, this is where we had an official round of introductions & some fun activities for the day. The show was hosted by RJ Archana, who looked stunning, was very charismatic & spontaneous. After that, Renault India's marketing team took the control, we went through a nice little presentation, which covered all little details about the Renault Lodgy car. Those who complained about Duster being a five-seater will be happy to know that Lodgy is a proper seven-seater car. The presentation was followed by a treasure hunt, where all bloggers were engaged in searching small alphabet chits and the team which finds all the alphabets required to make #LiveLodgycal, wins! Unfortunately, we didn't win. 

Since we were tired from all the traveling we did that day, BlogAdda wrapped up the session and called it a day. We had dinner and went back to our rooms. At this point, I got well along with Pradosh & Atul, that it made a group in ourselves. We decided to hang out for a bit more & celebrate this new friendship. We gathered in Pradosh's room after dinner, his roommate also joined us. To my surprise, his roommate was Arun Prabhudesai - a well-known Pro Blogger in India, he was one of my favorite bloggers and I was really happy to meet him in person. 

Our small hang out continued till 2 AM, after that I was feeling very sleepy & I left their room with Atul. At this point I thought of going straight away to bed, but no! There was more to it, after reaching our room, I & Atul got engaged in chatting, we were seated in the balcony of our room, facing a beautiful pond, in the rain, sipping tea, till 3 in the morning, after which I forced myself some sleep.

Day 2: Breakfast & Road Trip

Next morning, I woke up at 7:30 AM. The view from the balcony was amazing and I couldn't stop myself from clicking photos of the mesmerizing view. After taking a shower, I headed to The Restaurant for breakfast, with Atul, Pradosh & Arun. Today was the day, when we were actually going to experience Renault Lodgy. We quickly finished breakfast and joined our team members before the ride. My team was Team 2, #Whoosters. It had Manjulika, Pradosh, Rekha Kakkar and Jimmie Luthra, Yeah, that's me. After a planned photo shoot, all the teams got a Renault Lodgy each. There were different variants of Lodgy and we got a high-end one (Renault Lodgy 85ps RxZ).

Our destination was The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort in Canacona, approximately 37 km away from The Leela Palace. The drive started at 10:30 am, Rekha was at the wheel, Pradosh was riding shotgun, while I took the rear seat with Manjulika. The car was very spacious with lots of leg room, we were a task sheet which we had to complete during the day, the team which completes most of the tasks, wins big. Not only that, BlogAdda & Renault India team shot some more fun tasks on twitter, during the drive. To name a few of them; Spot a Yellow House & tweet the pic, Spot a buffalo, Spot Ducks, Frogs, A Lady with pink umbrella, etc. We managed to complete a few of them but we were more interested in enjoying the ride :)

It was drizzling outside, we were on NH17, listening to music which was playing in the car (Pradosh has some good music taste, I have to tell you) The sights were amazing, it was all green outside, I was loving it. It took us 2 hours to reach the destination. Throughout the road trip, we were so busy spotting & tweeting, that we took a wrong turn and deviated from the course. Thank god, we realized it before it was too late and using Google maps, we were back on track in no time.

Lunch at the Lalit Resort

The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort was another five star property, located in Canacona, South Goa. We parked our cars and straight away headed to the Beach, which was in walking distance from the hotel but we got a caddy ride. The sky was overcast, the winds were blowing, everyone was busy taking pictures, and it was a wonderful experience. We stayed there for half an hour or so, when suddenly the skies collide and it started raining cats & freaking dogs. All of us ran to the cars and entered the hotel. The Lunch was ready, and we were hungry like wild bears. We started stuffing our stomachs, while the team started shooting video bytes. RJ Archana questioned each and every one of us, about the car and experience so far. 

Driving Back to the Hotel

Once this was done, we once again hopped into our Renault Lodgy for the return drive. I once again chose to lie on the back seat (yes, we reclined the seats to max) and this time, Pradosh accompanied me. The drive back was again an amazing experience, the music was playing in the background, it was raining outside and the breathtaking views were usual. For the return drive, we were in Renault Lodgy's mid-range variant (110ps RxL) which was again amazing. Around 5 in the evening, we reached The Leela Resort, instead of heading to our room, we straight away went to Cavelossim beach, which was really close to the hotel. We sat there, waiting for the sun to set, until the rain once again showered all over our plans.

Rocking Night Ahead!

After the beach incident, we headed back to our rooms, there was a discussion panel planned at 7 PM, after getting ready for the closing ceremony. I met Atul & Pradosh in the lobby, we decided to skip the panel and sat there for a drink. After that we went to the ballroom where the discussion was about to end. After the panel, the Blogadda team announced open bar and soon a famous Goan band 'The ForeFronts' took the stage and rocked the night with catchy numbers. In no time, all of us were drunk and that's when we broke the stage with our moves. Soon the microphone was taken by Neha Sharma (a fashion blogger) and the stage was on fire. The night turned epic when the band played Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n' roses, everyone was on the floor. That's not all, after dinner, we decided to go for a personal after-party.

A Rocking Selfie after the party; from left; Atul Sabnis, Aditya Rao, Savio (Forefront drummer) and Jimmie ;)

The After-Party

We planned a personal After-Party after the dinner, Atul, Pradosh, Arun & I gathered in one of the rooms and had fun till 3 in the morning. I don't know when I dozed off because when I woke up, I was not in my room, I was in Arun's room. It was a hell of a night, I woke up at 8 AM and went to my room. Today was the last day in Goa, we had flights to catch in the afternoon.

Day 3: Heading Home

I skipped breakfast, we checked-out at 11 AM, boarded the bus at 11:30 AM with other fellow bloggers. Bidding goodbyes to new friends we made on the trip, exchanging numbers, etc. The bus left the hotel and took us to the Airport. The journey was an hour and half long. The flights again got delayed.

This was one of my most memorable trips so far, had lots of fun in Goa with some of the most creative & influencing people from all over the country. Thanks to Blogadda and Renault India for this wonderful experience, Thanks to The Leela Resort for their warm hospitality and finally Thanks to the Blogadda Team for choosing me as one of the Top 40 bloggers from all over the country. I was an unforgettable experience.

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by BlogAdda.com in association with Renault India.

About Jimmie Luthra

Jimmie Luthra is a Mariner, Tech enthusiast, Blogger and Gadget reviewer. He is fond of technology and is usually found playing with some piece of tech. He is also a Guitarist, Music lover & fitness freak.
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