Bangalore to Thrissur: Orange Travels BharatBenz AC Sleeper

I had my eyes on a particular service - 'OTT-1043' operated by Orange Travels, as we charted out our plans to head home to celebrate our first Onam together. This particular service is operated using a BharatBenz bus. Bookings weren't open yet, and I wanted to see how they price the service. The booking opened on July 16 for my travel on August 14. I was surprised to see the bus was priced at the normal ticket rate - not jacked up fares as is the norm during peak seasons. I held on for a couple of days - finally picked up two tickets through the Orange website on July 19, 2018. I hadn't looked at other options this time - badly wanted to try the BharatBenz, you see!

Kerala was reeling under the worst rain related deluge in recent times - dams were opening one after the other. As the D-Day came closer, I was worried if the trip would really happen. Rain mellowed down as the week began, giving me more hopes.

August 14, 2018:
It was wet day. It rained through the day in B…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda Maharaja

Booking tickets for our return from Kerala after attending a CEP was a little tricky. We were returning only on Monday and hence I had to look for buses that were consistent with their arrival in Bengaluru. After some thinking over, searching, introspection - and what not, I finalise the Kottarakkara-Bengaluru service operated by Kerala State RTC. The bus was quite empty at the time of booking - we booked seats on the right side of the bus, towards the middle.

July 16, 2018:
I had gone to Ernakulam during the day, and had missed my lunch. I had a late lunch after getting back home around 1630hrs or so. We left home around 1800hrs - since our bus to Bangalore had a scheduled departure time of 1950hrs from Thrissur (a highly impossible time, though). Soon after we got to the bus stop, a bus operated by KK Menon Transports pulled in - my favorite operator on the route, who returned to the scene after a brief hiatus. The bus ambled along the state highway towards Thrissur. Rain began belt…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: KSRTC Garuda King Class

July had just begun. We (I and TW) were planning to travel to Coastal Karnataka during the mid of July - but certain issues like the monsoon nagged me. A few days later, I received a notification on my mail inviting me to attend a continuing education program conducted by the Kerala State Pharmacy Council. Continuing education is an important component in professions like mine, I was committed to attend this one. The program was over the weekend, and I had to confirm availability of tickets before I committed to attend. Like every time, I headed to the Kerala RTC website and searched for tickets in my favorite service - the Ernakulam Volvo. For some reason, they were charging higher fares for this service, and I decided to give the Kottayam service a try instead. The Kottayam Volvo was rescheduled a few months ago, to leave as the last AC service from Bengaluru.

July 13, 2018:
It was a little busy day for me. TW was celebrating her birthday, and we got a little delayed due to the cele…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class

This trip was to bring back TW to Bengaluru from my hometown. I did not search a lot while booking this ticket - headed to the Kerala SRTC website straightaway, and booked two seats on the Ernakulam-Bengaluru Garuda King Class (Volvo Multi-Axle) service. Interestingly, this bus offered the cheapest fares for that day (among AC buses) as well.

June 24, 2018:
This was my first visit back home after marriage - it was tough to leave home, like every time. We left home a little past 1845hrs - with a target of reaching Thrissur by 2000hrs, giving us sufficient time to have dinner as well. The backup plan was to have dinner where ever the bus stops for a break. We managed to get a bus soon, and could reach Thrissur by around 2000hrs or so. Although I had plans to go to a famous restaurant nearby, the prospect to having to lug the bags for quite some distance made me drop the idea. We stopped by at a hotel right outside the bus station - and, to be honest, I had no expectations from them give…

Mangalore to Kodungallur: KSRTC Super Deluxe

It had been a long time since I went home. TW had headed to my place as well. Selecting a bus to head home was a task in itself. I was confused between the two RTCs - Both Kerala and Karnataka offered AC services. The Kerala one left very early - was, hence, ruled out. Kerala also offered a Deluxe bus going straight to my home town, while Karnataka offered a new Volvo B11R, which would drop me at Thrissur. It was a tough decision, and I finally picked the Kerala RTC Super Deluxe bus that would drop me at my home town! I decided to try our redBus, which has been offering bookings for Kerala SRTC off late. A coupon code helped me earn some cash back as well.

June 22, 2018:
I returned to my hotel room a little past afternoon - spent some time spotting some buses, then headed to Ideal Cafe for some fingerlicking good Neer Dose and equally awesome Smoothie. I returned to my hotel room by evening, and slept for a while. I checked out of the hotel, and headed to the bus station (Bejai) by ar…

Bengaluru to Mangaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

Mangalore was the first among my series of Exam duties to be confirmed. I hadn't booked tickets for quite a while, remaining confused about which bus to book on. I had predecided that it would be by KSRTC - but the question was, which among the many Airavat Club Classes that operate at night! I also wanted to travel in a new bus - the new Volvo B11R. I spent most of my time trying to understand which all schedules got the new bus regularly. After a lot of searching around, I picked one bus that left past 2200hrs - this was because I was sure the day would be really busy at work, and I had to have some breathing time. I selected KBS as my pick-up point as well.

June 21, 2018:
The day was really hectic at work - a really busy day. I was quite tired and drained as I walked into my house well past 1900hrs after running around in office the entire day. I had no time to rest - get fresh, pack and get moving again - for the last of the exam duties for this "season". I started f…

Gulbarga to Bengaluru by train: 22133 Solapur Yeshwantpur Express

Based on my previous experiences, I had finalised to take a train to return from Gulbarga (Kalaburagi). My earlier experience with the bus wasn't great, and I had to be in office early that morning since I had an exam to officiate, and it later turned out that I had to also be present for an inspection by a statutory agency. I looked at all the options available - there is only one train that actually met my requirements - and that was the 22133 Solapur Yeshwantpur Express. The train had lots of tickets available when I first checked for tickets, but I kept the decision pending, and by the time I booked, the availability had already dropped to RAC6. With no choices left, I just grabbed one ticket on that train in Two-Tier AC Sleeper aka Second AC.

June 20, 2018:
I had a fairly busy day at work. The exam took quite some time to complete - was done a little before evening. Like every time, I visited a bakery in the evening - Srinivasa Iyengar Bakery, which was close to my accommodat…