Posts

Trivandrum to Ernakulam: by KSRTC's Garuda Maharaja

Image
I hadn't realised that I was stuck in Trivandrum, until I saw the crowd at the bus station! I hadn't really realised that I was traveling a day before a long long weekend - a Second Saturday, Sunday, followed by Kerala's "national" festival aka Hartal on Monday, an opportunity to 'fall sick' on Tuesday and Diwali holiday on Wednesday! Essentially a five day, extended weekend! Buses were sold out, while the unreserved ones had people ready to pounce the moment the door opened! I had no option but to stay over that night, and try my luck with early morning buses. Intuitively, I headed to the reservation website and found that the Scania bus to Coimbatore, leaving Trivandrum at 0400hrs, had 7 seats available - the last two rows! I grabbed one of them quickly - seat #41 was chosen.

October 14, 2017:
My phone woke me up at an unearthly 0245hrs! I remained groggy for a while, before darting out of my bed and getting ready. I checked out of the hotel at 0315hrs,…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R - a repeat!

Image
Call it coincidence, call it a repeat - I was all set to head home for a vacation, and I booked on the Bangalore-Ernakulam Volvo service of Kerala RTC once again! And like the last time, it was convenience that weighed over anything else. I had to delay my booking until the last minute, since I was really not sure if I'd be able to travel. My journey was confirmed only by around 1700hrs - I logged on to the website to see most forward half seats occupied. I quickly selected one in the rear half - #29 it was.

October 09, 2017:
Since it was vacation time, my colleague was also traveling to the bus station. So we decided to share a cab - the Ola cab came in about 5 minutes from booking - the guy got us to the satellite bus station in Peenya by about 1755hrs. While I was in the cab, I received a call from the bus conductor to confirm if I was boarding from Peenya itself - this was important since Peenya happens to be the default boarding point, and a lot of passengers forget to change…

Bangalore to Thrissur: Garuda King Class Volvo of KSRTC

Image
This was a pre-vacation trip home. I hadn't planned this trip, until a few weeks before I actually travelled. I was to return from home with my brother - and hence, I only had to take care of one way reservations. My travel was coinciding with a four day long weekend in Bengaluru - which means, every migrant in the city travels out. I decided to leave a few days earlier, using the compensatory offs I had accumulated at work. Leaving a couple of days earlier meant I was traveling on a weekday, and I had plenty of options to choose from. A slightly expensive but convenient Kerala State RTC Volvo or a cheaper Karnataka State RTC Scania! I chose the former since it starts from a bus station very close to my residence, and I am saved of all the inconvenience of having to travel to Shantinagar. 
September 26, 2017: After a tiring day at work, I hurried with my dinner - at 5pm! I hired an ola cab a little past 1715hrs, and rushed to Basaveshwara Bus Station - the satellite bus station lo…

Thrissur to Bengaluru on Airavat Diamond Class

Image
Getting a ticket to return from Kerala on weekends is not a joke - the fact that it was also during Onam celebrations compounded my miseries. Onam was on Monday, and I initially planned to return on Monday night - but there were no tickets. I checked for tickets from Coimbatore, which also seemed sold out. It dawned on me later that I would be travelling with lots of baggage, and there was no way I could do a split journey. I had to travel through in a single bus - then began the hunt for buses from Thrissur. I decided to travel a day earlier (which turned out to be a good decision) - and checked for tickets for Sunday night. Although this meant I had to spend the festive day at work, getting an affordable ticket was more important to me. 
I quickly checked Kerala RTC, which was sold out. My next stop was Karnataka RTC, which luckily had a couple of seats vacant for the 2133hrs Thrissur-Bangalore Airavat Diamond Class. And one of those empty seats was a window! I grabbed it without m…

Bangalore to Thrissur: On a Holiday special train!

Image
An innocuous message on our colleagues WhatsApp group informed me about a one-off special train on September 01, 2017 from Yeswantpur to Kochuveli. I had no intentions to go home for Onam till this message popped up - in fact, I had planned to spend the weekend with my colleagues. I had just shifted my home to a location closer to office, and I had my colleagues and students all around. The lure of traveling home for Onam was much stronger - I fired the IRCTC Connect App, and it showed that the special train had some 13 seats more in Three tier AC. I made a split second decision and grabbed one seat in 3A - I got one Side Upper Berth. Then began the hunt for the return ticket - more on that later!

A little later my colleague informed she was in S18 - "Sleeper Coach 18?", was the first question in my mind. The answer for my question came the next morning - as I spotted a special rake with 19 sleeper coaches, 2 AC 3-Tier coaches and 2 Luggage-cum-brake vans in the consist. I …

Kozhikode to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

Image
July 25, 2017: 
This was a journey that was booked at the last moment. I had to rush home for an emergency - I took a flight to go home (a ticket booked for a cheap price, at the last minute - I decided to enjoy that flight, and did not make note of the timeline at all). After my work at my home down was over, I headed out to Kodungallur town. A new bus service was being launched from my hometown to the temple town of Kollur (Mookambika) in Karnataka. I decided to attend the program - which went on till evening. I also decided to make a journey on the first trip - I was to travel to Kozhikode. Being the inaugural trip, the service was delayed, and I did not want to risk reserving my tickets to travel from Kozhikode to Bengaluru.

It was really hot out there, plus I was exhausted from the long hot day. I dozed off for a while, but the heat wasn't helping matters. I am not a fan of non-ac buses (especially for long rides) and the heat made things really bad for me. To add to my miser…

Kochi to Bengaluru on RedKnite's VT-CCU

Image
Whats up with the title, eh? RedKnite is the call sign of AirAsia India!

This flight was part of my (rather, our) return from Trivandrum. We had to book a flight from Kochi, instead of Trivandrum since flights out of TRV were very expensive (more than twice the rates out of Kochi). We hadn't opted for onboard meals, and hadn't web checked in either - since AirAsia has the habit of charging for seat selection even during check-in - very counter productive when it comes to the penny wise (pound foolish, as well) Indian public!

July 09, 2017:
We had traveled from Trivandrum to Ernakulam by train (Jan Shatabdi Express - read about that here), and then headed for a sumptuous breakfast at Hotel Dwaraka. Dwaraka is an old property, and has a fairly good vegetarian restaurant - that serves delicious dosas! After the breakfast, we hired an Ola to head to the airport - the 37 kilometre ride to the airport from MG road took a little over an hour. We reached the airport a little past 1210…