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Pune to Bengaluru: Orange Travels Volvo B11R Celeste!

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Orange was my first choice as I searched for tickets for our (I and my gang) return from Pune, after the conference. I did look at the alternatives, but found Orange the most convenient. The tickets were booked about two weeks before the trip - we booked lower double berths towards the middle of the bus. The remained empty till about two days before the trip - I was a little tensed seeing the bus remain empty, since I didn't want to get stranded.

November 18, 2019:
It was a lazy day, punctuated with a really heavy lunch, from Raaga. The bus, Orange Travels, is usually parked only a few kilometres away from our hotel accommodation. However, while booking the tickets, I had selected a different point (since our hotel wasn't booked yet, then). I wanted to know if we could change the boarding point - and waited for the message containing the bus details to arrive. The message came, and the GPS tracking showed the bus was quite far - at the Volvo service centre to be accurate. The …

MSRTC 'Shivneri' Scania: Return to Pune, from Mumbai!

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November 15, 2019:
We were still on the Volvo from Pune to Mumbai, when we decided to reserve seats for our return journey as well. It was a Friday, and we were to return a little later in the night. I reserved our return tickets through the MSRTC website, on a bus departing from Dadar at 2030hrs - we needed a bus that went via Chinchwad (most other buses go via Aundh) as well. With confirmed tickets in hand already, we had about 3-and-a-half hours at our disposal in Mumbai.

So we get off the 12-coach EMU at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and slowly walk out of the station, slowly walking towards the bus station. We found the place from where buses to the Gateway would depart - purchased tickets and joined the queue for the next bus. We headed to the Gateway first, then to Marine Drive. We remained around until about 1900hrs, before taking a quite ice-cream break, and then to Churchgate, from where we took a local train to Dadar. After a quick pit-stop we rushed towards …

MSRTC 'Shivneri' Volvo B7R: To Gateway of India, from Pune!

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November 15, 2019:
After getting off the Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express (read here), we headed straight to the food court. After leaving the luggage there, in custody of my other colleagues, I headed to the ticket counter to get tickets for the connecting train to Chinchwad, where our accommodation was booked. After a little pushing around, and acrobatics, we got into a Lonavla bound Local train - sitting around the window seat, as the train hurried towards Chinchwad, somebody in the group asked the question -"What about heading to the Gateway of India?" (I think it was me, well, could be!) I looked at possible trains - and in fact, this plan actually was born after I spotted a train from Chinchwad to Panvel on a third party train tracking app.

All the members of our contingent approved the plan to head to Mumbai - to see the Gateway of India! We decided to book a ticket on the train - the IRCTC website didn't list the train for some reason. After a bit of searching ar…

Yeshwantpur to Pune: Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express

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The Brochure for this conference in Pune came quite some time back. I ignored it back then. As the date for the conference came closer, grew a desire to attend this event - the travel lover in me badly wanted to break free from the regular route of home to office and back. Four more colleagues joined in when I put the plan to head to Pune. So a total of 5 of us were traveling, and taking the train was the first call. I prefer avoiding trains when traveling alone - it gets boring when traveling alone in a train. With a gang of 5, it sure would be fun! We looked at all the options available, and finally decided to book on Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express - primarily for two reasons, confirmed ticket availability and a early drop in Pune. We booked tickets in 3A - thankfully, the tickets were together as well.

November 14, 2019:
The train departs at 1355hrs - meaning I had to leave from office by 1200hrs, at the latest. I had two hours of classes in the morning, which eventually got canc…

Chennai to Bengaluru: UST AC Sleeper

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I just came out of the University, and like luck would have it, a bus to Koyambedu turned up soon after I reached the bus stop. And it had plenty of vacant seats too! I grabbed one right behind the driver and started searching for tickets to return to Bengaluru. I had a little work the next morning, and hence looked at buses departing at noon or later. I wanted to try some new operator - so most of the older players were out of the race. I stumbled up on UST Bus as I looked for options on the app - they also had the single lower berth that I was searching for! I quickly grabbed the berth - applied a coupon that was provided, and bagged some cool discounts.

UST Bus, or Uma Shankar Transports, is a new operator on the route. They offer AC sleeper buses on the route - they operate a day service during weekends in addition to their regular overnight services. They operate a pair of AC Sleeper buses - built by Veera Vahana (Model - V7) on Ashok Leyland TF1812 Chassis. They claim to offer …

Bengaluru to Chennai: TranZking AC Sleeper

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I was undecided about this journey. I had to reach Chennai on November 1st - I was a little confused if I must reach there the previous night, or take an overnight bus, or take the early morning bus from Bengaluru. The first option was among my foremost choices - for the fact that I could sleep well overnight and appear fresh for the program that I had to attend. I searched over for options for a late afternoon or an early evening departure - a long weekend coming up meant high fares and poor availability in highly rated operators. I stumbled upon a vacant single lower berth on TranZking a day before the journey - a completely by chance finding, and I guess this turned vacant by somebody's cancellation.

October 31, 2019:
After a busy day at work, including an hour of theory lecture and a lot of running around for some administrative work, I walked out of office a little past noon for an early lunch at a restaurant nearby. I booked a cab as I finished my lunch - he took a while to …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: Airavat Club Class Volvo B9R

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Like everytime, I hadn't looked at other options for this journey either. I booked the ticket soon after reservations had opened - being right after Diwali, I was fairly sure about seats selling fast, and other options getting insanely expensive. 
October 29, 2019: It was really difficult to leave home - my kiddo was sleeping, deep asleep as I left home. I took a local bus to Palakkad. I got to the KSRTC bus station in Palakkad by around 2100hrs. My bus hadn't been brought to the platform yet. I was a little hungry - headed straight to a restaurant near the entry to the bus station - my bus was parked there. The crew were having their dinner at the same restaurant. I finished mine quickly and headed to the bus station - the bus was brought to the platform by then - a message containing the bus and crew details also came in by then. 
I was quite tired and sleepy - boarded the bus soon later. They hadn't turned on the airconditioner yet - it was stuffy inside the bus. They t…