SRS Mercedes Benz SHD: Nellore to Bengaluru

I was browsing a famous ticket booking website for options for my return journey from Nellore to Bengaluru. SRS Travels caught my attention - since the vehicle type was listed as "Mercedes Benz Multi-Axle". I checked on the SRS website and confirmed this information. I further checked on facebook and ensured that the service was actually operated by a Mercedes Benz multi-axle coach. I booked my ticket through the SRS website, which guaranteed a discount on the ticket fare. The final cost of the ticket was close to Rs. 400 less than what I paid for the outbound!

March 09, 2018:
I checked out of the hotel at Ayyappagudi, by around 2030hrs - my bus was scheduled to depart at 2200hrs from Madras Bus Stand. I had called up SRS Travels earlier in the evening to confirm the location of the pick-up point, and had confirmed the departure time as well. I waited for a while to see if I could get a bus, but finally settled for a share autorickshaw, who dropped me near the bus station by…

APSRTC Amaravati: Bengaluru to Nellore

One hot day in Kerala, sometime past noon - I receive a call from an unknown number - the caller identifies himself as a faculty member at a Pharmacy college in the coastal Andhra Pradesh town of Nellore. The call was to invite me as a resource person at a national conference organised by the college. After due clarifications, I accept the offer. A few days pass without much movement - and about a week later, the official invitation arrives in my mail box. I did not book tickets until a few days before the event - the host at the institution in Nellore followed up duly to ensure I booked my tickets, and he confirmed my arrival time at Nellore. I badly wanted to try APSRTC - their fares were the highest on the route - almost twice the fares charged by private operators. After dilly-dallying for a few days further, I finally book my ticket on the APSRTC Amaravati departing Bengaluru at night.

March 08, 2018:
I was laid back - the bus leaves only at 2300hrs. I had a very relaxed dinner f…

On 'Asafoetida': Kochi to Bengaluru

I wasn't supposed to fly this day - certain life events made me a little cautious about the number of leaves I took during the year, and this made me rethink about the travel plan that I had for end of February. I had originally planned to take three days off and return over the weekend with family - with my new found caution for leaves, I decided to fly back on Friday after attending a family function late on Thursday night. My outbound was already booked on go Air (Read here). I looked at various OTAs for flight tickets, and found a deal on SpiceJet. I hadn't flown SpiceJet for a long time, and I booked a ticket without a second thought, along with a Seat+Meal Combo as well, since I would be flying around lunch time.

February 23, 2018:
I hadn't slept well that night, and I was feverish as I woke up around 0900hrs. I had to leave home by 1000hrs to make it to the airport on time for a 1310hrs departure. Noon is a peak hour for Kochi airport, and I had to account for the l…

go to Kochi!

I was on the hunt for what was originally the first journey of 2018! A ticket to travel to Kochi towards the end of February - and I was still in the first week of January 2018. Almost every airline offered tickets at Sale prices. My favorite OTA listed Go Air as the cheapest. Go Air is a new entrant on the Bengaluru-Kochi Sector, a re-entry rather. I opted to book the ticket on the Go Air website instead - the website was clumsy, and the progress through the booking was slow. I finally booked my first ever ticket on Go Air for the Kochi sector - I added a meal - 'Veg Smart Snack' and opted for a 'free' seat as well.

February 21, 2018:
It was an unusually busy day at office - I could get free much later than expected, and I had to literally hurry my way to the airport. I did not want to take a cab, and opted to hire an autorickshaw to the nearest 'airport bus' stop. I managed to get a bus quickly, and managed to get to the airport a little before 1600hrs. I hur…

Evacay Scania: Bangalore to Coimbatore

I generally stay away from family functions - but, for some reason decided to attend a cousin's marriage in Palakkad. The initial plan was to accompany my family the previous day, but certain circumstances forced me to rethink, since traveling with them would need me take a day off. I decided to travel later in the day, so that I can save a leave, and also travel by bus! I badly wanted to try the new sensation on the route - Evacay Travels! I did not put in a lot of thought before booking - Evacay was the most expensive among the lot - SRS, Conti, KPN, MSS all offered cheaper rates - but the decision was already made. This was the first journey of 2018, and it had to have something new - a new operator was the best choice, IMO. My ticket was booked through RedBus (for no particular reason) - and the mTicket popped up on WhatsApp in no time!

February 03, 2018:
I left my office after working half day, on an Uber cab towards Madiwala. Evacay, interestingly, starts its service from Ma…

2017: In a nutshell!

Two Thousand Seventeen was one helluva year!

Although certain things I'd loved to have happened didn't, but a whole lot of surprises happened!

The year 2017 saw me flying out of India for the first time - a trip to the United States of America! Spending 40 days in the US, making the most of my first trip out of India! A visit to NY, and then to DC!

The year saw me taking 18 flights, covering almost 22K miles! There wasn't a lot of traveling in the year - except the visit to the US. I was lucky to even travel in buses in the US - a completely different experience in itself! I could even try an Amtrak journey in the US!

A whole lot of train journeys, even more bus journeys as well in the country!

Personally, the year was a mixed bag - some good things, some bad things in the life. All said, I still loved every bit of the year! I've been living my life to the fullest, and hope to continue doing that in the years to come!

Lets turn pages for a whole new year!

Wishing all m…

Mangalore to Bangalore on KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

December 10, 2017:
As I completed the examination paperwork, I logged on to the KSRTC website and looked for the next available bus to Bengaluru, and zeroed in on the 1400 departure - this was an Airavat Diamond Class (Scania 13.7M), operating on the Mangalore-Bangalore-Tirupati route. I completed the examination work, and set out to the bus station. I requested the driver to drop me at New Taj Mahal Cafe, since I had to pickup some sweets and other snacks to take back to Bangalore.

I got to the bus station by about 1300hrs - the bus was yet to be brought from the depot. The bus was brought in by around 1330hrs - the crew did not take the bus to the platform until about 1340hrs. Meanwhile, I received an SMS confirming the bus number. Boarding commenced a while past 1345hrs - most of the seats were prereserved, while the crew managed to get passengers for the remaining seats.

The bus pulled out of the bus station at 1402hrs - with more or less all the seats occupied, except those with …