Bangalore to Palakkad: Airavat Club Class Volvo B9R

A plan to visit TW's hometown was in the making ever since we got married in May. We did make a customary hurried visit, and had never been to head there all the time - some or the other thing happened every time we planned a journey. In the meantime, TW got employed and her office timings meant we couldn't plan a quick trip either. After going forth and back with the planning multiple times, we finally decide to travel during the extended weekend during Gandhi Jayanti. I wanted a bus that dropped us in Palakkad town for the outbound - this meant our options were limited to either KSRTCs. Karnataka SRTC was the call, since that was the only bus who's timings suited us.

September 29, 2018:
Like every time, I had a very busy day at office - reaching home well past 1800hrs. TW took a cab home, and she reached a little past 1830hrs. We quickly got fresh, and got moving by around 1930hrs or so - for a 2205hrs departure from Shantinagar. I briefly considered hiring a cab to the …

Kannur to Bengaluru: Golden Travels Volvo B8R

I hadn't considered other options when thinking of a bus journey from Kannur to Bengaluru - it had to be Golden! I had two reasons - one, they had brand new Volvo coaches, and two, they were the best on the route in terms of service and timings. Almost all the north kerala operators prefer bookings at their counters than online - they do not offer seats on online booking websites (not even their own website) during peak days. I was traveling right after the Onam weekend, and it was tough getting tickets. I briefly romanced the idea of taking a KSRTC bus for this single reason. A friend came to my rescue - he promised to get my seats blocked, and he did it for me. Since, it was during the peak season, the office staff suggested that I pay and confirm the seats - I just did that. A couple of days before I paid for my tickets, they replaced their buses with brand new Volvo B8Rs as well. So this was to be my first journey on a Volvo B8R.

As a matter of caution, I reconfirmed my reser…

Thrissur to Kannur by Intercity Express

The requirement was simple - we (I & TW) had to travel from Thrissur to Kannur to attend a wedding. I initially looked at buses - all of them were overnight journeys, but they had awful departure timings from Thrissur. Trains had even worse timings. I had to take the day train - like always. There were 5 trains with sitting accommodation - and I opted for the first train of the day, the 16305 Ernakulam Kannur Intercity Express. Our tickets were waitlisted at the time of booking. In the run-up to the journey, a lot of this happened - the deluge washed away a part of the permanent way. The railways worked on a war-foot basis to repair the damage. In the mean time, the ticket moved down from waitlist to confirmed. IRCTC sent me a message as soon as the ticket got confirmed. I received another message when the chart was prepared - this new message had the seat numbers as well.

August 26, 2018:
We started from home around 0620hrs - after a fairly heavy breakfast, with a very heavy hear…

Bangalore to Thrissur: Airavat Club Class 'Special'

There were a lot of uncertainties around the date of my journey back to Kerala to celebrate Onam. In the setting of the recent deluge in Kerala, celebrations were called off, and Onam was more of an "observance" than celebration this time. I had some office work that delayed my departure back to Kerala, and I finally managed to get two days off before the weekend. I initially planned to depart from Bengaluru on Friday (August 24) morning, getting home by evening. Some family reasons came in, and I had to be at home by Friday morning. Buses departing from Bengaluru on Thursday were more or less sold out, and the available ones were selling a jacked up prices. I decided to check with KSRTC once before I book a ticket to Coimbatore - bingo! KSRTC (Karnataka) had no less than 5 specials that evening - and all of them had a few seats. I picked one departing later in the night, and picked a window seat. The ticket was approximately 30% pricier than the regular services.

August 23,…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: Airavat Club Class Scania

This Onam trip home had a lot of twists. A lot of scheduling and rescheduling took place, and my trip was charted out with a solo return back to Bengaluru on August 19th. TW would stay back at my home, and join my parents in the festivities - while I'd return again for Onam a couple of days before Onam. I was to return on a Sunday - and all private operators were charging astronomical rates already. I had to decided between the two STUs - Kerala and Karnataka. The Kerala option was expensive, but would drop me at Peenya - the Karnataka option was cheaper (atleast two hundred rupees cheaper) but would drop me only at Majestic (the main bus station in Bengaluru) - I decided to choose the later - I still have no clue why did I select this option, though. The Karnataka STU gave me around 3 options - after looking at all of them, I chose my favorite service, the '2133TRCBNG' Airavat Club Class service. The bus was more or less filled already - seats were in the last few rows -…

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…