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Showing posts from June, 2013

Kallada G4: Trivandrum to Bangalore via Nagercoil

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Another reason to travel to Kerala, and this time to Trivandrum too - a seminar. I did not look much when deciding on which bus for my return journey - I was particular that I wanted to travel via Nagercoil this time. The seminar would run late into the evening, and hence wanted to have some breathing time - the decision was simple, as I booked a seat on Kallada G4. So it was Kallada G4.

June 17, 2013:
As expected, the seminar ran quite late, and I had to leave the seminar before it got over. A quick visit to Thampanoor and some bus spotting, I headed back to Jay's home. It rained on my way back, and Thampanoor was flooded. It was a messy auto ride to reach his place. Jay's mom had prepared delicious dinner for that night and his dad offered to drop me at my pick-up point. We left home around 1925hrs. It was a very short journey to the pick-up point. I reached there by 1945hrs. A couple of A1 Travels buses, the Suresh Kallada buses to Bangalore (both the B9R and the Mercedes S…

Kallada B9R: Thrissur to Trivandrum

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This was one of the biggest confusions I've ever had when booking a bus journey - Which bus? I was searching for a bus for a 250km ride from Thrissur/Ernakulam to Trivandrum. My only requirement was it should be an AC bus - I did not want to risk getting wet in a non-ac bus given the torrential rains in Kerala. I got some inputs, and I confused myself. I struck off KTC from my list - for the lack of a good boarding point and it was expensive as well (for the distance). I thought of trying the new ACC of KaSRTC running in the Mysore-TVM route, but it did not let me book tickets for Thrissur to Trivandrum. Later, I overran its reservation timing, and the bus did not appear on the booking portal when I logged in. As time ran short, I had not much option - so Kallada it was. Now came the next confusion - which service? They had buses at 0100, 0115, 0300 and 0345hrs from Thrissur. I took the 0100hrs service - chose a seat towards the back, and booked it online.

Now comes the next prob…

Kallada G4: Bangalore to Thrissur.. G4 after long..

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The third Saturday of June - my traveling weekend. I had planned to head to Chennai that weekend, of course for another round of the Monster Fever. But there was something else in store for me - an invitation for a Seminar in Trivandrum - a chance to meet my beloved teacher. I thought of tweaking the Chennai trip and heading to Trivandrum from there.. but as usual, a call home, and the route was changed to via Kodungallur now. Deciding the operator to take was also a no-nonsense work - it was Kallada G4 this time, after a long long gap. My last journey with them was in January this year - a good 6 months gap since. Just dropped in to Friend's Travels, and got a seat blocked. Booking my return ticket was a bit tricky - that comes in another post.

June 14, 2013:
College was eventless - reached home at my usual timings. Spent some time with my niece. In all the melee, I got late for dinner. I left home at 2130hrs for a bus departing at 2200hrs, that too on a Friday night! Sure recipe…

Ernakulam to Bangalore: SRM iShift B9R

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End of May, Cousin's wedding, longing to go home - it was deadly combination. It was sure that I had to go for the wedding, and I wanted to have a hassle free journey. It took quite some time for me to evaluate all the options available to me - the process started in the first week of April itself. Since end of May is a peak time for buses - end of vacations and a Sunday too! Did not want to take a risk waiting till May to book my tickets. I wanted a bus that leaves late in the night - I wasn't really particular about an early arrival in Bangalore. I thought of taking the non-stop KaSRTC - but was vary of its arrival time in Bangalore, and the awful driving style too. Kallada sleeper was not listed then. The late night options available to me were from Kallada (Suresh), Kallada (G4) and SRM. I decided to go with SRM this time - to see if its really worth the hype some people spread. I booked the tickets soon after the booking was opened (in the middle of April) - I was actual…

Bangalore to Thrissur: In Kallada's newest B11R!

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This visit - the fourth in the month of May - was to attend my cousin's wedding. The function was on Saturday, and my initial plan was to reach there on Saturday morning. There were some functions the previous night - and I was in dilemma to attend the functions or not. The thoughts kept racking my mind for quite some time. I had booked my return ticket a month in advance itself - for the simple reason that it was the last Sunday of May, and the end of the summer vacations - so it was a risk waiting till late to get a ticket. But I hadn't booked my outbound due to the confusions. I somehow decided to take a leave on Friday as well, and leave on Thursday night. I thought it would be easy to get tickets - but I was wrong! Almost all buses were sold out, and the remaining ones had seats at the back. I was half-minded about booking in Kallada's Kodungallur bus - but the seats were at the back. I hadn't finalised any bus. A contact in Kallada messaged me that their new B11…

Back to Bangalore on our good ol' Garuda

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The temptation of going home - at the peak of the vacation, without prior ticket booking! None of the regular operators had tickets, and the few available tickets on online booking portals were being sold for astronomical rates. I thought of checking our good ol' Kerala SRTC Garuda Volvo - it had lots of tickets! Not thinking further, I booked one for me. I was to travel by Garuda after a lot of time now! I normally prefer seats on the right side, but had to book one on the left side this time. The ticket worked out to a few rupees below Rs. 1000. The odd system followed by KeSRTC means I had to pay for an end-to-end ticket!

May 19, 2013:
Around 6pm - I search on the KeSRTC website to get the phone number of the conductor working the schedule. I call up the first number, and I get an "Out of network" message in Tamil. So that confirms that I had to call the other number. I call that number and hear an evergreen malayalam song as the caller tune - the person at the other …

Atlas Luxura Sleeper: Bangalore to Thrissur

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The third Saturday of May. I wasn't planning to go home that weekend, but I couldn't resist the temptation of going home again that weekend. I wasn't very sure of my travel plans, and hence hadn't booked any tickets as well. As the temptation grew, I booked my return ticket - on the good old Kerala SRTC Garuda Volvo B7R. Selecting the outbound was a bit confusing. I wanted to try the Luxura Sleeper, but the ticket was being sold on RedBus for some eye-popping rates. I wasn't keen on spending that kinda money for an overnight journey. I decided to check rates at their office and then make a call. I went to their office on a working day and asked for a ticket - the Madiwala office had to call up their main office to get details of seats. They asked my preferences and got a seat - it was an upper berth, while I would've been happier had it been a lower berth. The fare was about Rs. 600 less than what was put on RedBus!! I was booking a ticket through an agent afte…

My first: Kallada's Volvo B9R Sleeper!

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Every time I saw a Volvo sleeper, I wondered how the interiors would be. I normally do not check the interiors during my bus spotting trips - so never had a look at the interiors of a Volvo Sleeper. I was elated when the news of Kallada getting a B9R Sleeper reached me - and the icing was that it was running to Ernakulam. Days flew past, and one fine day I saw pics of the new Kallada Sleeper on the net. My contact helped me have a pre-launch look at the bus - I was not very impressed with the workmanship in the interiors - all from a major body builder. I did not have a chance to try the sleeper after it was launched - all my trips were planned at the last moment, and hence I never had the chance to book on this one. Choosing this service was a no-brainer for my return trip from Kerala, after my first visit home in May. The ticket was booked through a third party website, thus saving some money. I got a berth towards the back - a single lower berth.

May 13, 2013:
It was one tiring day…