Showing posts from February, 2014

The first Scania Experience!

About a year ago - Scania hit the headlines with the announcement of launch of their bus model. Shortly after the news came out, first pics of the bus appeared online. The bus looked quite boxy, but the design looked good. About a month later, a friend called me to see the bus in person - I saw the bus inside out, and was surprised with the build quality of the bus. Days gave way to weeks, then months and almost a year went by. The commercial launch of the bus kept getting postponed time and again. One fine day, a friend messages that the first Scania has reached the country - and a few days later, got information that the bus has reached a reputed body builder for painting. Few more days later, the bus was spotted on the road by a friend. Then came the news of the launch by KPN, at Salem (Sadly, couldn't make it to the launch event). A few days later, the bus was on the road. And, One fine morning, saw the bus in close quarters on my way to office. There started the desire to t

To Kottayam on SLS..

A classmates wedding in Kottayam - the invite came a good 1.5 months early. I hadn't reserved any ticket, and was undecided till the last moment. I was confused between private and Government buses. Karnataka SRTC was on the shortlist for sometime - but the prospect of having to travel in a bus operated by crew who hardly bother about time did bother me. I have often seen the KaSRTC Kottayam bus taking 11-12 hours to reach Thrissur itself - I wanted to reach Kottayam before 8 so that I have enough time to get fresh. The next shortlist was Kerala SRTC's two Super Deluxes - one via Gudalur and the other via Salem. I kept these on waitlist since I was a bit confused on taking a non-AC bus since it was a long day ahead. Next on the list was Kerala Lines - but I was told that the bus wasn't running that day. I had tried Shama a few months ago - did not want a re-run of that day, and the bus stops for Dinner - I, for some reason, prefer a non-stop service. Next was SLS - I have

Kannur to Bangalore, by Airavat

Soon after getting the date for the wedding at Kannur, I made sure to set a remainder on my phone to book a ticket for my return journey from there. For some reason, Malabar operators aren't very tech savvy - they don't put many seats online, nor do they sell tickets on phone. This trip being on a Sunday, I did not want to take risk waiting to book a ticket on a private bus, and the fact that I've not tried Airavats on this route made booking a ticket on KSRTC the first option. I had another reason too - that I could park my car at Shantinagar bus station, so that I need not haggle with the auto guys after arriving in the morning. I logged into KSRTC's Awatar website exactly a month before my journey date - I was a bit surprised seeing three Airavats listed! The first one was a bit too early, and the last one appeared a bit late (arrival in Bangalore). I decided to play safe, and booked on the 2031CNRBNG schedule. February 09, 2014: On the evening of my journey, I g

On the Golden B7R, to Kannur

A wedding in Kannur, of a close relative - necessitating a visit there. Selecting a bus to go to Kannur was a no-brainer - I had selected Golden B7R, because it was a new bus and I had liked Golden service the last time as well. Did not book the ticket online, but decided to get it through Friends Travels. For some reason, their chart wasn't open when I went to them - booked the ticket later on. For the return, I had chosen Karnataka SRTC - because of the comfort of being able to get off at Shantinagar, and that I could park my car there. February 8, 2014: I was getting tensed as I waited for the clock to hit 5pm. It was exactly 5pm as I rushed out of office and ran to the parking. Started from there around 1710hrs - and took the Abbigere-Gangamma Circle-Ramiah-Mekhri-Cubbon route to reach Shantinagar. I was on fire  till I passed Mekhri Circle. Then slowed down a bit and got very relaxed as I passed Cubbon park. I reached Shantinagar TTMC at around 1815hrs. Parked my car at

The Mystic "Ordinary" ride through Gavi

A photo showing a Kerala RTC bus making its way through dense fog through a place called “Gavi”, appeared in a famous Malayalam magazine sometime in 2009. I had never heard of this place anytime before this article appeared. The travel freak in me took me to Google Maps – I understood that this place was nestled deep in the forest somewhere in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. After some Googling around, I discovered that Kerala RTC operates a couple of services to this place. All these in formations ignited that desire to visit Gavi. Years rolled past – a lot of photos from this place appeared on the internet, including a marvellous travelogue on Team-BHP. Given the road conditions, I had ruled out driving there – but taking the bus was still possible. In the mean time a marvellous rollicking comedy movie, Ordinary introduced Gavi to Keralites. I had almost forgotten about Gavi as I indulged in official duty in Bangalore. With the start of 2013’s Monsoon, Gavi came to the