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Showing posts from October, 2014

Mysore to Bangalore in Airavat Club Class

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September 09, 2014:
The first thing on my mind as I walked out of the conference hall in JSS Hospital was to reach Bangalore as soon as possible. I took an auto to the Suburban Bus Station. I had to collect my bag from the hotel I was put up in Mysore - so collected my baggage and headed back to the bus station. As I walked into the bus station, I saw an Airavat Club Class of Bangalore Depot-4 rushing towards the Bangalore Platform. The bus was the first Multi-axle bus of Karnataka RTC - KA-01-F-9133. I walked as fast as I could with the baggage towards the platform. As I reached the platform, the conductor was busy shouting Bengaloor Bengaloor Bengaloor!
The bus was working Kozhikode-Bangalore day service schedule that day - I guess the regular bus had gone for maintenance. The bus wasn't very crowded - just about 20 passengers or so. I headed towards the rear and took a seat in the rear half of the bus. The interiors seemed worn out - the bus was about 4 years old, and the light…

Bangalore to Thrissur by Kerala RTC Volvo B9R - again!

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It was time for another trip to Kerala – another short vacation. This time the mood wasn’t upbeat since I had to attend the post funeral rites of my Grandmother, who passed away the previous week. My office was kind to approve my vacation. All the buses on Friday were going full, and I did not have any bookings – I decided to start on Saturday afternoon instead – because I badly wanted to sleep without the fear of an alarm.

October 18, 2014: I had a nice leisurely sleep and woke up very late in the morning. Being a weekend before a long Diwali week, even the day bus was running full that day. Many colleges too were closing that week, and a lot of students were heading to their home towns. Of late, the airline bug has bitten me as well, and I was checking for any last minute deals – almost clinched one, but a power failure and the associated loss of internet connection made me lose the deal. I left home sometime towards noon, and headed straight to a restaurant and had a brunch. The st…

COK to BLR by Indigo A320

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I just got the sanction for a 10 day vacation and wanted to make the most of it – and returning by air was the only way to optimize my days at home. I spent time pondering on various travel websites looking for cheap options to return from home. Airfares were quite over the roof for the date I wanted, and had almost decided to book a bus. I was shocked seeing bus fares around the same range as air-tickets. After spending some more time searching for tickets, I zeroed in on Indigo 412 – which had a late evening departure (2050hrs) and was selling for ₹2399 (the lowest for that date). I selected a free seat and option for the advance check-in option as well. Days flew by, and I was on the last date of my vacation – like everybody, I had a heavy heart and longed to spend some more days at home. Sometime around 11AM, my paternal grandmother passed away, and I had to cancel the trip. The funeral got over late in the night, and I planned to take a day-time bus for my return.
Since I slept…

Bangalore to Thrissur - Kerala RTC Volvo B9R

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A four day weekend in October - coinciding with Gandhi Jayanti - was an indication for yet another trip home. I had decided to book on either of the KSRTCs for my trip. KaSRTC opened tickets one month in advance - the tickets in regular buses itself were overpriced on the opening day itself. I did not feel like booking an overpriced ticket knowing very well that they'd not stick to the schedule. So the next option was Kerala RTC. I decided to stay awake at night and book a ticket on the opening day. But my experience during opening day for Onam sent shivers down my spine - I had two back-to-back failed transactions that time. I did not want a repeat of that. I checked for tickets at 00:00hrs on 11-September-2014. The site did not open at all - forget booking a ticket. Since the next day was working, I set an alarm for 5.30am and slept off. Woke up in the morning, and found 4 unsold seats in the 2000hrs Ernakulam Multi-axle. I tried booking one of them, but continuously got an err…

COK to BLR by JetKonnect ATR72

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After getting a cheap ticket to fly to Kochi, I was on the hunt for the return ticket. I checked various reservation websites, and also different airline sites. On one portal, I found a JetKonnect flight for 1400-odd. I quickly checked with the official website which had fares slightly higher than the other portal. Since low fares often do not last long, I quickly booked the ticket with the 3rd party portal. Applied a coupon code and saved a little more money on the booking.

September 21, 2014:
The flight was to depart at 2215hrs. Sometime in the morning, I remembered about the web-check-in option, and checked in using the Jet Airways website. I used the mBoarding pass option, and got an image file on my phone. One needs to print the boarding pass at the self check-in counters in the Airport. I left home around 8pm - my dad was dropping me at the airport. I reached the airport around 9pm. The domestic terminal was quite deserted at the time - a few passengers were at the check-in coun…

BLR to COK by SpiceJet B738

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One night in the last week of August. Quite a lot of advertisements on newspapers about cheap airtickets made me a bit curious. The last time I flew was in the pre-recession period - back in 2008. I was curious if the fares advertised was all-inclusive or the old trick of announcing only the base fares. I got busy browsing some prominent travel portals. To test how cheap flying could be, I checked tickets for Onam - with a September 05 departure from Bangalore. Bus fares for the same date were in the 1.8~2.6K range. The air fares were in the 2.0~2.4K range! I was a bit surprised, and toyed with the idea of booking a ticket if I could get tickets for my return. I put off the idea and decided to fly two weeks later, and managed to get tickets for Rs. 1430 on an evening departure of SpiceJet to Kochi. Then the hunt for the return ticket began, and managed a cheap ticket on JetKonnect.

September 19, 2014:
I left my office in the after lunch. I was taking a bus to the airport for the first…

Trivandrum to Mysore by Airavat Club Class

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There are very few options from Trivandrum to Mysore - and taking a decision was fairly simple. Once I got into the booking process, it turned to be not so simple as thought to be. There were three options - one Kerala RTC Multi-Axle, one Karnataka RTC Airavat Club Class and one Kallada Multi-Axle, arranged in the order of increasing costs. I wanted to try the Kerala RTC bus, but it was already sold out. The next was the Airavat Club Class - it had two rows available at the back, and I quickly bought a seat on this bus. I got seat #44.

September 14, 2014:
I checked out my room and slowly walked out of the hotel around 6pm. It was drizzling a bit then. As I walked, the rain slowly strengthened. By the time I reached the KSRTC bus station, it turned into a downpour - I got a bit wet by the time I entered the terminal building. This was my first visit to the new terminal building after it was opened. The terminal building seemed incomplete - no shops were opened yet. While I was waiting …

On Kallada G4, Bangalore to Trivandrum via Nagercoil

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A message on Whatsapp on a normal Friday evening. An invitation for a new bus launch even in Trivandrum. That was an invitation I couldn't refuse. I was in a quandry - I was supposed to attend a training program in Mysore starting that Monday. However, I wasn't yet confirmed for the Mysore event. On Saturday, I received a confirmation that I should be going to Mysore for the program. Soon after the confirmation came, I called up Friends Travels Madiwala and asked for the status of Trivandrum buses that evening - I was told that all of them were available. I did not block a seat and decided to walk in to Friends travels that evening.

September 13, 2014:
The paperwork for the training program that I had to attend in Mysore was taking up a lot of time - it was almost 1730hrs by the time I left home. I had to hurry once I was at home - packed my baggage, got fresh and had my dinner. My brother dropped me at Madiwala - I was in Madiwala to board a bus after a really long time. The …

A long journey from Thrissur to Bangalore by a KSRTC Airavat

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I made a calculation mistake, and I ended up not booking any ticket for that long weekend in August. That long Independence day weekend. I realised it quite late, and was shocked to see that all the buses were sold out. The few private buses remaining had seats at astronomical rates. I was sure that I did not want to spend large amounts on a bus ticket. I had two options - one cancel the trip, or make a break-journey. While searching the Awatar website of Karnataka RTC, I found that the 1535hrs Thrissur-Bangalore Airavat (via Gudalur) had some seats available - I grabbed a seat without much delay. The ticket was priced higher than normal days, but was still in the affordable range. For some vague reason, I chose a seat at the first row. I've never been comfortable sitting in the first row in a Volvo, especially for night runs. I hardly had time at home in this trip - most of the time was spent sleeping at home, and the rest roaming around.

August 17, 2014:
My brother dropped me at…