Showing posts from 2018

Vijayapura to Bengaluru: Orange Travels AC Sleeper

Selection of the operator for my return journey from Vijayapura (Bijapur) was easy - there weren't too many operators, and only a handful of Air conditioned options existed. I picked Orange travels from among the choices I had. Orange offered a discount for booking through their website. While using the website, I realised that Orange even offered discounts for regular passengers (using the last traveled ticket's PNR as the discount code). Since I booked fairly in advance, I could get a single lower berth.

June 11, 2018:
The accommodation provided by the examination centre was at a poorly connected place. I had to leave sufficiently in advance to get to the pick-up point on time, and also have my dinner. The pick-up point was displayed as "Hotel Lalit Mahal Complex". I had to spend some time waiting before I got an auto. I headed straight to the restaurant at "Lalit Mahal" for my dinner. I remained there for some time, then used the washroom before heading …

Bengaluru to Vijayapura: on VRL Volvo B9R

The commencement of the examination season of Summer 2018 was heralded by a call I received from the co-ordinator of a college in Mangalore. Calls followed in quick succession over the days that followed. 2018 seemed to be a good year for the travel-loving examiner in me. First among the line of examinations was at Vijayapura (Bijapur) in the north eastern part of Karnataka. Trains were not an option for this route - it had to be buses in any case. The government operator didn't seem to have AC buses on this route. My attention turned to private operators - matters got easy there. It was a tough choice between VRL and Orange travels (both had good reviews on redBus). I finally picked up VRL for the outbound and Orange for the return. Reservation was done through their own websites.

June 10, 2018:
I had some work over the day, and it was quite late by the time I returned home. My bus to Vijayapura (Vijayanand Travels Volvo B9R Multi-Axle semi-sleeper coach) was to depart from Yeshw…

Airavat Club Class: Ooty to Bengaluru

We were quite tired after the long travel from Kodaikanal to Ooty. There weren't a lot of plans to travel around Ooty - but we did shortlist some spots to visit. I had held on the booking of our return ticket till we were half way through the first day at Ooty. We had to depart post noon from Ooty - coinciding with our check-out time at the hotel. Two buses showed up when I searched for afternoon departures from Ooty - one was a summer special service departing immediately post noon, while the second bus was a regular service departing at 1530hrs. I didn't want to rush with our return departure, hence reserved tickets on the 1530hrs departure.

June 02, 2018:
We checked out of our hotel just past noon - we remained at the lobby for some more time, searching for a good place to have our lunch. I finally picked Nahar Nilgiris - for some sumptuous vegetarian food. We headed to the bus station around 2pm, after a very relaxed meal. The bus station was crowded, and I had to struggle…

14 Down & 14 Up: A TNSTC Ride from Kodaikanal to Ooty, with a break!

Traveling from Kodaikanal to Ooty was a big hurdle we had in our travel plan. Bus services did list, but their timings did not suit our requirements, rather we did not plan our travel properly that it did not suit our requirements. After a lot of searching on the internet, we got to know that there existed a bus service from Kodaikanal to Coimbatore. That was the only information I could get. We decided to take a call once we got to Kodaikanal. TW expressed excitement when she heard of traveling my local bus all the way from Kodaikanal to Ooty - an estimated 10 hours by road in slow moving TNSTC buses.

The first priority after getting to Kodai was to get information about buses to Ooty. The enquiry counter confirmed that there were no direct buses, but we could change buses at Palani, or take a bus all the way to Coimbatore. He updated that the bus to Coimbatore would depart at 0830hrs, and there was no reservation facility. There was a bus to Palani 45 minutes ahead of this one, as …

First of the many trips together: Bengaluru to Kodaikanal on KSRTC Airavat

It didn't take a lot of time for us to discover that we both loved to travel! As we were taking baby steps in our long journey of life, we thought of having a quick trip together before I get back to my busy office life. A lot of options were considered, and we finally picked up two hill stations in Tamil Nadu - Kodaikanal and Ooty. I was a bit confused whether I pick one of the two, or do a quick trip of both places - a package tour offered by a tourism corporation was my inspiration. We decided to take the plunge, and do a quick trip to both the places - was that a good decision - time tells!

The next confusion - Kodai first, or Ooty first! After some googling around, I took the call to head to Kodai first. Next stop was online booking portals - private operators were ruled out, since both of us did not fancy traveling up the ghats in a sleeper bus. So, it was KSRTC! KSRTC operates an Airavat on the Bengaluru - Kodaikanal route. I booked tickets on this bus, and our stay at Kod…

The 6Eneo: The "almost missed" first flight on a neo!

I hadn't booked a ticket to return from Mumbai until a few days before my flight to Mumbai. We were confused on the return date - plans we had went for a toss, and we finally decided to return two days after our wedding reception. I opted to book through the IRCTC Air app, which offered very competitive fares plus very low convenience fee. There was IndiGo and Go offering similar departure times, with similar fares - I opted Indigo, with a faint hope of getting a neo. I checked in on line though the IndiGo website later. I couldn't add a meal to the booking since I had missed the 24 hour deadline for addition of meals. I was continuously tracking this flight for the few days before the flight, and found that flight was regularly irregular every single day - and a neo was scheduled in this rotation almost regularly! That was a mann mein laddoo moment - exactly when the patient wanted.

May 28, 2018:
It was very long and tiring day - had to drop my parents at the airport in the m…

iFly to Mumbai: First flight with TW

My first journey with TW (The Wife) post our marriage. This trip was to attend our wedding reception at Mumbai. As the date for the event was fixed, and my leaves got approved, I got on with the process of booking tickets. We were traveling a day before our wedding reception, and  we decided to fly in the morning, so that we could get to my in-laws' place for lunch. Almost all the airlines were priced in the same price bracket, and my booking decision was based on the departure time from Bengaluru. We wanted a flight that did not leave too early, and not too late. We finally picked up an IndiGo flight that left Bengaluru past 0900hrs.

May 25, 2018:
The day started off early, with the alarm going off a little past 0500hrs. I was confused if I should drive to the airport and leave the vehicle at the long term parking, or take a cab to the airport. I was a little confused if the parking would be crowded, since that was the last weekend of the Summer vacations in India. I finally opte…

Mumbai Quickie: Mumbai to Bengaluru by KSRTC Scania

I had too little options as I looked for buses to travel from Mumbai to Bengaluru - I wanted a seater bus, and wanted to avoid sleeper buses - since I was not comfortable in sleepers, for some reason. The only available seater options were either too early, or too late. After a lot of searching around, I decided to pick-up KSRTC - and booked on the first services, which originates from Mumbai Central. I was to spend the day in south Mumbai, and Mumbai central made sense.

February 18, 2018:
It was a hurried day - I was late to reach Mumbai, then hurried with my breakfast, then rushed to meet my fiancée, and finally ended the day with lunch. She accompanied me to the bus station to see me off - the bus was already parked there, but the entry to the bus station was confusing - thanks to the absolute lack of signages. The conductor quickly checked my ticket and let me through - I remained outside the bus for some more time before bidding adieu to her and settling into the metal box that w…

Mumbai Quickie! Bengaluru to Mumbai on VRL 'Multi-Axle'

Every journey is memorable! Every journey has a story! 

This journey is one I would keep close to my heart! I have been wanting to go to Mumbai since sometime now - the desire got stronger as my life took a turn recently. I badly wanted to meet my fiancée who works in Mumbai and I had to travel at a very short notice - the decision to travel was taken hardly 24 hours before the actual journey commenced. Flights were too expensive - the two way bus journey cost me less than half the one way flight fare. It had to be the bus, undoubtedly. This was a very short trip - departing Bengaluru on a Saturday evening, and I had to be back on Monday morning. I wanted a seater bus, not a sleeper - since I've felt quite uncomfortable in sleeper buses earlier. I finally picked VRL for my outbound and KSRTC for the return.

February 17, 2018:
I had left office a little past lunch break on an Ola cab towards the Vijayanand Travels bus station near Anand Rao Circle in the heart of the city. I had sel…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: Kerala RTC Garuda King Class

I had to make sure I wouldn't mess up my return journey after a big day. For some reason, I did not look at flights, but decided booked by a bus. Kerala RTC was chosen over other operators for the convenience factor - drop at Peenya! I picked my favorite service among them - Ernakulam-Bangalore Garuda King Class.

March 25, 2018:
The heat was taking a toll on me - I was exhausted by evening. After hurrying though routine pre-departure formalties, I rushed out of home to the nearest bus stop. The time was a little past 1915hrs - my bus from Thrissur was scheduled at 2045hs - leaving me with exactly 90 minutes to get there. I got to the bus stop by 1925hrs - missed a bus just before getting there. The wait for the next bus got a little longer - I was getting tensed as the time went by. I finally got into a bus by around 1945hrs - unusually, the driver decided to drive slowly. The heat got worse as I neared Thrissur - I got off near KSRTC bus station by around 2050hrs - five minutes p…