Showing posts from July, 2018

Gulbarga to Bengaluru by train: 22133 Solapur Yeshwantpur Express

Based on my previous experiences, I had finalised to take a train to return from Gulbarga (Kalaburagi). My earlier experience with the bus wasn't great, and I had to be in office early that morning since I had an exam to officiate, and it later turned out that I had to also be present for an inspection by a statutory agency. I looked at all the options available - there is only one train that actually met my requirements - and that was the 22133 Solapur Yeshwantpur Express. The train had lots of tickets available when I first checked for tickets, but I kept the decision pending, and by the time I booked, the availability had already dropped to RAC6. With no choices left, I just grabbed one ticket on that train in Two-Tier AC Sleeper aka Second AC.

June 20, 2018:
I had a fairly busy day at work. The exam took quite some time to complete - was done a little before evening. Like every time, I visited a bakery in the evening - Srinivasa Iyengar Bakery, which was close to my accommodat…

Bengaluru to Kalaburagi: VRL Volvo B9R

The third of my series of examination duties was at Gulbarga (Kalaburagi). I had been to this place twice earlier, and the last time I had taken a bus to get there. I decided to repeat the same this time, primarily due to lack of tickets by train. The options were limited, and I had to book Vijayanand again. My previous experience (in December 2016) with them was great, and this made my decision making process very easy. I had some other plans for the day, and had opted Anand Rao Circle as my boarding point, but the day turned over and I had to change my plans.

June 19, 2018:
It was one very busy day at office - I hardly had time to think of anything through the day. I left office later than usual, and had to hurry with packing and getting ready to office. I was in the middle of a very busy week - I had reached from Raichur that morning, and was traveling to Kalaburagi that evening! It was almost 1900hrs by the time I was ready. Reaching Anand Rao circle was not an option anymore, and…

Raichur to Bengaluru: NEKRTC AC Sleeper

This booking was quite straightforward. There weren't too many options to choose from.I briefly romanced the idea of taking a private operator, then was a little confused about the route, and the fare seemed a little high. I even thought to taking a bus to Mantralaya and then another bus from there. However, I finally decided to pick the NEKRTC AC Sleeper service from Raichur to Bengaluru. I was not very confident of the quality of the bus, but decided to try it any ways!

June 18, 2018:
I was back at the hotel room a little before evening after my examination work. I spent some time in the room, then had a fairly heavy evening snack. I skipped dinner and headed to the bus station around 1945hrs for a 2004hrs departure. I checked almost all the platforms at the bus station, but the bus was no where to be seen. I hadn't received any message from KSRTC either. The bus arrived at the bus station a little past 2000hrs - about 3 minutes to go for departure. Boarding started just pas…

Bengaluru to Raichur: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

The second of my series of exam duties was at Raichur. Although Raichur lies on a very busy railway line, and is fairly well connected by trains from Bengaluru, the timings of none of the trains met my requirements. I had taken a bus to Raichur last year for the same reason (read here), and I was all set to repeat the same thing this year as well. I checked for options from private operators, but none of them had good ratings on redbus, and I was a little confused about the route they take. I finally opted for the tried and tested option - KSRTC Airavat Club Class. The occupancy in the bus seemed good, and I opted for a seat towards the rear. The seat map showed a Scania, but some reports on Whatsapp groups indicated that they were sending Volvos off late. I hoped I'd get a Volvo as well - the Scania is too bouncy for comfort.

June 17, 2018:
It was a Sunday, and I was supposed to head to my brother's place in the other end of the city and leave TW there. As things usually turn…

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…