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Showing posts from August, 2018

Bangalore to Thrissur: Airavat Club Class 'Special'

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There were a lot of uncertainties around the date of my journey back to Kerala to celebrate Onam. In the setting of the recent deluge in Kerala, celebrations were called off, and Onam was more of an "observance" than celebration this time. I had some office work that delayed my departure back to Kerala, and I finally managed to get two days off before the weekend. I initially planned to depart from Bengaluru on Friday (August 24) morning, getting home by evening. Some family reasons came in, and I had to be at home by Friday morning. Buses departing from Bengaluru on Thursday were more or less sold out, and the available ones were selling a jacked up prices. I decided to check with KSRTC once before I book a ticket to Coimbatore - bingo! KSRTC (Karnataka) had no less than 5 specials that evening - and all of them had a few seats. I picked one departing later in the night, and picked a window seat. The ticket was approximately 30% pricier than the regular services.

August 23,…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: Airavat Club Class Scania

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This Onam trip home had a lot of twists. A lot of scheduling and rescheduling took place, and my trip was charted out with a solo return back to Bengaluru on August 19th. TW would stay back at my home, and join my parents in the festivities - while I'd return again for Onam a couple of days before Onam. I was to return on a Sunday - and all private operators were charging astronomical rates already. I had to decided between the two STUs - Kerala and Karnataka. The Kerala option was expensive, but would drop me at Peenya - the Karnataka option was cheaper (atleast two hundred rupees cheaper) but would drop me only at Majestic (the main bus station in Bengaluru) - I decided to choose the later - I still have no clue why did I select this option, though. The Karnataka STU gave me around 3 options - after looking at all of them, I chose my favorite service, the '2133TRCBNG' Airavat Club Class service. The bus was more or less filled already - seats were in the last few rows -…

Bangalore to Thrissur: Orange Travels BharatBenz AC Sleeper

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I had my eyes on a particular service - 'OTT-1043' operated by Orange Travels, as we charted out our plans to head home to celebrate our first Onam together. This particular service is operated using a BharatBenz bus. Bookings weren't open yet, and I wanted to see how they price the service. The booking opened on July 16 for my travel on August 14. I was surprised to see the bus was priced at the normal ticket rate - not jacked up fares as is the norm during peak seasons. I held on for a couple of days - finally picked up two tickets through the Orange website on July 19, 2018. I hadn't looked at other options this time - badly wanted to try the BharatBenz, you see!

Kerala was reeling under the worst rain related deluge in recent times - dams were opening one after the other. As the D-Day came closer, I was worried if the trip would really happen. Rain mellowed down as the week began, giving me more hopes.

August 14, 2018:
It was wet day. It rained through the day in B…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda Maharaja

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Booking tickets for our return from Kerala after attending a CEP was a little tricky. We were returning only on Monday and hence I had to look for buses that were consistent with their arrival in Bengaluru. After some thinking over, searching, introspection - and what not, I finalise the Kottarakkara-Bengaluru service operated by Kerala State RTC. The bus was quite empty at the time of booking - we booked seats on the right side of the bus, towards the middle.

July 16, 2018:
I had gone to Ernakulam during the day, and had missed my lunch. I had a late lunch after getting back home around 1630hrs or so. We left home around 1800hrs - since our bus to Bangalore had a scheduled departure time of 1950hrs from Thrissur (a highly impossible time, though). Soon after we got to the bus stop, a bus operated by KK Menon Transports pulled in - my favorite operator on the route, who returned to the scene after a brief hiatus. The bus ambled along the state highway towards Thrissur. Rain began belt…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: KSRTC Garuda King Class

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July had just begun. We (I and TW) were planning to travel to Coastal Karnataka during the mid of July - but certain issues like the monsoon nagged me. A few days later, I received a notification on my mail inviting me to attend a continuing education program conducted by the Kerala State Pharmacy Council. Continuing education is an important component in professions like mine, I was committed to attend this one. The program was over the weekend, and I had to confirm availability of tickets before I committed to attend. Like every time, I headed to the Kerala RTC website and searched for tickets in my favorite service - the Ernakulam Volvo. For some reason, they were charging higher fares for this service, and I decided to give the Kottayam service a try instead. The Kottayam Volvo was rescheduled a few months ago, to leave as the last AC service from Bengaluru.

July 13, 2018:
It was a little busy day for me. TW was celebrating her birthday, and we got a little delayed due to the cele…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class

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This trip was to bring back TW to Bengaluru from my hometown. I did not search a lot while booking this ticket - headed to the Kerala SRTC website straightaway, and booked two seats on the Ernakulam-Bengaluru Garuda King Class (Volvo Multi-Axle) service. Interestingly, this bus offered the cheapest fares for that day (among AC buses) as well.

June 24, 2018:
This was my first visit back home after marriage - it was tough to leave home, like every time. We left home a little past 1845hrs - with a target of reaching Thrissur by 2000hrs, giving us sufficient time to have dinner as well. The backup plan was to have dinner where ever the bus stops for a break. We managed to get a bus soon, and could reach Thrissur by around 2000hrs or so. Although I had plans to go to a famous restaurant nearby, the prospect to having to lug the bags for quite some distance made me drop the idea. We stopped by at a hotel right outside the bus station - and, to be honest, I had no expectations from them give…

Mangalore to Kodungallur: KSRTC Super Deluxe

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It had been a long time since I went home. TW had headed to my place as well. Selecting a bus to head home was a task in itself. I was confused between the two RTCs - Both Kerala and Karnataka offered AC services. The Kerala one left very early - was, hence, ruled out. Kerala also offered a Deluxe bus going straight to my home town, while Karnataka offered a new Volvo B11R, which would drop me at Thrissur. It was a tough decision, and I finally picked the Kerala RTC Super Deluxe bus that would drop me at my home town! I decided to try our redBus, which has been offering bookings for Kerala SRTC off late. A coupon code helped me earn some cash back as well.

June 22, 2018:
I returned to my hotel room a little past afternoon - spent some time spotting some buses, then headed to Ideal Cafe for some fingerlicking good Neer Dose and equally awesome Smoothie. I returned to my hotel room by evening, and slept for a while. I checked out of the hotel, and headed to the bus station (Bejai) by ar…

Bengaluru to Mangaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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Mangalore was the first among my series of Exam duties to be confirmed. I hadn't booked tickets for quite a while, remaining confused about which bus to book on. I had predecided that it would be by KSRTC - but the question was, which among the many Airavat Club Classes that operate at night! I also wanted to travel in a new bus - the new Volvo B11R. I spent most of my time trying to understand which all schedules got the new bus regularly. After a lot of searching around, I picked one bus that left past 2200hrs - this was because I was sure the day would be really busy at work, and I had to have some breathing time. I selected KBS as my pick-up point as well.

June 21, 2018:
The day was really hectic at work - a really busy day. I was quite tired and drained as I walked into my house well past 1900hrs after running around in office the entire day. I had no time to rest - get fresh, pack and get moving again - for the last of the exam duties for this "season". I started f…