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Showing posts from November, 2019

MSRTC 'Shivneri' Volvo B7R: To Gateway of India, from Pune!

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November 15, 2019:
After getting off the Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express (read here), we headed straight to the food court. After leaving the luggage there, in custody of my other colleagues, I headed to the ticket counter to get tickets for the connecting train to Chinchwad, where our accommodation was booked. After a little pushing around, and acrobatics, we got into a Lonavla bound Local train - sitting around the window seat, as the train hurried towards Chinchwad, somebody in the group asked the question -"What about heading to the Gateway of India?" (I think it was me, well, could be!) I looked at possible trains - and in fact, this plan actually was born after I spotted a train from Chinchwad to Panvel on a third party train tracking app.

All the members of our contingent approved the plan to head to Mumbai - to see the Gateway of India! We decided to book a ticket on the train - the IRCTC website didn't list the train for some reason. After a bit of searching ar…

Yeshwantpur to Pune: Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express

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The Brochure for this conference in Pune came quite some time back. I ignored it back then. As the date for the conference came closer, grew a desire to attend this event - the travel lover in me badly wanted to break free from the regular route of home to office and back. Four more colleagues joined in when I put the plan to head to Pune. So a total of 5 of us were traveling, and taking the train was the first call. I prefer avoiding trains when traveling alone - it gets boring when traveling alone in a train. With a gang of 5, it sure would be fun! We looked at all the options available, and finally decided to book on Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express - primarily for two reasons, confirmed ticket availability and a early drop in Pune. We booked tickets in 3A - thankfully, the tickets were together as well.

November 14, 2019:
The train departs at 1355hrs - meaning I had to leave from office by 1200hrs, at the latest. I had two hours of classes in the morning, which eventually got canc…

Chennai to Bengaluru: UST AC Sleeper

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I just came out of the University, and like luck would have it, a bus to Koyambedu turned up soon after I reached the bus stop. And it had plenty of vacant seats too! I grabbed one right behind the driver and started searching for tickets to return to Bengaluru. I had a little work the next morning, and hence looked at buses departing at noon or later. I wanted to try some new operator - so most of the older players were out of the race. I stumbled up on UST Bus as I looked for options on the app - they also had the single lower berth that I was searching for! I quickly grabbed the berth - applied a coupon that was provided, and bagged some cool discounts.

UST Bus, or Uma Shankar Transports, is a new operator on the route. They offer AC sleeper buses on the route - they operate a day service during weekends in addition to their regular overnight services. They operate a pair of AC Sleeper buses - built by Veera Vahana (Model - V7) on Ashok Leyland TF1812 Chassis. They claim to offer …

Bengaluru to Chennai: TranZking AC Sleeper

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I was undecided about this journey. I had to reach Chennai on November 1st - I was a little confused if I must reach there the previous night, or take an overnight bus, or take the early morning bus from Bengaluru. The first option was among my foremost choices - for the fact that I could sleep well overnight and appear fresh for the program that I had to attend. I searched over for options for a late afternoon or an early evening departure - a long weekend coming up meant high fares and poor availability in highly rated operators. I stumbled upon a vacant single lower berth on TranZking a day before the journey - a completely by chance finding, and I guess this turned vacant by somebody's cancellation.

October 31, 2019:
After a busy day at work, including an hour of theory lecture and a lot of running around for some administrative work, I walked out of office a little past noon for an early lunch at a restaurant nearby. I booked a cab as I finished my lunch - he took a while to …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: Airavat Club Class Volvo B9R

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Like everytime, I hadn't looked at other options for this journey either. I booked the ticket soon after reservations had opened - being right after Diwali, I was fairly sure about seats selling fast, and other options getting insanely expensive. 
October 29, 2019: It was really difficult to leave home - my kiddo was sleeping, deep asleep as I left home. I took a local bus to Palakkad. I got to the KSRTC bus station in Palakkad by around 2100hrs. My bus hadn't been brought to the platform yet. I was a little hungry - headed straight to a restaurant near the entry to the bus station - my bus was parked there. The crew were having their dinner at the same restaurant. I finished mine quickly and headed to the bus station - the bus was brought to the platform by then - a message containing the bus and crew details also came in by then. 
I was quite tired and sleepy - boarded the bus soon later. They hadn't turned on the airconditioner yet - it was stuffy inside the bus. They t…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: Kerala SRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R

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Diwali Weekend. I was sure the rush would be the highest. I decided to play it safe and book my ticket the day the reservation opened - I missed the opening day narrowly, and remembered it only the next morning. I booked on the Kerala RTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R service to Ernakulam - the best among the Kerala RTC services that operate out of Bangalore towards Central and South Kerala. I had looked at the options from Karnataka RTC as well before I did this booking - the reason for this booking was that the Kerala bus generally reaches quite early in the morning - and I had to be at my home quite early in the morning to attend a wedding later in the day.

Circumstances changed as the day for journey came closer - roads turned pathetic in Kerala following torrential rains, long traffic snarls at the infamous Kuthiran pass became the order of the day. I did not want to be too late for the wedding, and searched for alternatives. Trains were my call - but all of them had long waiting …