Note:– The story of this journey is solely for my own personal remembrance, experience and purpose; the minute details may not interest you. Also, do not see it as a travel guide though it may end up to be one.
That does not mean you can not comment or share your experiences. Go ahead, whatever you have to say !!
[We like surprises, don’t we ? Loads of them. 😀 And that 2 nights & 1 day turned into 4 nights and 3 days by the time we reached Mumbai !]
It was solely my idea of budget traveling and for a change PP had to only agree and abide with it; still several times on this entire unusual trip he popped up the question of taking a cab or staying in a nice decent hotel. 🙂
We made some mistakes, we learnt some lessons but I enjoyed it to the hilt.
Though it was my first time, I knew many people take buses from ISBT and it was quite a doable thing. So, after an hour (i.e. 6 PM) we were at ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus), still deciding our destination. We had our four pieces of luggage (2 rucksacks, one laptop and my handbag).. .. all very much manageable by ourselves).
We started off with buying a complete state wise road map of India. Don’t laugh. When I do anything, I become quite a professional and take it quite seriously. And come on, I was the incharge !! Ah ! To boast of leadership qualities. 😀
It was decided to go to a place that can be reached by an overnight journey, see the place during the day and return back again by overnight bus to reach Delhi the next morning. Budget traveling teaches us to manage in minimum and my idea of avoiding a hotel stay was very much in place. Yayyy !!
PP was amazed to see somewhat weird plans of this sophisticated, methodical, cleanliness freak me. To tell you the truth, even I had doubts about myself.
Places were looked into, the distances calculated. Jaipur was so near that we would had to take a hotel for the rest of the night which
we I wanted to avoid. Also PP, having seen it umpteen no. of times, refused flatly. After much enquiry we short listed two places which would have taken full night to reach the place. PP was rooting for Udaipur (Rajasthan) and me for Amritsar (Punjab). And you know who won. 🙂 Hey, but I had valid reasons to defend my case.
For comfort reasons, we don’t prefer to travel by state buses; most simple reason being non-existence of comfortable reclining/ sleeper seats. In my whole life only once I have traveled by a state bus (From Bangalore to Madanapalle). That’s another story and we had to resort to a private cab for coming back.
There was only one private bus available for Amritsar at 10 PM to reach at 6 AM next day. That was quite okay with us. We calculated, even if it is late by an hour we would have the whole day with us. In fact in my heart I wanted it to be that late so that we can have some breakfast somewhere. 😛
But we needed to book the tickets immediately. Business tactics of these travel agents, I must say.
One more shock was in store. On any of the routes that we took, we didn’t see any Volvo buses plying. Maharashtra scores over north in this regard; the Volvo buses are very popular in there & are extremely comfortable too.
The lone guard near the wall of Purana Quila at ISBT
Anyway, time was running out and very few seats were vacant. So at Rs 550/- per person for a sleeper
seat berth (I have shown you how it looks like, will tell you later how comfortable it is), we were set to go to our first city in Punjab. I was thrilled like a small kid getting a toy. 😀
We were asked to assemble at 9 PM at a place which was 1/2 kilometer away. We went and saw the place first. By the time we finished booking it was past 8 PM. We had to have our dinner, refreshen ourselves and proceed towards the assembling place.