Monday, December 09, 2013
Bethlehem Travels Bus trip Chennai to Nagercoil..
Completed the Chennai perungalathur Nagercoil - Chromepet Chennai trip in Bethlehem travels non ac Bus
On 5th December took Perungalathur to Nagercoil Journey in 18:00hrs Koyambedu departing bus this bus starts from Ambattur at 4:30pm it seems.
The ticket booking was made in Goibibo.com and got a handsome discount of 10%, 650rs ticket was priced 585 rs.
THe SMS and booking confirmation came quickly, on the day of the travel, there were sms from Ibibo as well as from the operator as i had booked with boarding point as Koyambedu inadvertently, so called their office and got it changed to Perungalathur.
On 5th reached perungalathur by 6.15pm and as usual waiting for the bus, this trip was to attend a marriage in the family, tried the train tickets none were available and advance booking more than a month ago Rathimeena SRM and Bethlehem were listed, so booked the Bethlehem.
I took Bethlehem because it was the 6 pm departure all other buses were 7 pm and later, so waited at Perungalathur all other buses were coming and going no sign of the bus till 7pm, IJT 6.15 service itself came and went at 7 pm, i was cursing me for not booking in that one.
After 7.30pm i couldnt control myself so called the bus conductor and asked him where is the bus, as i was thinking since my boarding point was Koyambedu whether that fellow is waiting for me to board or not. THen he replied that he is on the way to perungalathur, reached perungalathur by 7.35 pm boarded the bus TN 75 L 4959, had one side sheet panel completely replaced with tin sheet with no painting, i was allotted F3 seat above the rear axle last but third row.
Bus was slowly moving tickets checked and movie KEdi billa was on, this bus had the speakers underneath the seat like in minibus of tamilnadu and had that cheap treble high sound which was irritating to the core, and top of that the crew's music sense was so high they were playing T rajendher's film songs, i couldnt tolerate it. after the movie the cabin was continuously playing TR songs in the whole journey!!! what a taste.
Bus halted at Vikravandi famous M restaurant J classic at 9.20 to 9.50, came to know the country's inflation level, for a leak one has to pay 4 rs.
Started with driver change happened, but they will never exceed 80 kmph, and if they slow down due to trucks buses in the front they will never downshift and catch up the speed they will continue for 7 to 8 minutes in the same 55 kmph and then reach 80kmph, i was too bored with the bus, the suspension was so poor the jerks were too much, the seating is pathetic, the arm rest is atleast 2 inches lower than the normal arm rest, you can't comfortably place your arms, the seat cushion is as solid as rock. THe prakash built coach was not to my liking.
Again in the morning 3 am or so stopped in a roadside hotel, then continued journey, near to kovilpatti the bus was stopped and a whole steel cupboard was unloaded from the bus top to a waiting load auto, it took a cool 20 minutes.
Reached tirunelveli around 5 am and nagercoil by 6.30 am.
Usually in my travels the Perungalathur to viralimalai will take 5 hours and viralimalai to vadasery nagercoil will take 5 hours, 10 hours flat, this time perungalathur to viralimalai was 7.30pm to 12.30 am covered in the 5 hours slot, next slot took them 6 hours..
After getting down i was inspecting the bus axle and found that the front axle does not have any air suspension plain flat leaf spring, and rear i was doubting whether it had air suspension or not so went close and noticed the air balloons were there, when i was inspecting the conductor came and asked what i was looking for, i told your bus has a worst suspension it is a pain in travelling in your bus.
No overtakes, all other Omni buses overtook this bus, all passengers were telling that the bus was like a SETC bus. It was not my comment, co passengers were muttering it, even the ladies were voicing it.
As for the diving skill, ususally the drivers don't switch off the engine even during the dinner break, HRSH once replied saying that it is a sort of sentiment for the drivers to have the engine not switched off during the journey, at nanguneri toll plaza, the bus engine automatically shut down after climbing the toll plaza speed breaker.
I was pitying myself that i had booked the return also in the same bus. Thought of cancelling, but cancellation is to be done online and cancellation charges were 25rs + the normal 24 hours , 12 hours slot charges, which was steep and didnt do that.
On 7th reached vadasery bus stand by 6.25 pm and the bus was ready to move, before reaching the bus stand received a call from the agent at 6.20pm, one passenger was missing and waited for him till 6.35pm and started this time bus was TN 75 L 4590, i got the first row seat, the driver was chatting to the other one the cabin door was open, he was telling we should start on right time to avoid nagercoil rush hour and to ensure we enter city chennai by 5.30am. SO i was hoping this ride will be a good one.
THe drivers were discussing on Christmas day where will their trip be will it be from chennai end or nagercoil end.
On the return journey the bus conductor collected the names of the passengers i told him on the onward journey they didnt do it, anyway i filled my name and destination, conductor asked for the phone number also, i wrote down hesitatingly, in the manifest the drivers name were mentioned as Edwin George and Ranjan, conductor was basker, reached kavalakinaru one passenger boarded after 15 minutes of halt, then halt at the church for the prayer, started reached tirunelveli by 8.15 pm and many seats got filled over here only, in the meanwhile there was a commotion and loud noise so peeped outside and saw the other driver having a fisticuff with an old man the old man was pushed down not sure what happened, then started from tveli at 8.30 pm, then one lady asked to stop for a bio break, after 10 minutes left the old bus stand and stopped at Ariyaas hotel some where after kayathar from 9.30 pm to 9.50 pm, here it was 3 rs for the leak, the hotel looked some what ok, i had packed food from home, the driver change happened and this pair of drivers were driving at 90 to 95 kmph not exceeding that at any time, movie Ithakuthana asaipattai balakumara and padayappa was shown poor quality print high decibel audio, it was a real pain to enduring the 5 hours.
Reached viralimalai toll plaza by 12.30 am the driver took a bio break thought the driver changed but he drove till Ulunderpet M restaurant Aristo, halted at 3.00am for another 15 minutes that place was looking like a mini bus stand, nanjil II was leaving from there by 3.15 am, there was a chase with Madurai radha A/c between melur and viralimalai, it was a cat and mouse game we will overtake and after few minutes Madurai radha will overtake us, then again it will repeat it.
At Mannarpuram flyover had a hard braking short of rear ending the MSP limousine travels from madurai, at 5.20 am started the famous Jesus songs and switched on the cabin lights and it was tambaram, by 5.30 am reached chromepet alighted near to my home.
11 hours journey, as usual rock solid seat poor arm rest position and poor suspension.
Will i take this service again, BIG NO, I can bear with the transmission rod noise of IJT to have a quick and comfortable travel than to pay more for this SETC standards back breaking one.
My rating 1.75/5 for the onward and 2/5 for the return