This time around my younger nephew came with me. He is quite tall (6 feet 2 inches and still growing) and he would have been quite miserable if the seats are cramped. At ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus, Kashmere Gate, New Delhi) when we started inquiring for deluxe buses to Manali, we were told that there was a Delhi-Manali Volvo available at 8.26 that night. The tickets for this bus are sold from the first floor of ISBT.
We headed to the HP counter. The first floor at ISBT was much less crowded than the ground floor. It was just 6.30 in the evening but still the only seats available in the Volvo were for the last row. We decided to take it. Since, we had to get down at the tunnel before Aut, we were given tickets up to Bhunter. I paid Rupees 1590 for two tickets and my nephew immediately remarked, “Bua (Aunt in Hindi) there you have already spent almost the price of your cell phone.” The bus was supposed to leave from platform 6.
We went to platform 6 around 8.15 and there was no sign of a Volvo. After a few minutes we asked a bus conductor of another bus and he pointed out the Volvo standing near a wall and said we should head there as it is almost time. After depositing the rucksack in the luggage space we walked in.
This was the first time for both of us in a Volvo and the bus looked comfortable and spacious with lots of leg room, till we reached the last row. The last row seats were really cramped in the Volvo but luckily there were just three of us for 6 seats and we could spread out on two seats. My nephew was in the middle seat which opened up to the aisle, so he had some leg room. I was on a window seat (not originally but since no one turned up I moved to it) with the next seat vacant.
They play a movie in the bus that runs till 12 at night. On our trip they played Bhagam Bhag, a truly silly movie and many passengers grumbled that they can’t go to sleep. I am OK with silly movies occasionally.
Otherwise, the journey was comfortable. However, on the return journey we had to travel by various Khatara buses and to his credit he never complained even once.