Spanish buses …

…are like many things in Spain, a law unto themselves.

Context

Before I moved to Spain most of my long distance travel in Europe had been on trains. Either my InterRail ticket or trains around France, Germany, The Netherlands etc.

But in Spain, much of the long distance travel is provided by buses. Lots and lots of different companies, and often lots of different bus stations too in the larger cities eg Seville, Madrid. Over the years since I have been visiting, and living here, I have seen bright shiny new bus stations go up, eg at Cordoba and Granada.

The bus travel is cheap. And well used. It’s only in relatively recent years that car ownership has become the norm, so previously, the only methods of transport for a large part of the poorer population were donkey, moto (motorbike) or bicycle. And people in Andalucía were poor. Some still are.

In fact car owners often take the bus on long journeys anyway. It works out cheaper unless there is a car full of people, and it is far less stressful. Can you imagine people in the UK doing that? No.

For the purposes of this post, I’m talking city to city buses, either within a communidad, eg Andalucía, or nationally.

Despite the alleged mañana culture here, buses leave on time. The only time they are likely to be late, is if you are picking one up that has set off at the other end of the country, and by the time it gets to your station, it may well have incurred up to half an hour’s delay (of which more later).

But they certainly leave from the initial bus station on time. This is why everyone gets to the bus station early and there are always loads of people milling around. If you haven’t bought your ticket in advance, you need to factor in time to queue for the ticket.

Of course, the law of contradictions has it that if you leave plenty of time there will be no queue. Whereupon the obvious thing to do is visit the bus station bar for a drink/something to eat. Or buy a sandwich to eat on the bus. On really long journeys, Spaniards often prepare their own picnic and merrily plough through about four courses of a picnic lunch.

Up and down the N340 – La Linea to Málaga

Since moving down here, the bus route that I have used the most is the one between Málaga and La Linea/Algeciras. At one point I had four bus timetables permanently imprinted in my brain:

Algeciras/Málaga
La Linea/Málaga

And the two local routes:

La Linea/Algeciras
Málaga/my pueblo

On top of that, I knew exactly which buses were direct and which ones made stops.

Naturally a direct bus doesn’t mean it goes directly from A to B, or in this case from Algeciras to Málaga. It just means it makes less stops. It actually stops once at Marbella, and takes around an hour 40/50 mins, compared with three hours for the ‘ruta’ or stopping bus. For some bizarre reason the direct bus is also cheaper than the stopping bus.

The same applies on the La Linea route. Depending which bus you get, it may use the autovía (motorway) or it may take the coast road.

And the Portillo timetable is not the most helpful in the world. It tells you time of departure, and the length of the journey (which is approximate). It doesn’t give you the route, ie where it stops and at what time.

So the only way to find out is by trial and error. Well, you could probably ask at the ticket office but you wouldn’t be very popular with a queue developing behind you. The Spanish would take the attitude that if you want to travel to X at time Y, that’s all you need to know. Where it stops should be irrelevant to you. Which is irritating to someone like me who likes to know all the detail about any journey I take.

Off we go to La Linea bus station. According to the time-table there are four buses a day on weekdays.

Salida desde La Línea 8:50 10:30 16:30A 19:00

Now is that not the most stupid timing ever? Nothing for six hours between 10.30 and 16.30. There used to be one at 14.15 which was an eminently sensible time, but it has now been shunted back to 16.30. I know it is the same bus because it has an A next to it. A stands for Alsina Graells. This route is operated by the Portillo company – but – other buses also use the route.

Anyway, the Portillo office has now closed in La Linea, so all tickets are bought from the Comes ticket office. With me so far? A potential of three bus companies encountered for one simple journey.

Bus tickets in Spain have been cleverly computerised for years. Before the bus leaves, the driver gets a print out of the number of people getting on his/her bus, presumably with the destination on too. So s/he knows how many people should be getting on the bus.

I decided to get the 10.30. Entering the bus station I noticed someone I know by sight from Gib sitting outside on the pavement. As you do. Well, I often do anyway.

La Linea bus station is not one of the best in the world. It has a newsagent/drinks sort of shop and a bar which is now run by some Chinese (?). It is however cheap. The beer selection is not good. Draught beer is Spain’s most popular beer, Cruzcampo, which I personally loathe. A small 25 cl bottle is also Cruzcampo. If you want San Miguel then you have to buy a 33cl tin. Or you can buy a tin of Heineken which I also loathe. The bus leaves from platform 8. This is not difficult as there are big signs telling you that. The ticket cashier will probably also write 8 on your ticket in case you can’t read the big signs. Remember, not all Spaniards can read, although they can usually do numbers.

I wandered out to the platform and the guy I recognised was in front of me. People started getting on the bus about five minutes before it was due to leave. It was a civilised queue because there weren’t many people.

Big luggage goes under the bus. You can take hand luggage on the bus. This invariably upsets foreigners who are convinced that someone is going to steal all their worldly possessions. It’s perfectly possible I have to be honest, and I used to peer out of the bus to make sure no-one was taking my tat-looking baggage whenever we made stops. A Spaniard came to rejoin the queue after putting his luggage under the bus. The guy in front let him into the queue. Very polite – so British! I would have done that too.

I took the seat opposite the door so I could be first off the bus. This is a good seat to take if you don’t like being stuck behind tortoises taking years to get off the bus. The other guy took the back seat. This is a good seat too when the bus is quiet as you have lots of space. It is not good when the bus is busy and some woman and her kids ask if you have a plastic bag so that they can all vomit into it.

This was a ruta route, ie it stops at Sotogrande (hello pinkagendist – I couldn’t see your house), Sabinillas, Estepona bus station, San Pedro de Alcántara, and then Marbella.

People often get off at Marbella to have a cigarette, or presumably to go to the toilet. I have never dared do this as I have visions of walking out of the building to see the bus disappearing out of the bus station.

I noticed the guy I recognised had got off the bus. He went inside the bus station building, he’d left his bag on the bus.

The driver walked down the bus asking who was going to Torremolinos. No-one. The driver looked puzzled. Then he counted the number of passengers. ‘Falta uno,’ he said to no-one in particular. (‘I’m missing one’)

Helpfully I intervened, he was standing next to me anyway, and told him the guy at the back was missing. He frowned and went down to the back to confirm this with a few Spaniards who were sitting there. And of course the bag was still there.

Ms Interference looks out of the window and sees the cause of our delay, now standing aimlessly outside. ‘Look!’ I said to the driver. ‘There he is.’ Driver gets off the bus and goes to accost the naughty Brit. They both came back on the bus and the guy got his bag from the back. He then jumps off the bus muttering something under his breath, and the driver escorted him to the next bus down.

So, why did he have to change bus? Normally this bus would stop at the bus stations at Fuengirola and then Torremolinos. Sometimes it stops at Benalmádena too. But because the other bus was doing the same route, it meant we could drop off our nuisance passenger and avoid Torremolinos. Clever huh? I’ve seen this happen before, and it always fascinates me how flexible the system is – why have two buses plying the same route when you can just chuck a few passengers onto the stopping bus from the fast one?

And although we might have been delayed setting off due to the Brit’s disappearance in Marbella bus station, the fact that we only had to stop at Fuengirola made quite a difference and we arrived at Málaga after 2 hours 40 minutes which is pretty good for the bus that doesn’t take the autovía.

It worked out as fast as the Alsina Graells bus (16.30) which does take the autovía and makes five stops at Estepona, San Pedro, Marbella, Fuengirola and Torremolinos. A good result and it is a pretty nice journey as it follows the Mediterranean all the way along the Málaga coastline.

When I got to Málaga I went to queue for my pueblo bus. Alsa has six ticket offices (which are never all open at once) and a single orderly queue. There is even a rope for stupid people who can’t work out how to queue. Previously you used to pick whichever queue you thought might move fastest. This new system is eminently sophisticated. So sophisticated that some Spaniards can’t hack it and decide to approach from the other end and cut in. ‘Oy,’ yells the woman behind me. ‘There’s a queue and it’s HERE.’

Meanwhile it’s my turn. The ticket cashier is beckoning me and the other woman is still trying to queue jump. I walked up. The cashier very politely told the other woman to join the queue. ‘But I only want to ask a question,’ she asked. The cashier rolled her eyes. I put my money down and asked for my pueblo. The other woman asked what time the bus left for Badajoz. ‘Eleven thirty. There’s only one bus a day.’

Who knows whether she was trying to push in, or quickly thought up a question? Anyway, top marks to the ticketwoman who was polite, and insisted on the queue. Spain really is changing!


Up and down the N340 – Málaga to La Linea

How about the other way round? Málaga to La Linea.

I did this route a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t planned so I had no timetable in my head, but thought the Alsina Graells bus left at 11.30. I wandered down to the main road from my pueblo to get a bus into Málaga to leave me enough time to queue and all the rest of it.

I couldn’t remember the times for the carretera (main road) bus but lo and behold! I’d not been there two minutes when a bus turned up. Yippee! I got into Málaga about 10.50 so plenty of time to buy a ticket and sit around. Too much time in fact.

But when I got to the ticket office (note – to anyone wanting to go from Málaga, you need to use the Portillo office), I was confused.

Salida desde Málaga 7:00 11:00AL 11:30A 14:00 16:30

A bus at 11.00, with an AL next to it. AL for Alsina Graells I mistakenly thought. That must be my bus. Or should I go to Algeciras at 11.00? Another directo, and a shorter journey, but then I would have to get the bus back to La Linea. Dilemma dilemma. I went for La Linea as it worked out cheaper.

Then because I had fixed in my head that it was the red Alsina Graells bus we had a conversation at cross purposes. ‘It’s an Alsa bus,’ said the cashier, ‘and it’s coming from Barcelona.’ ‘Red,’ I said, and ‘Alsina Graells.’

‘NO!’ he said impatiently to the stupid foreigner. ‘Alsa, and it’s blue.’ Alsa, by the way, recently took over Alsina Graells. I decided he didn’t know what he was talking about and dutifully went off to wait at platform 6 or 7, which he’d written on my ticket.

There was less than ten minutes to wait. This was looking good. Except – there was no electronic sign flashing up for the bus. That was not good. That meant it wasn’t as near as it should be. I went to the big noticeboard. There was no confirmation of platform number. I read the timetable at the ticket office again and realised I had stuffed it up and that the red Alsina Graells bus indeed left at 11.30. What the hell was this 11.00 Alsa bus coming from Barcelona then?

By now we have passed 11.00 so I didn’t dare leave the platform again in case the bus came in. Couldn’t buy a drink or food, in case it shot in and did a quick load of passengers and shot out again.

I sat gloomily on the floor, as did another woman. I’m not sure that 50+year-old women should sit on the floor at the bus station, but hey, it’s comfy. I leaned against a nice pillar and looked at my mobile. No mails.

Then suddenly, the noticeboard flashed into life on platform 6. I jumped up so that the driver wouldn’t inadvertently run over me when he pulled in. I sat down again when the light flashed off after a few minutes.

I’d already seen the 11.00 directo to Algeciras pull out. I’d made a real cock-up here. I wondered about changing my ticket for the 11.30 but couldn’t be bothered. Knowing my luck, the bus would pull in just when I had changed.

I watched sadly as the 11.30 Alsina Graells bus to La Linea pulled in. And out. It had of course been raining in Andalucía and other parts of Spain. I wondered how much of a delay bad weather was causing on a journey that was likely to run late anyway because it was so long.

For the record, I have looked up the journey from Barcelona to Algeciras. It is a 19/20 hour trip, and costs 97€. Much as I like buses, I couldn’t sit on one for nearly a full day. It leaves Barcelona around 18.00 and obviously travels through the night. I’ve (not) slept on a bus before in New Zealand and it was no fun at all.

Around 11.35/11.40 the bus finally pulled in. Yay! I wondered how long it would take to get to La Linea. I consoled myself with the fact that if it was coming from Barcelona and was a very long distance bus, it wouldn’t be stopping at every piddling bus stop en route.

A woman in front of me in the sort-of queue for the bus asked – in English! – if it was going to Gibraltar. Well, La Linea is pretty near enough, and she got on so it was obviously the right bus. I mean, only the Spanish would have a bus coming from Barcelona with a Barcelona sign on the front instead of Algeciras. I don’t want to know where it’s come from. I want to know where it is going. But as it makes 19 stops, I guess that won’t really fit on any sign on the bus.

I was surprised it wasn’t busy. Obviously no-one else wants to spend 20 hours on a bus either. I grabbed the seat opposite the door, decided the seats were comfy, and followed the Wi-fi instructions which didn’t work.

I tried again later when we had left the bus station and it worked. But there were no emails and I couldn’t be bothered to browse aimlessly. And anyway, a film seemed to be appearing. Ooh! Exciting. I wished I’d brought my iPhone headphones. Or even some of the free ones I have kicking around from previous train journeys.

Subtitles it was to be. In Spanish of course. Which was good because a quick Spanish refresher course via a film is a good way to top up your language. Especially swear words of which there seemed to be a vast amount.

What was the film? Flypaper, which got terrible critical reviews and good ones from your average person in the street. No idea what it would be like in English but it was seriously funny in Spanish. I don’t think I have ever seen Patrick Dempsey before but he made for a watchable film and it passed a pleasant 1 hour 24 mins. Even better, we only stopped twice – Marbella and Estepona.

According to the time-table we should have arrived in La Linea at 13.00. We arrived at 13.10. How good was that considering how late it was arriving in Málaga? An hour and a half from Málaga and a film. It was worth sitting on the floor of the bus station for half an hour.

I wandered over to Gib feeling smug and very pleased with myself for sticking with my fluke decision. I was so pleased with myself that I rushed around Gib doing a load of tasks that I was going to put off until Friday morning. Simple things hey?

Cost between Málaga and La Linea is 12.52€. It’s around 150 kms.

Useful words, ie the only ones you need:

Ida – single ticket

Ida y vuelta – return ticket

Horario – timetable

Llegada – arrival

Salida – departure

Estación de autobus – bus station

Anden/es – platform/s

Número – number (of platform)

Procedencia – where the bus is coming from, eg Barcelona

Next on the bus: Santander to Málaga

And for those of you following the adventures of our resident gecko in the finca, he seems to have found a comfy, warm and sunny home inside our nightlight in the bathroom. Aww, so cute :) *NO* jokes about fried geckos, thank you very much.

Gecko enjoying the warmth :)
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33 comments on “Spanish buses …

  1. We too have the long distance bus services and the local feeder buses and the whole system is a boon once you’ve worked out where the bus station…or street whence the bus departs…are to be found.

    There are cross border buses too, for Nicaragua and destinations north and Panama to the south, where conductors sort out the border formalities, but they cost a fortune relative to getting in country buses to and from the border posts.

    I can get up the steps of the coaches with no problem, but making the long drop off the last step down is something else…luckily there’s always someone to offer their arm!

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    • I figured you would have. Ah yes, the ones that don’t have bus stations, and you just have to find the right street…. and, you probably have to find the ticket office too which is nowhere near the street :D

      Cross border travel here is pretty easy – (apart from Gib of course!) being either Spain or Portugal. Although on the train you have to hand in your passport interestingly. Or did last time I got it.

      Yes, the steps are pretty steep. I really struggle getting on the local carretera bus – good thing there is a handrail. Getting out seems slightly easier oddly.

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  2. Next time I am in Spain I will not fear traveling by bus..You say they are cheap that is not like the UK buses, the local bus are now out pricing themselves, near to me there is a main route and it has two companies operating it, and some times there are 3 – 4 at once, and another time one can wait ages,the typical expression about buses is valid here, Just a few days ago while coming home(In a car) I passed five at one stop and few hundred yards along another three, all going to same places. This is why there fares keep going up, by the way only a couple had fair few passengers while others were more or less empty. How ever I did go from Southampton to Paris on bus and found it quite enjoyable.. and not too expensive either.
    Another nice read thanks rekindled a few thoughts..;)

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    • Last time I was in the UK ie (six years ago) the cost of a 7/8 mile trip into the nearest town was well over two quid. It’s only just over two euros to make a 20+ km trip in Spain.

      Having said that, the very local bus service into town used to be around 70 cents and is now 1.30€. Huge rise there. :(

      But long distance buses are extremely good, in my experience. Even better when you get chance to have a coffee stop somewhere and a bite to eat :)

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    • Haha! You knew it was coming after my analysis of beer prices.

      Too warm for anoraks ;) But, joking apart, buses are too funny. So long as you don’t have to do it all the time (which I did at one point every weekend), the novelty value is great. Two or three hours to gaze at the view, read a book, and get entertained by whatever unexpected event happens. Love it.

      If you have spare time/are bored/nothing better to do – I’ve added some links to Pink’s comment above for previous bus blog posts.

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      • Interesting what you say about people being poor. I am reading Gerald Brenan ‘South from Granada’, you have probably read it but if not I recommend it!

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        • There is just a totally different cultural attitude here towards travelling on the bus that is a throwback to Olden Days. It’s changing of course with younger generations having the ‘if we don’t go by car we are poor’ sort of approach. I must write about the Burgos to Madrid route where they have a Club Class bus!

          I noticed you were reading that. I’ll have a look when I go to the library as I haven’t read it. Although I have read the laurie lee ones which I enjoyed (reviewed somewhere on here or maybe in the books section) and I’ve read Homage to Catalonia which was good if sad :(

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  3. To me, this is extraordinary. I have only ever caught the school bus, and the bendy bus to work in the city when I lived on the Northern Beaches. Bus travel for recreation in entirely alien to me, and I think I’d need to a do a short course in bus timetables and read Bus Travel for Dummies before attempting it. I do get the attracton though of setting off with a loose plan. When I caught the train to work from Redfern, I’d see the inter-city trains coming & going and have to restrain myself from buying a magazine and jumping on a mystery train just for the hell of it, rather than going into the office :)

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    • The school bus was fun :) but when I got a bus pass as part of my free place I took a more direct bus. It had boys on too :)

      I did get a long distance bus in Sydney come to think of it. I think it was from Canberra to Albury/Wodonga. It was pretty straightforward. I think you could manage it ;) And I must have got it around Tassy, apart from some hitching which is a tale of its own.

      I love timetables. When I used the bus at work I would plan my own routes as the secretaries couldn’t fathom it out. Nor did they look for alternative routes to get to the same place. That might explain why they were secretaries and I wasn’t. They could manage the train to London though so long as you explained that arriving at King’s Cross five minutes before the start of meeting did not leave sufficient time to cross London.

      I remember the main station at Sydney although I can’t for the life of me remember where I went from there!

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  4. Long distance bus travel is coming back in the States. I doubt I’ll indulge because I get flashbacks to Africa, where the buses left only when they were full. And by full it meant twice as many people as seats and a few chickens and goats for good measure. Your experience sounds much nicer. Wifi and a movie!

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    • Even with my sketchy knowledge of America I have heard of greyhound buses! I didn’t realise bus travel had fallen out of fashion but I guess when people had money and fuel was cheap they would use cars? What are bus prices like though? The journeys must be horrificly long :(

      Buses in Africa sound like India!! We sat on the back of one in India and nearly knocked ourselves out every time the bus went over a bump (which was frequently) as we flew into the air and hit our heads on the ceiling.

      I’ll be getting that bus again, even if it does turn up late. It’s a short journey for that route and gets me back to La Linea/Gib before any other bus would.

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  5. I really enjoyed this post, and felt as though I was with you on your journey. :-)

    I’ve never used public transport abroad, though I did travel from Leeds to Innsbruck by coach in 1966. Believe me, twenty hours non stop (almost) from Calais to Innsbruck in pre aircon days on the hottest day Germany had seen for years was certainly not enjoyable. It put me off coach holidays for life. I didn’t venture onto another coach until 2002, when I needed to use National Express.

    Rail travel on the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed :-)

    Bus travel has come into its own since getting my bus pass, if there is a bus I will use it. I don’t see the point of using my motor, paying car parking, plus the rat race on the roads, when I can relax on a bus.

    My biggest gripe is that where I live, buses don’t run after 7pm, and Sundays there’re none at all. :-( Not really encouraging folk to leave the car behind.

    I do think there is still a lot of snobbery regarding public transport in the UK though, plenty of folk still look down their nose, when it is mentioned.

    I hope the gecko doesn’t grow too big that he can’t get out :-(

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    • LOL! You could probably have travelled from La Linea to Málaga in the time it took to read this post :D

      I like buses, but ONLY for independent travel. The thought of a coach holiday would have me reaching for a methadone prescription. Images of oldies on a coach holiday to Worthing, or wherever, comes to mind. Oh no.

      The bus to my mum’s village was savagely curtailed and def no Sundays – I know because I mentioned it on this post here https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/my-parents-1-my-father/

      Our pueblo buses were cut back but seem to have improved all of a sudden. Trouble is, we walk or cycle, unless we need lots of shopping in which case it is a Landy job once a week. Gib is cool though with the buses being free :) Walk to shops, bus back.

      I think there is snobbery involved too. When I was a kid, I used to hate getting some buses because they were so smelly. Well, the people were…..

      The gecko went walkabout from his sunbathing spot inside the nightlight :D

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      • Oh K, I’ve just read your link :-( that has stirred a few well hidden emotions in me.

        I went through a phrase of walking the two miles into work and often back again too, but arriving looking like a drowned rat on wet days wasn’t the best way to start the day, so I often chose the buses, which in the mornings, were always late, so ended up using my motor.

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        • When I chucked my lease car, partly for cost, partly for sciatica, and partly for ethical reasons, the bus to work was pretty good.

          Plus, standing at the bus stop, I often got lifts from people going to our work anyway. There were always the ones who would drive past too ;)

          When I chucked the car, my secretary asked how I would manage. Then she pointed out it would be cold and wet in winter. So I bought a big coat and a couple of pairs of boots. FFS, it’s not astrophysics!

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  6. If I’m ever in that part of the country I have enough information that I feel I can maneuver my way around the bus lines. I’m the opposite of you, I would talk to people. I may not be the conversation starter but I would talk. I like riding buses but it’s been many years since I .The bus system here in my city is less than stellar. From what i hear from riders, always late, over crowded, etc.
    Very informative post!

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    • Ha! I did write this post with the intention of providing info for people doing a random search.

      I have spoken to people (moreso on trains) but I don’t like sleazy men trying to pick me up – even at my age!

      Local services are different to intercity ones, but I am lucky that in both Gib and Spain the local services are also good.

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  7. The whole bus thing is different there.
    I used to ride them when I didn’t have a car in college – but it wasn’t pleasant. Tried to get the ones that didn’t stop at every bend in the road. Buses were in terrible condition – and the people strange and dirty. And it was a long walk to the station. UGH! But there wasn’t any choice.
    There have been some absolutely horrid bus crashes here in the past few years – some unqualified drivers.
    New bus companies have started up as competition to Greyhound. Some have really cheap seat and nice new buses – and wifi! They go popular routes and you book online. Some don’t have actual stations, but set loading locations. People are willing to ride them, but not sure if they will survive the economy. (A couple routes in TX, more on the East Coast)
    And then there are the local bus companies that run from Big cities to Mexico and the border …old buses, (marginal repairs, complaints) but cheap way to visit home/relatives.
    I’d love to travel by rail/bus if I ever get a chance to get back over there.

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    • I didn’t have a car at university either. There was a local bus service but I tended to walk the two or three miles from hall of residence to university. It was across the park and a nice way to start the day. Plus I could guarantee how long it would take me. Buses at rush hour could be full or late.

      You can book on-line in Spain too, but given that we are light years behind America in terms of internet use and coverage, it’s still a very personal service focused around stations.

      I’ll write a rail post at some point – overnight sleeper, Madrid to Paris.

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  8. I enjoyed that. :-) I occasionally use National Express intercity or airport buses here in the UK and find them well-organised, punctual and reasonably priced. However, as I mentioned before, there are very few local buses in my part of Mid-Wales and none at all to to our village. The place I really appreciated local bus travel was on holiday in Italy some years ago, where my daughter, her friend and I explored a wide area around Lake Garda with the help of the excellent and cheap local bus service. Great fun.

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    • Thanks Perp. The longest post I have ever written!! I get carried away with buses. Literally.

      I’ve not used Nat Ex although did consider it at one point but the train was cheaper and faster!!

      I do think the decline of rural bus services in the UK is extremely sad. A bit like the Beeching cuts.

      I didn’t bus in Italy, only used the train, but I tended to visit cities. Greece, on the other hand, I used the train once, and bussed everywhere else – especially on the islands.

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  9. Reminds me of riding the buses in Brazil. Haven’t done it in the United States, as the bus tickets cost about as much as the gas I would put in my car to drive the distance. An American student of mine once took the bus, and there were creepy old guys leering at her, and then the bus broke down for a few hours. Sounded completely hellish.

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    • The comparison of fuel price and ticket price is an interesting one. When they are similar it is hardly an incentive for people to get out of their cars and on the bus when you add in the time factor/delay on buses. For us it’s cheaper for one to go to Spain to our finca by bus, but with two, and the dog, it is cheaper in the vehicle, including using the toll road. That’s partly because we buy our fuel in Gib though which is significantly cheaper than in Spain.

      We had a bus breakdown in Andalucía – in June, in the afternoon around 3.30 – total heat of the day. The local bar did well selling bottles of water to everyone.

      We didn’t go to see TR. You may have worked that out as I have been silent on it :D Have decided to save ourselves for Skyfall in a couple of weeks which seemed to get reasonable reviews. I like Daniel Craig :)

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  10. I am going to Monachil Pueblo for 6 weeks from October 28th , and have decided that as the last time I drove in the South of Spain was in the 1970’s, to use the Bus services you describe. I am bringing my small dog out from the U.K. with me. Are dogs allowed on buses please ?

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    • Dogs are not allowed on buses to my knowledge. Only if you provide a cage for them so they can go in the luggage compartment underneath. Hmmm. Train might be better if your dog is ten kilos or less as small dogs are permitted by RENFE. And then you have to get from Granada to Monachil. Bus? Taxi? Friends?

      Like

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