Here is the 2nd instalment of our reflective travel story series “Mishaps and misadventures in Spain”.
Not everything in life (especially when traveling) goes according to plan. Sometimes the most fun is had when things go a little wrong.
This is a series of memories that we have from traveling in Spain, times when we’ve had bad luck or something funny happened to us.
Mishap = a mistake or bad luck
Misadventure = an unfortunate incident
Hopefully our travel stories will be amusing for you to read or maybe you can learn something from our mistakes 🙂
Travel story No. 2
A confusing bus journey in the Costa del Sol
We arrived into Malaga late in the evening, tired, hungry and lugging our big suitcases. Three relaxing months of exploring Andalusia lie ahead of us but first we had to find our accommodation. The apartment I booked online was all organised, a cute little 1 bed with sea views down on the Costa del Sol at Cala de Mijas.
A quick broken Spanish/English chat with a taxi driver confirmed our suspicions that we really couldn’t afford to take a taxi (we had just quit our jobs to be nomads for the winter). So, we went in search of the bus stop. After some to-ing and fro-ing, we found the correct night bus stop (it was after midnight by now) and waited for it to arrive.
I managed to re-check the property address just before my phone battery died but no matter, I thought, the lady we rented from gave us directions. Just as I was rummaging in my bag for the paperwork the bus pulled in. “Ok, lets go, I’m knackered” Brad said as he hoisted our bags into the luggage compartment. “I hope this is the right bus”. “Yeah it is, look it says here that we just need to follow the coast road towards Fuengirola and get off at the stop after the lighthouse” I said, showing Brad my email from the landlady.
Brad looked out the window “I don’t see any lighthouse, its pitch black out there”. “Well just keep your eyes peeled I’m sure we’ll see it” I replied.
After a while I built up the courage to sway down the empty bus, while the driver sped along the motorway, to ask him how much further until Cala de Mijas. “We pass, go back” he says angrily and stops the bus beckoning us to get off. “Que? No, we haven’t seen the lighthouse” I plead. “Go back!” he says again and points to the bus stop on the other side of the dual carriage way.
On the other side, I try to work out the bus timetable and see if I can spot a name I recognise as being in Cala de Mijas area but between the sun damage and graffiti, its no hope, so we just wait. “We’ll take the bus back and we’ll definitely see the lighthouse this time, you were looking out on the coast side yeah?” I asked Brad. “Yes” Brad answered “lets look at the road signs too”.
This time we sat right at the front, eyes glued to the road ahead. About 10 minutes in, I saw a hotel sign that said Mijas. “Look Mijas!” I shouted. “Si, si, Mijas!” the driver said. So, off we went. Stood at the side of the road again, with our two big suitcases and now feeling a little dehydrated and fed up, we walked towards the nearest cluster of buildings. I showed Brad the street name on the email and I could remember from google maps that the apartment was a on a road that curved off from the main road back from the beach.
“Damn it! Why didn’t I print off a map” I moaned as we walked round and round looking for the street. It felt like forever before we finally admitted to ourselves that we were not in the right place. We had got off the bus too early this time. “I’m not getting another bloody bus” Brad said grumpily. “Lets walk then, it cant be far” I suggested. “I think I will recognise the street, when I see it, from the photos”.
We trudged along the track beside the dual carriageway, pulling our wheelie suitcases along in the dirt. My stomach was rumbling, my eyes straining to stay open and I so wished that we had just taken a taxi.
We finally caught a glimpse of the beam from the lighthouse. No wonder we didn’t see it before, it’s on the shore side of the road, not the coast side. Oh dear, what a confusing bus journey.
Moral of the travel story: Don’t rely on your phone and always have a map so you know where you are going!
I hope you enjoyed our travel story 🙂
If you would like more information on the Costa del Sol read – My trip south to the Costa del Sol
Read our 1st Mishaps and Misadventures in Spain travel story – A daring dune buggy ride in Fuerteventura
Follow Seeking the Spanish Sun travel blog to hear more about our adventures or take a look at our other articles…