Mishaps and misadventures in Spain: A confusing bus journey

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Mishaps & Misadventures in Spain No2. A confusing bus journey. Travel stories by Seeking the Spanish Sun travel blog www.seekingthespanishsun.com

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.

A confusing bus journey in Costa del Sol

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 articlesโ€ฆ

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  1. 15th June 2018 / 11:56 pm

    This is so crazy, it’s definitely a story to tell and you are probably going to be super extra careful next time hehehe! I love Spain, I just got back from a holiday there.

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      16th June 2018 / 6:54 pm

      I am super careful now to make sure I know exactly where we are going without relying on google maps ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to hear you had a great time on your holiday to Spain!

  2. 15th June 2018 / 2:08 am

    Stories like this are what make travelling so fun! Sure, at the time it’s a pain, but if it work out ok, then you have a great story to tell later on!!

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      15th June 2018 / 9:38 am

      Hi Maggie, they sure are! Once a little time has passed you can always look back and laugh.

  3. 14th June 2018 / 4:35 am

    Lmao sorry for laughing at your plight but I just pictured you two dragging luggage down the highway and the locals wondering who these strangers were. Lol. I always print a Google map or at least do a rough route sketch in my travel notebook in case my battery dies. Nothing worse than missing your way in a land where the language isn’t your first.

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      14th June 2018 / 10:00 am

      Haha that’s exactly how we looked! A rough route sketch is a great idea, I will try that. Getting lost when you don’t know the language is the worst!

  4. Renata
    13th June 2018 / 9:08 pm

    This sounds just so familiar – been there so often since I’m travelling by public transport everywhere I go…so there are a couple of minor misunderstandings from time to time. The very moment it’s annoying, but eventually, you have a hilarious story to share with us.

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      14th June 2018 / 9:58 am

      That’s it… annoying travel situations turn into hilarious stories and lessons learned ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. 13th June 2018 / 5:43 pm

    I use Google Maps alot when I’m travelling with full confidence that my battery won’t die because it’s capacity is larger compared to other phones. After reading your post I guess I should also print a map, just in case.

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      13th June 2018 / 5:50 pm

      I use Google maps alot too and usually carry a portable charger but we got caught out here and a good old fashioned map would have helped ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. 12th June 2018 / 4:04 pm

    Ha! I completely sympathise – I hate getting lost abroad – I once took a bus home from a night out in Amsterdam, and didn’t realise it was on a diversion until we were well out of the city. The bus driver couldn’t offer much help, and we were in the middle of a completely dead residential area, so we had to WALK for about 3 hours until we got back to a place we recognised and could get another bus. Was absolutely exhausted by the end of it!

    • SeekingTheSpanishSun
      12th June 2018 / 4:07 pm

      Ahhhh that does not sound like fun! 3 hours walk… wow! The funny thing is I bet you look back and laugh at that experience all the time and I’m sure you are super careful when you take the bus now! All we can do is learn from this bad/silly experiences.

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