It was possible for me to catch a relatively short flight from Las Vegas to Palm Springs, however it was also about five times the price of catching a Greyhound bus. The bus trip, however, was about twice as long. I decided this would be a good opportunity for me to see the Californian dessert and take a look at a few of the towns I’d be stopping at along the way.
To get to Palm Springs as early as possible I bought the earliest ticket possible, 6.45am. Needing to collect my ticket and begin waiting an hour prior to departure, as recommended by the company, I needed to get up around 5am. Ouch! Not the most ideal situation for a Las Vegas visitor!
I learnt throughout my bus ride that the Greyhound bus stations are definitely not the most appealing places to be; crammed with loud awful, sometimes smelly, people I was definitely no longer easefully strolling down Madison Avenue.
Another disgusting fact about Greyhound services is that the reason you need to arrive at the station early is to wait in line at your departure gate because your seat is not guaranteed, even if you’ve purchased a ticket. I witnessed this with a different bus at one of my stops. Those poor people would undoubtedly have to wait up to a few hours for another bus.
The trip itself was relatively painless. I kept falling in and out of sleep which made the time pass faster. The scenery outside for the most part was unchanging until we reached some mountains. In an odd contrast to the hot dry baron desert surrounding me the mountains were snow-capped and inviting.
I reached Riverside around noon for my transfer to Palm Springs. It was here that I was the unhappiest I’ve been for my entire trip. My connecting bus was an hour late (after already waiting 1.5 hours) and the people at the station were horrendous. Becoming agitated and repulsed I took refuge outside in the fresh air and warmth of the sun, still however distracted by the rough locals and other waiting passengers. My stress was magnified by the over looming question: what if there aren’t enough seats on this bus? I contemplated the cost of a taxi, but luckily a bus arrived not too much later and there were plenty of seats available.
By the time I reached Palm Springs it was a lot over an hour than I had originally anticipated and planned. Travelling to my hotel in a taxi I could see a shadow cast across the road by the sun setting behind the mountains surrounding the city. At this point I once again became frustrated knowing I wouldn’t be able to take a swim and lay in the sun for a short while as I has also originally planned.
About 12 hours after waking up, I finally reached my hotel, which proved to be worth the wait …