Once again on ridesharing. I’ve been writing about this sharing economy travel tool a lot on this trip to Spain. Far more than I expected when I started traveling. I already summed up my experience getting around Spain, but that didn’t include the trip to Madrid, which I think was noteworthy.
For this trip I ended up booking a ride with Amovens. They are the primary competator to Blablacar in Spain. I did this because of a bug with the blablacar.com site which made it look like there were no rides available for my trip (hint: use blablacar.es not blablacar.com for Spain travel). Overall I don’t see any reason to use Amovens. Most people list with both if they use Amovens at all, and the platform is much less sophisticated than Blablacar. I did save the €2 fee that Blablacar takes on bookings of long distance trips, but I also lost the ability to pay by credit card, and had a vague sense of insecurity about the ride beforehand because I didn’t have the payment confirmation.
This trip from Granada to Madrid is really difficult to do without a car. There is no good train route, and the tickets cost at least €71 for the 5 hour route, or at least €59 for the 6.5 hour route. By car this is just a 4 hour trip and the rideshare I booked was €20. A better alternative is probably the bus, which takes 5 hours and costs €23.38. That’s comparable to my rideshare, except slower and not nearly as much fun.
Our driver had a large and comfy SUV, and was a very nice guy. We had one other rider, also from Madrid, along for the trip. And between the two of them they decided we should make a stop at this very peculiar rest stop that features pro-Franco fascist art, propaganda, and products. They wanted to make sure the tourists saw the scary side of Spain. Franco supporters are uncommon in Spain, but somehow this one business in the middle of nowhere has made a large industry out of it. We had a coffee there while one of our car mates explained to me all the things hanging on the walls and just how pro-fascist this place was. Very interesting.
As with other rides, I gathered a lot of useful info about my next city. In this case local tips on places to eat, neighborhoods to explore, parks to wander in, and museums to visit. And once again, hours of practice in Spanish conversation. All the talking made the 4 hour ride seem very fast.
Conclusion: use Blablacar when traveling in Spain. Did I mention I love ridesharing?