Take timings with a pinch of salt and you will never be disappointed.
I bought a Jain bus ticket from hostel Moustache (super easy and very cheap). It cost 300 rupees (just over £3 from Udipur to Jodpur). The journey is 259 km and takes around 6 or 7 hours. The cost of this bus is the same as my commute to work in London (one way).
We took a tuck tuck from hostel Moustache, Udipur to Jain buses. From there we were taken to the bus in another tuck tuck. Sharing the tuck tuck with locals was a bit of a squish.
Taking an Indian bus was quite an experience. We had two seats booked. Above us was a sleeper section. Next to us more seats and a further sleeper level above them too. It was great use of space. I don’t know why we don’t have the same layout in UK buses.
Families huddled into the the sleeper sections. Opposite us was a mother, grandmother and her two kids snuggled together behind an orange curtain.
The bus stopped many times and set off rather late. So we didn’t actually arrive at the hostel in Jodpur until 9pm (we left the hostel in Udipur at 1pm).
The bus went past villages and some very basic houses whose simple cement walls and open doors lead to one or two rooms inside. Next to these homes were more elaborate looking buildings, painted colourfully.
We drove through mountainous desert countryside. It was picturesque. Bare, trees with sigle trunks and winding branches jutted out into the bright blue sky.
I spotted: an elephant outside a temple, camels chilling in fields and cows roaming around everywhere.
While the journey was pretty long, I enjoyed sitting there and relaxing.
Top tips for bus travel:
Booking – there are always buses, so it is fine to book last minute through your hostel or a travel agent. If you don’t mind where you sit. just rock up to the bus station and get a bus then and there. See how much others pay so you don’t get ripped off. Women get a 20% discount on the government buses (this was introduced to encourage women to travel).
Stops – don’t be alarmed when the bus stops. Many people will get on and off during your journey. There may also be a 15 minute break – everyone gets off the bus and then returns.
There will be more people than seats – it is customary for the drivers to squeeze on as many people as possible. You may find yourself sharing your seat with a local.
Food – people will come on the bus selling popcorn, snacks and other beverages. You may want to bring your own snacks too just in case.