After experiencing his hours of fame in the years 70, hitchhiking almost disappeared from our roads. Yet it remains an exceptional experience and rich in bounce that must have done at least once in his life…
To convince you, Planet Ride offers you the testimonial of a great hitchhiker!
“Like many, the memory I have of my first experience in hitchhiking is more the licking I took by my mother when she learned it than the model of the car. I ended up waiting for my majority to go back on the roads with the thumb in the air. From France to Australia through Bolivia, hitchhiking is the best way to travel! “
“The first difficulty when you start a road trip hitchhiking is to trust strangers. You can rarely choose your driver according to your tastes and desires. For the most experienced, the challenge may be to want to be stopped by a particular vehicle (airplane, boat, motorhome, side car, motorbike…). It’s a way to choose your unknown. Meetings can lead you to extra travel that you might not have imagined. From the cattle breeder who invites you to his family farm near Aurillac to the young juggler who proposes you to dine and sleep at his house in the city centre of Rodez, the extraordinary meetings are not lacking!
Once while I was browsing Bolivia with a friend, it is a taxi driver who decides to take us with him for free in the sugar center. After an awesome afternoon spent together, Bernardino, our driver, decides to follow us on our journey to the salt desert in Uyuni! More than 500 km from the place where we met him! Bolivian by birth, Bernardino had never had the opportunity to go and see this desert. After a phone call passed to his wife in order to get his permission, we left for one of the most beautiful places in the world! An exceptional moment that will have allowed us to take the wheel in the desert, a rare thing for a tourist. The driver who decides to take a hitchhiker is very often exceptionally generous. “
The road and the landscapes
“During hitchhiking trips the route taken is an essential element. While you usually do not pay attention to it, in stop you do not really have a choice. It is imperative to follow all the signs on your way, to know which direction you are taking, it can always serve… From the service station to the toll, you will have to be attentive to all the places that will allow you to chain your road-trip by hitchhiking, these are strategic places! If you are deposited at a toll, I advise you the small street shows in order to attract the eyes of drivers who are, most of the time, happy to relieve stress in front of your antics after a painful expectation. (While staying cautious of course!).
If you find yourself stuck at the gas station, make friendships with the station manager who is most of the time very charming. Don’t be afraid to go to the drivers when they get out of their vehicle without scaring them, of course. A base of politeness seasoned with humour and daring will allow you to find a car in the next hour ¼, Word of hitchhiker! Of course the highway is not the only solution in hitchhiking. Do not hesitate to leave if you are looking to discover small corners of paradise. Focus on the highway if you are looking to make a kilometer and rather the small departmental roads if you are looking for the country. The stop off the main roads is the best way to meet the locals, who will be happy, I am sure, to make you discover the secrets of their regions! “
“The road trip in hitchhiking is almost all the time a story that ends well. The wait can sometimes be very long on the edges of a road but it is necessary to take its ill in patience. Only one car can be enough to give you back your spirits. I still remember a trip on the east coast of Australia where I ended up waiting, with my binomial, no less than 8 hours without any car deciding to take us. While we were two fingers away from giving up it’s a giant van that parked on the bottom side and finally takes us!
Aboard this van, we met a couple of Australians who were touring their country indefinitely. They finally greeted us for almost three days aboard their house on Wheels. We were in the right place and with the right people to enjoy the different landscapes that Australia reserves, while sipping the vodka house of our now friends Denise and Mark. It is also possible to have real mishaps in hitchhiking, like everywhere! I touch wood but after almost 10 000 km hitchhiking around the world I have never made bad encounters to the point of stopping. The best way to avoid unpleasant encounters is to rely on your instincts. It is undoubtedly your best ally on your journey.
So, motivated? Take your thumbs out and go on an adventure! “
-Robin Aïche for Planet Ride