Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roaming through the night

Three days on the road. First one with only three rides on the distance of 580 km, finished in Halle. Second and third were what recently became my new favorite thing about thumbing. Continuous hitchhiking for over 24 hours. At the beginning of my hitchhiking career I'd never imagine doing it during the night, but just like hitching alone, hitching alone with a sign indicating my direction, hitching with two males in a car, hitching with three males in a car, hitching with three shady-looking males in a car, time for night hitching came as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. What's interesting, I had an impression that people stopped quicker when it was dark. Even getting off the highway several times didn't give me much trouble, no more than 15 minutes and I rolled again.

Feeling totally no fatigue, I reached Switzerland just before small hours, saw splendid sunrise, night lights of Lac Léman, starry sky over Chambery. I haven't seen sky so dotted with stars since my last year's summer stay in Colorado at the elevation of 2428 m. Just looking at stars puts me in a happy-contemplative mood. Whenever I see them, I enjoy wondering about distant places that beckon temptingly, about people in my life and the future in store for us.
Add the feeling of being pleasantly tired... not having slept for almost a day but excited and drunk with life, with the road, with adventure, being happy with what I have done. Maybe I don't make 1000000$ a year, maybe I don't live in a villa with 50 rooms, maybe I don't spend each holidays on Hawaii, maybe my daily budget is pretty low, maybe some stranger's car is sometimes the only home I have for the night... But that's what makes life unique and that's what makes me happy.

I haven't came across any weirdos, haven't got robbed, raped or even got close to it. When people ask me if I am scared, I tell them that I'm just cautious.

Thanks to my drivers, especially:
  • Polish engineer living in Wolfsburg who gave me a ride from Bydgoszcz to Berlin, thanks to which I could save some time I'd probably spend trying to catch a ride on Polish roads;
  • young German businessman who shared his stories about cheap backpacking in Asia and expensive holidays in Maldives brought to him thanks to Eyjafjallajökull eruption;
  • Czech truck driver who, even though he accidentally dropped me off in a wrong place off the highway, gave me a chance to feel France over the border, around 7 hourse before I eventually entered this country;
  • a young French girl (also a couchsurfer) coming back from her interrail trip with 2 guy friends, who sparked me about India by describing its huge versatility in different regions, and whom I encouraged to see the western part of USA by telling her about extremely friendly people and magnificent nature;
  • truck driver going all the way to Marseille, sent to me at a very small péage before 5 am, who offered me a ride right when my wearied body craved for rest the most;
  • all French and non-English speaking drivers who forced me to speak French and gave a chance to use new words I have learned recently.
Bonne nuit.

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