Leaving London on a bright sunny day, my backpack feeling light on my shoulders I set out for the sourthern highway. Setting up next to a set of traffic lights, it was no more than 15 minutes later than my first european ride pulled up and motioned me to hop in. Taking me all the way to the ferry terminal, my new friend John manages in just 3 hours, to ply me with valuable networking info, important sites to check out, and even offers me work taking photos for his up and coming travel company… He´s driving the distance to pick up weed from an old friend, and stops to light up along the way. Its good conversation that pushes the time along, and by the time I reach France, it´s close to 9 and the daylight is fading. I manage a few quick rides by truck, car and caravan to Lille, my destination for the night. It´s midnight by now, and my couchsurfing friend who greets me at his home is just the smiling face i need.
A good nights rest, and I set off again for my next port of call, Reims, not two hours away. I´ve decided to take it easy today, and have organised another couchsurfer to stay with. Well well well, what a bloody day this was. I start out by hitching by some lights again, not an ideal spot, but the only one i could find… and its a good 30 mins before a kind soul stops and brings me to a much better location. Here I get a few quick rides, one of which takes me on a detour to his pizza joint, and spends an hour at least, fluffing around and sorting things out. He has an idea that he´s helping, writing me signs and so on, but if i had seen a highway sign near by, i would have legged it. There´s none to be seen around, so i wait around for him to organise himself. A nice guy, there´s no doubt, but often the ones who want to help the most are the least beneficial.
Anyway, finally i´m out on the road again, and there is a big sign up ahead which says REIMS direction, SOUTH. Good stuff, i´m on my way. An hour later, with cars stopping every 15 mins, I´m informed that ACTUALLY the road curves around, and REIMS is the other way, and i should be on the OTHER side of the road. Jesus. Ok, so i almost kill myself walking across the overpass of the highway, and the time is sliding on by while i wait for my ride.
Cut a long story short, this little adventure goes on for SOME HOURS. Thats right, first its that side, then the next, then its neither, then its where i started off. Finally, after spending the entire afternoon, and most of the evening trying to get TWO HOURS, the next car that stops asks me where im going:´Wherever you´re going, fucking anywhere but here´ is my answer and off we go towards Paris. My couchsurfing friend turns out to be an angel in disguise, and drives more than an hour from his house to rescue you me from my day of horror.
The rest of my journey is spent much more pleasantly, and the next two days see me hitching through france at great speed. One night in lyon, and the next day I arrive in the beautiful, hot, spanishy spain!
So here I am now, in Barcelona, finally rested and restored, having spent the last 4 days catching up with old friends, sleeping the days, and drinking the nights away. My spanish is ever so slowly improving, but im yet to calm that sickening feeling in my gut that taunts me: ´maybe you´ll never learn!´ Life here is crazy, fast and furious, but there are more beautiful people in one place than i have ever seen before and i plan on meeting as many of them as i can.
Until later my lonesome travellers, or dharma bums… or whichever you are at the moment…