Monday, 20 August 2012

Hitchventure 2012: Day 1...

So that was a bit embarrassing! A full blown mental meltdown quite publicly on VagabondingAdam Facebook account! Sorry about that!

I really don't know what came over me. I was sat at Pease Pottage for a good hour and a half. There were no takers for my 'M25 East' sign. Just a few good people asking if I wanted to go West, towards Heathrow.

All of a sudden I just freaked. There were a few trucks in the truck park from the continent. An Albanian, Lithuanian and others I couldn't work out. None of the drivers looked particular nice, clean or in anyway friendly. I started to worry about the channel crossing. What would it be like? Would I ever get a lift? I'd read loads on the internet before leaving and was bold as brass sitting at the PC at home, but now I was out there, really doing it. I was having a Britney moment.

It all got a little too much. I rang Kerry and urged her to bring me the Collins Handy Britain map as I only had the European one. Europe was out. I couldn't do it. My gut feeling told me not to and with Hitching, that is what you listen to. Not your heart or even your brain sometimes, but your gut.

I freaked a tiny bit more while she drove to me and ended up sitting in Crawley park while the car had some work done in the garage, grimacing through my teeth and audibly moaning at my disappointment. I had a chat with Kerry and she thought it was because of my control freak nature. She's probably right. There was just too many things that were out of my control. Language, ferry, places I'd never heard of, let alone knew where they were geographically. I would be totally removed from everything.

I rang my Mum (Yes I know, pissy girl again) and texted a few good mates. It was back on. Screw Europe with your funny voices and unknown places. Great Britain here we come.

Kerry dropped me back out to Pease Pottage and I proudly span my 'M25' sign with glee. This is what Hitching is about! Joy. There were 2 female hitchikers just round the corner. They wanted to get IN to London and not around so we agreed I could hitch in my spot and pass on any rides headed in. It took no longer than 20 minutes and I was in a car and on my way.

I got to Oxford services in one ride with a nice lady who was quite high up in a pyramid sounding business. She tried her hardest to get me to sign up but I've dabbled with Ponzi schemes before and it only produces losers. I entertained her babble though and she got me a hell of the way up the road.

Mark and Carly were next to pick me up. And in a magical film makers moment it was all caught on camera. They had just been to a lavish wedding in London with boating trips on the Thames and a full 3 course meal for 150 people!

They were bound for Manchester, where they lived, and were able to drop me off on the M6 just after Birmingham. Sam gave me a short trip down the road to Telford services where the sun started to go down. I'd travelled 180 miles in under 4 and a half hours. Quite an achievement!

I found a small wood next to the services and got stung to death getting in! I lay down my bivvi and didn't even set up a tarp. I was confident it wouldn't rain.

Head over to Day 2

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