Well, school is over, I’m done with DEFLE, I left my apartment exactly a week ago and for the past week I have been hiding in a Rotarian’s attic. And now, finally, it is time to leave the nest and throw myself into the world once again.
At first I didn’t think I was gonna do it alone, I had plans to travel in groups or with friends, but not everything works how we want it to. Once again, I’ll get 2 months to travel by myself, visit some friends, meet new people, discover new cities and countries where I don’t speak a bit of the language. This would be terrifying, but after being in Athens, and hearing greek for the first time, nothing else scares me.
Packing and leaving Bordeaux wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I did make great friends there, Rotary exchange students, Rotex, DEFLE students, and of course, some French people. but I have gotten pretty used to the idea of leaving, and like the title says; Sorry, I can’t stay long. That along with the idea of what lays ahead of me this summer just thrills me. I was so excited, but so excited, that I decided to leave the Aquitaine hitchhiking.
Hitchhiking aint easy in Europe, not because it is dangerous, it’s not! I mean, I’m from South America for crying out loud, I did a 1000km in two days with a backpack in my back and no fear in my heart. The problem here is that no one stops for you. As I have learned earlier, the french are just not as welcoming, caring and helping as the South Americans. Of course I am generalizing, which is unfair, but I feel like that is one of the main cultural differences between us Brazilians and the French. But today I did have 7 awesome french people that helped me immensely on my 1st day of traveling.
The first one of them is Christine Schieber; the Rotarian that hosted me for this past week. The last one is Thierry Chappe; the french with whom I’m Couch Surfing tonight in Paris. In between I have these 5 awesome french that picked me up on the road and drove me for 607 KM today.
So this is how it went:
- At 8:10 I left the house in Talance
- At 9:30 Lift my thumb for the first time this morning
- At 10:00-10:10 My first ride drove me from Bordeaux to Carbon Blanc (10,6 km)
- At 13:00-13:50 Second one and hardest to get; Carbon Blanc – Saintes (107 km)
- At 14:40-14:50 Third one; Saintes - St Jean Angely (27,3 km)
- At 15:15-15:25 The fourth one took me to main important spot at A10; St Jean Angely – Niort (49,3 km)
- At 15:50-19:50 Last and most important, 5th driver took me from Niort all the way to Paris (413 km)
- At 20:50 I Arrived at Couch Surfer’s house. WIN!
Rough day? Pff, YES! At some points I didn’t think I was gonna make it to Paris, or even leave my second city. Other times I even had it figured out in my mind my possible sleeping places, because I thought no one would pick me up. But here I am, in Paris for the night, enjoying my cup of tea and admiring the Eiffel Tower. Tomorrow I’m going to Troyes, to see Chloe Soto-Mayor after an entire year, this time I’m taking a train.
PS: 2/5 drivers that picked me up on the A10 road said they only stopped because I had my Brazilian flag out. One was married to a brazilian, the other one had been in Brazil just last week.