Posted on October 20, 2015
Hitchhiking Europe: Day 5
The Spanish-French border
We walked up to the highway. On the French side, the tollroad starts so all traffic has to make a stop there. There were a lot of trucks but not so many cars. Still, it didn’t take long for us to get a ride from a French guy born in Spain. We had to make a little detour because he got distracted and missed a turn. He left us waiting in his car and while he went to the hospital to pick up a form. He told us about his shop he lost because of his health. We got back on the highway and he dropped us off at another toll station.
It took about 10 minutes to get another ride. The driver didn’t speak English. He dropped us off at a petrol station. Just when the driver left, an accident happened in front of our eyes on the highway. A tree was blocking our view a bit so it was hard to see how it exactly happened but one truck lost some big metal cylinders and another lost crates full of bottled drinks. Two other trucks were standing still as well, at least one of those had some damage. This caused a huge traffic jam as the whole highway was blocked. Luckily for us, this meant that all traffic was driving around the accident via the petrol station. We were going to have a break first, but French petrol stations are too expensive anyway and with all the traffic passing by, we quickly went back to hitch a ride. A few minutes later a guy offered us a ride to a supermarket close to the highway.
We didn’t eat much while on the road so it was nice to find a supermarket again. After a quick break, we hitchhiked at some traffic lights nearby. It was the only place cars could stop. A French woman, who also didn’t speak English, offered to bring us somewhere. We always try to get a place along the highway and she assured us there would be a good place on the highway, even though she took smaller roads. She dropped us off at a toll station on the beginning of the highway. Signs indicated the next place was called Périgueux. There was almost no traffic here and the sun started to set.
We gave up and wanted to look for a place to set up the tent. Just at that moment a driver stopped for us. He spoke English well because he was born in Perth, Australia. We both asked at the same time “Then why are you here?” He somehow managed to find a girlfriend who is not interested in going to Australia. Anyway, he drove us to a petrol station near Périgueux where we spent the night in the tent between some trees.
Distance traveled today: approximately 750 km
Total distance traveled: approximately 1620 km