So, hitchhiking has been fun, and although everyone inhales quite quickly when they hear that I do it alone, well, that is part of the fun as well! I will get on more about the reactions, how I survive, and my traveling philosophy soon, in another post.
So, on about August 9th, I decided to head out of Venice. (I had begun to notice a couple of sketchy figures that seemed to happen to be everywhere I happened to be, including another island…but that’s another story) It was about 5:30 p.m. when I decided not to stay one more night, which really wasn’t a great idea, in theory, I should have just stayed that last night, then headed out in the morning. It seemed, though, that multiple things seemed to kind of catapult me out…
1. The sketchy men
2. The lightening storm from the previous night had made me question if I really was listening in school when we learned about how lightening works, and wondering if I was going to be struck out on account of my famous “good luck.”
3. I was becoming attached to Venice, and was thinking about looking for hostel work,
4. I woke up that morning soaked in half a bottle of Prosecco that I had forgotten about, with the song “Red Red Wine” stuck in my head; maybe I was too alone?
So at the moment I decided to run off and continue on my journey towards Vienna, Austria, I began to pack my stuff up. I jammed Ol’ Blue into its small tent pack, and headed on, looking back at my beautiful beach. I jumped on bus B to the ferry harbor, then headed straight for the mainland.
When I got to the mainland, I reached an awkward point in the road, one that hitchhikers would understand…not quite a highway, but no where to pull over, and too “populated,” if you can believe it. I saw a Bangladeshi man in a car pulled over near where I was, and watched as his wife and kids climbed out of the car. Figuring I should just ask how far the actual entry point to the highway is, I walked up, and did just that.
Mr. Bangladesh said it was close but too far to walk, so he offered me a ride…this was the one and only time I felt a small “ping” in the back of my head, I hadn’t experienced this “ping” yet, so I couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet. I would quickly find out though, as withing one minute, he said he “had a proposal.” Enter “ping ping ping” in the back of my head here, as well as crawling skin. He offered 300 Euros if I would sleep with him…I pretty much puked in my mouth right then and there, yelled “Stop this mother f***ing car, RIGHT NOW.” and as I was getting out of the car, he said “you know, you are really ugly, you aren’t worth that much, I was just trying to be nice.” Holy EWWWW! No way would I ever degrade myself and my body for money, no matter how poor I am!
At this point I’m thinking what a lovely start I am having this evening, and that I should really just turn my ass around and go back to my beach for one more night. If I was smart, I probably should have done that, but the end result of this night would deem to be quite interesting, although it would take me off what course I had planned a few hours earlier in my head.
As I walked along the quickly darkening road, I spotted a tiny red car pulled over, it obviously wasn’t pulled over for me though, so I put my things down and sat on Ol’ Blue. A man, whom I later learned was from Nigeria, was lost and trying to find out which way to get to Udine, which was what my sign said, as it was on my way to Vienna. He seemed to think that driving back in the mess of things towards Venice was correct, and I repeatedly had to tell him, its just a dead end, back to Venice, how does he expect to get to Udine driving into the ocean?! He though I was crazy when I said this to him, but I was looking at him as he was the crazy one.
He thanks me for the directions towards Udine, then gets into his car, then steps back out in a few moments. He walks up and says his “wife and child” are in the car, and that they could manage to squeeze me in if I was willing to be cramped up, at least to the Austrian border. I figure, why not, there is a woman and a baby, and its getting dark, and well, why not?
We begin driving and realize we have to go through Verona, Italy to get out to the highway they are looking for, so we head away from Udine. I find out that they live in Munich, Germany, and am quickly asked about how “heavy my pockets are.” I’m a hitchhiker, do you think a lone woman would hitchhike if her pockets were heavy?! I said my pockets don’t exist, because, in all reality, they don’t.
Apparently, because of getting lost, they have run out of money for gas and the highway fees, which will amount to 50 Euro. I feel bad because they have a child in the car, its raining now, and dark…and I just happened to only have 50 Euro. I figured I wasnt supposed to have the 50 Euro to begin with, so why not give it to a good cause, they are helping me, I can help them, and if I don’t get the money back it will be okay, I survived this long without a dime, why do I need money now? So I handed everything in my pocket over. The man promised to take me back to Munich, Germany, pay me back after I rested at their place, then I could be on my way to Vienna, Austria.
That was my first time on the Autobahn…bad headlights, horrible driver, rain, pitch black, and my car sickness, on top of the fact that I was smashed in and had anxiety because I couldn’t see the road. I vowed to myself that I would only go on the Autobahn again as long as it was daytime.
I stayed at the home until the morning of the 13th on August. I decided it was time to head off again, and as I was getting tired of traveling for the moment, always wondering where I would sleep, and how I would eat each day, it was time for me to settle a bit, at a hostel I had been in contact with back when I was still in Romania. This hostel was located in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Before I left Munich, I wanted to see Dachau Concentration Camp, so with all my things packed on my body, I walked the 2 kilometers to the S-Bahn, heading to Dachau. I got to Dachau, and, of course I was not allowed to set my bags anywhere, so there I was with about 50 lbs packed on my back, front, and in hand (my effing laptop is ridiculously heavy) walking about the entire camp for the next four hours.
After my walking about Dachau, I headed to the Autobahn…