Hitchhike Journal #10: Padova – Portoroz (SLO) | Yo, tu, Hotel, Fuck…

Padova – Portoroz
14 August 2016
Distance: 272km
Transportation:   4 cars
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes


I was on strike and did not hitchhike for a whole week to recover my health problem. I travelled from Bologna with the luxurious train to Milan and to reunite with my lovely girl Manoela and my awesome host Emanuele. We had planned a little vacation together when Manoela left me in Cinque Terre that we would go to Verona together but Ema was a small surprise. I had a beautiful 3 day vacation with them, went to Verona, Lago Garda and to the beautiful Venice. However, I could not keep my trip on hold so it was time to be back on the road.

After saying goodbye to Ema and Manoela at a gas station, I was partly ready to hitchhike again. I was going to cross another country – Slovenia – where I had no idea about the country as well as their language.

I didn’t have to wait very long to get my first ride. A sweet family driving from Milan offered me a ride. They were so kind to me that I was touched when I said goodbye to them. Luisella could speak proper English and her 6 year old son Andrea could even ask me my name in English. It was the most adorable thing I had experienced during my trip. Luisella offered me a panini and a bottle of water and she kept asking me if I needed anything else. It felt good to be taken care of for awhile. She was very fascinated speaking English with me because she wanted to practice her English. They dropped me off at a gas station and Andrea gave me a kiss goodbye (how sweet). Something unexpected happened. They gave me in my hand 20 Euro and insisted me to take it for on the way. I was speechless to what they had just done for me and didn’t know what else I could do more than giving them a hug.

Under 5 minutes, there was a guy driving a Romanian car registration plate car asked me. He was going to drive to Ljubljana and I asked him if he would go in Trieste direction. He said yes. I asked him if I could join him to Trieste. He said yes. We drove for awhile and he kept telling me that I was beautiful which made me feel very uncomfortable. At one point, he took an exit to a toll booth but on a different highway from the one I was supposed to take in order to get to Trieste. I showed him the maps and asked if he could drop me off some gas stations on the way in Slovenia. He said yes. The fact that he could only speak Italian, it was a difficulty for me to instruct him to bring me to a certain place and I was dependent on him. He started asking me about my vacation, then what else I heard was hotel, beach, man… I started to feel weird. We were close enough to the split of exits between Ljubljana and Koper. There was still no gas stations. He came to me and said – “Yo, tu, hotel, fuck, then you go Koper”. I said no and told him to stop at the exit right away. He started to say the same thing again, kept his hand touching my leg and even to my chest. I defenced and that was all I could do. I got out of the car, in the middle of the highway. It started to rain, heavily. For the first time in my trip, I felt I was broken down. I cried. I was standing at the vignette checking point and hoping for a ride to come but there was no traffic going to Koper direction. I just stood in the rain and tried to find a shelter to hide. Some cars passed by but no one seemed like to stop. Few cars in row were going toward me to the direction of Koper. They had to stop to be checked and that was when I found my chance. I knocked on some cars’ windows to ask and finally one person accepted me. He drove me to a town near by and dropped me off at the exit. Lucky enough, I got another ride right away from there to go to Isola – where I was going to wait for my host to pick me up.

I really cannot describe how I feel at the moment because my emotions are mixed up. I feel exhausted, energy-less, homesick. Right now, I just want to be home, to have my family’s food, to be surrounded by friends. But you know, it’s been 6 weeks and this is the challenge I have given myself. That’s why, I’m going on and not gonna give up.

My plan has changed!

I’m gonna cut off a week of travelling so I will be back in Germany one week earlier because I need to take care of some school works. I’m not crossing Austria as I planned but I will still go to Austria to head over to Bratislava, Slovakia. For now, it’s time to see Slovenia

Hitchhike Journal #7: Genova – Cinque Terre | Hitchhike with a company

27 July 2016
Distance: 101km
Transportation:   3cars
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes


IMG_9968

I was very excited for this trip to happen. It had been years I thought of going to Cinque Terre because I wanted to see those cute towns in real life instead through photos. That trip was even more exciting because for the first time I had a company with me. I met Manoela in Milan through Couchsurfing. Having spent few days with each other, we had that click that we decided to travel with each other. Early in the morning, she took a trip from Milan to see me in Genova and the plan was to hitchhike together. For Manoela, it was the first time so I was so glad to show her what I had been doing the last weeks.

We started the trip from the train station Genova Principe and certainly it was a rough start. After asking around the way to the highway, we got a bus ride towards the ‘Autostrada’. That moment on, all struggles started. We went to the North-west of the city which all highways there were quite complicated. We went from one gas station to the other and somehow we still ended up in the wrong gas station. In the end, we stood very close to the highway and hoped for a ride to the main highway towards La Spezia. That took an hour.

A car with a French registration plate asked us if we wanted to have the ride. Oh well, he spoke French and I could only said ‘je parle pas français’ which obviously couldn’t help. Manoela is Brazilian and she could speak a bit of Italian which already was a great help for our trip already. With the very low Arabic music on, he drove us to the highway. Then come the exit to Milan, he dropped us in the middle of the highway where the exit was split into 2. We were terrified standing there because trucks were passing us and got pretty close. Luckily, after 5 minutes, a car accepted to drive us. We were happy running quickly crossing the highway (and laughing at the same time because of being so happy). He was heading to Rome but he agreed to bring us to the exit of La Spezia. Just before the toll, we got out and 2 women kindly took us in their car and drove us to La Spezia.

It was just 10′ train ride from La Spezia to where we were gonna stay – Riomaggiore. We took a rest, ate some Chinese (since we were both sick of eating Pasta everyday) and took the train to Riomaggiore.

Hitchhiking with 2 people, in my opinion, might be slightly more difficult because we were with two. Well, there is no proof though. However, it is always good to have a company because you wouldn’t like to wait for an hour by yourself.

Hitchhike Journal #6: Milan – Genova

24 July 2016
Distance: 142km
Transportation:  2 cars
Duration: 3 hours


The last trip took quite some nerves but this one went smoothly. To be honest, it took me awhile to put myself together and got ready for the trip again. The image of the truck driver asking me for sex was still in my head and I was very worried if there would be anything bad happen again. However, I had trust on people and there are always good people out there.

I had an incredible time in Milan. Emanuele was my host and he saved me from sleeping at the train station. He opened the door for me with full of hospitality. I thank him for the care and making me one part of his family. For sure, the big thank to Couchsurfing.com because they have brought people from all over the world together, let us share common interests.

Ema brought me to the gas station early morning. After saying goodbye, I started making my sign to head to Genova. The gas station I stood was at Viale Liguria. I couldn’t tell if it was the good station for hitchhikers or not. The traffic was crowded but there are many exits. It took me 20 minutes to have the first offer. He took me to Auto Grill which is the gas station/rest place for vehicles. From there, it was a short time till I had another ride.

In Genova, I was lucky to stay in one of the best spots of the city. It is close to the train station and up hill. From my host’s place, I had a great view of the city.

IMG_9869Pretty awesome huh?