Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Europe | Charity Hitch-hike Through France and Spain

Three Countries. Three Charity Hitch-Hikers. One Destination.

A few days ago I just landed back in England after a crazy two weeks travelling. As a student studying at an English University I was lucky enough to participate in an annual event carried out by undergraduate students from all UK Universities. This event was a charity hitch hike through Europe (France and Spain) to Morocco, there is also one which goes to Croatia but the group I travelled with opted for the former. In order to take part in the event the charity asks for a minimum donation of £375 towards Link Community Development which helps improve education in Sub-Saharan Africa. I travelled with one of my best friends from Uni and a guy from another Uni who needed partners to go with. We began our adventure in the south of England in the ferry port of Newhaven (near Brighton) to Dieppe (Northern France).

And so began the craziness...

When I announced to those around me I was first planning on doing this charity hitchhike it was met with, as one would imagine, bewilderment and cautious words. Before hitchhiking I knew it would be a challenge and, from various horror stories knew I was putting myself in a dangerous position. But it was an experience I wanted to have. I, personally, find it thrilling waking up and not knowing where I'm going to end up, who I am going to meet. It's exciting.

So after going through passport control we headed outside. Now where to start hitching from? Before this moment I'd underestimated how random, crazy and difficult this hitch hike all the way to Morocco was going to be. Not letting this thought stand in my way we all headed towards the roundabout and started jumping around, holding our thumbs out and pointing towards our whiteboard which had inscribed on it the words: SUD. After fifteen minutes or so a young couple stopped, ushered us over and announced they were heading to BARCELONA! We said yes and took our first lift.

The couple were incredibly lovely and took us out to a French restaurant in the evening, went to a vineyard and tasted wine, let us eat homemade pizza and drink exquisite wine and stay the night on their friends boat! After this we managed to get a series of small lifts along the east coast of Spain, meeting so many interesting, diverse, crazy lovely people!

We next encountered humbling human kindness from a young musician who took us all the way to Alicante. The next day we again caught small lifts throughout the day until a Spanish mum and her son who took us to Murcia, gave us a tour of the City, bought us free tapas in a local Spanish restaurant followed by  immersing us in the Spanish festivities at the annual Spring festival - Fiestas de Primavera!

After this we again caught small lifts from young football players, a smooth dude and go-getter mums like the one in Murcia to businessmen driving to work until we made it all the way to Tarifa, our final destination!

More Information:It is a charity run event and students from all UK Universities can partake and take up the challenge to get to Morocco whilst raising money to help out children in Africa get a better education. If you are interested in finding out more or perhaps want to have a go in 2014 you can visit their website here! Alternatively, you can sponsor me on this crazy endeavour here. Thank you!

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