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Cluj – Amsterdam Hitch

I intended to start hitching on Monday, sadly rain hit Cluj. I figured ill kick back for one more day and get going the next. It was a great choice, for Tuesday morning the weather was much better. I arrived at the hitch-hiking spot around 09:00 and got a ride in about 50 minutes towards Oradea. While driving the dude told me had had to make a little detour and do some buizness, Basically he was a salesman working for a concrete company, he had to drop of a sample at a nearby mobile concrete station. I figured, ill just join him, he seemed cool. Eventually he took me all the way to the Border crossing of Romania/Hungary, due to the detour though we arrived around 14:00

I walked the border and popped my sign with Budapest, Wien, High in the sky! There wasn’t that much traffic but eventually this fancy Italian car stopped. Inside though wasn’t an Italian, it was a Moldovan dude my age. He was going all the way to Salzburg Austria. Heall Yeah! The dude named Mihail (pronunced as Micheal) was pretty damn cool. He seemed to be of the Moldovan high class, for his car was fancy, he had some pretty bling bling watch. Basically he works as a driver. A friend of him got an accident in Austria, the reason he was heading there was to pick him up and bring him home. The road was quick for Mihail was quite the fast driver, even though of the high speeds he seemed to know what he was doing. Unlike some other Romanian rides I hitched :)) (no accidents occurred that day). Mihail was very fond of Karma, we had an extensive chat about the simple fact that What you Give is what you Get. If you are friendly to people around you and help them, people will be friendly to you and help you. If you are an asshole and fuck people up. Theres gonna be people fucking you up. Arriving In Hungary he wanted to get some food, Goulash is the stuff to eat here he said. The best one is here on the highway. Ill buy you one!

Arriving at the place I laughed, for I hitch-hiked on the other side of the highway a few times. I never stopped on this side of the highway though. Considering he invited me for dinner and I didn’t eat much that morning except for some Eggplant Salad la Ioana I gladly accepted the invite. Besides that, Traditional Hungarian Goulash, That stuff is just great. We ate and kept moving. Eventually he dropped me off in Linz around 22:00 that evening. Its a new record!! My luck ran out though, The place he dropped me off seemed perfect, Multiple gas stations, Big resting area, Big restaurant, Industrial area connected to it, Lots of traffic. Sadly enough only local traffic. It seemed I was right before this bigger intersection and nobody was taking the exit I needed to take. I walked around and asked people until midnight when I decided to find a place to pop my tent. I walked to the other side of the Industrial area, There on some farmland hidden between trees and Crops I slept.

I woke up before Sunrise, Packed my stuff and headed to the Autobahn

I woke up before Sunrise, Packed my stuff and headed to the Autobahn

Day 2

I got back to the Highway around 07:00, Ready to get to NL by the evening. I switched between 2 spots basically, but talking to the people and looking at their plates it were 99% locals, nobody heading towards Germany at all. For the first time since I have been hitch-hiking I kind of lost in Negative Ego Mental patterns . Last night I was stuck here, Now again no luck at all. The voice just kept on complaining, Dude your stuck here, Dude your never gonna get out, Dude there are no German cars here, Dude ya should have stayed in Romania. Then the light bulb popped up. Andy one of the volunteers who helped us digging the trench lives in Linz. I texted Victor for his number a gave him a call, problem solved! He was quite surprised to hear my voice, but he was glad to pick me up and help me on my way. It was great to see him really, I felt so much better getting out of another Oblivion. He advised me to take the local road to Passau rather then stay on the Autobahn. Its not as fast as the Autobahn, but local people are much more friendly so you get more short rides. So we drove inside Linz and he dropped me off on the road.

Things were looking forward, After a little wait a cool dreaded girl picked me up who took me for 15 km, There another lady picked me up who took me for about 20, then a guy doing groceries another 15km further, from there I walked a bit until suddenly this car from the other side of the road stopped with seemingly a mother and a daughter, yelling. Heyyy! Wanna come with us. Wait here let me turn around! The daughter was going to Passau for shopping, but first she had to bring her mom home and pick up her sister. When I asked later, it seemed that they passed me while I was walking, Then suddenly the mom asked, shall we bring him? The daughter replied, yes lets do it! then they turned around and came back for me! The road was great, the main road to Passau was closed, so we had to take a detour through Austrian Country Side and parallel to the Donau. In the end they dropped me at the A3 Highway entrance on the other side of Passau. Quite fast I got a short ride to the first Gas station on the Autobahn.

Back on the Autobahn thing returned back to normal. Lots of people, lots of cars, lots of long distance travelers. I just had to find the right one! I mostly stood at the entrance of the shop and ask people filling up gas where they were going and whether they could take me. Eventually I got a ride to Nurnberg, The dude told me that there was a huge Traffic jam at the Austrian/German border due to the Refugee controls. I didn’t even notice at all for I kind of avoided the control taking the local roads. I did see some huge tent camps at the Hungarian border, and some random families chilling at Gas station. While driving the guy couldn’t find a hotel in Nurnberg to sleep in, instead he found a room not that far from where he picked me up. It was dark now too, He dropped me of at a seemingly good spot, but at arrival I noticed the emptiness of this place. Damn I felt like I was in the Apocalypse.

Deserted Gas station trying to Hitch-hike at night.

Deserted Gas station trying to Hitch-hike at night.

Even though it was night and empty, I didn’t wanna stop trying until midnight at least. I started walking around searching for some truckers. but as expected they were getting ready to sleep. I applied my usual tactic, To park my backpack and myself at the shops entrance, then walk and talk to people filling up gas. It was a very empty gas station, very little cars coming in. There were also police patrols every 30 minutes or so. The few cars that did stop seemed rather friendly but were not going in my direction. Eventually the Police came to check on me to. They drove some circles when eventually stopping right in front of me. It was quite fun actually, They rolled down the window, before they were able to say anything I said to them in German, Good evening, I’m Hitchhiking to Nurnberg, are you heading in that direction maybe? (I don’t know how to write it in German) They started laughing. Basically we had a little chat, they were curious where I came from what I was doing here etc. I told them I’m hitch-hiking and that I got somewhat stuck on this gas station due to no cars. In the end they wished me good luck and left me in peace.

Eventually just chillin at this deserted Post-Apocaplypse gas station, two Romanian vans stopped. This is my chance I figured. I walked to the fist dude and started talking to him in Romanian. Its quite weird, when I’m in Romania, I have some trouble properly using the language, especially in a group. one on one its somewhat oke. But when I’m by myself it goes so much better. I managed to properly communicate with him, when I told him I’m from The Netherlands he was quite amazed and complimented my Romanian speaking :)). In the end I managed to get the ride approximately 100km, for 5 euro. Considering I wanted to get out of there I decided to pay. The ride was amusing, communication was in Romanian, He couldn’t not believe i’m hitchhiking and Volunteering like this. He was like, you’re from NL go and work there for Big moneh! Eventually they dropped me of on a bigger far better gas station next to Nurnberg. It was getting late though, After scouting the area and trying to talk to a few more people, I headed into the forest and popped my tent for a good nights rest.

Day 3

That morning I overslept a little, Usually pack my stuff before sunrise. Apparently I slept through my alarm this morning and it was just after sunrise. Well fair enough, I packed my stuff and headed to the Gas Station. I walked around a bit to check what cars were present, A few of them were actually Dutch plates, No people nearby though. I walked around some more talking to people, when all of the sudden I see this dude get into his Volkswagen van. I ran like crazy for he was heading to NL for sure. I waved, he rolled down his window while starting his car and with a big smile I asked him. I bet you are going back to The Netherlands! May I join you:))))))? Healyeah he replied, Hop in. I used to hitch-hike a lot back in the days. You cant imagine how great this feeling is, of waking up next to the road and almost instantly find a long ride “home”!

The dude was pretty cool, He explained me how he got sick of The Netherlands. Last year he and his wife bought a few hectares of land in Hungary, Now he is building his own stuff, has some chickens, pigs and goats, and lots of fruit trees. living life more like life is supposed to look like. He was going back to NL to work for two months so he can invest it in his property after.

It was great talking to him, When I started asking about this Hitch-hiking experiences I found out he hitch-hiked from Europe to Australia 40 years ago, it almost took him 2 years. For he hitch-hiked without a plan, he just threw his thumb in  Eastern direction going with the flow. I got to learn a lot about his experiences, he had great stories to tell. He told me though, he would not do I again in times like these. Back then things were different he said. We were getting close to Arnhem though, I was heading to Amsterdam, He was heading North. There our paths split.

Retired Awesomenaut, doing his Awesomenaut things.

Retired Awesomenaut, doing his Awesomenaut things.

I called my brother from anotha Mother Sascha to inform him on my arrival in NL. I figured I could try and hitch it, or take a train. Instead he offered to pick me up. for he likes driving, and even though Amsterdam/Border sounds like a long ride, its basically only about one hour :). We were enjoying our Fries with Peanut Sauce around 19:00 that evening!

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