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The opposite way

Once upon a time, when I was much younger, I hitch hiked to France with my best friend. It was a holiday that could rival this trip in terms of events.

As a hitch hiker you need to be optimistic and persistent. Being two guys, you need to be creative, insane or both. Being patient is a virtue when hitch hiking, but finding fun ways to keep you too.

Nearly every long distance hitch hiker has a cardboard sign indications where he/she wants to go. One day, stuck for hours at an impossible location, we decided to put a sign for a city in the opposite direction. Typically people drive past without giving you a glance. This changed once we put up the new sign. People started pointing, gesturing, horning in order to correct our ‘stupid’ mistake. Needless to say that we had great fun being ignorant. The real idea behind all of this was to make people stop and explain us our mistake, which would give us the opportunity to get a ride in the direction we really wanted anyway.

People never halted and we got a ride. Typically people would characterize this experiment as a failure. For us, it gave us the energy to continue waiting for a ride that inevitably would come. And the two of us ended up in Cannes.

The ARC rally is the largest cross ocean sailing race in the world. Loads of boats looking to go where I want to go: across the ocean. After looking for days on end for a spot and competing with dozens of other near desperate boat hitch hikers, I decided my strategy wasn’t working. Just like everybody else I put up signs in the harbor, told all the captains I was looking for a boat and even made it to the semi-finals of the volleyball event. Somebody suggested swimming to the sailing boats that were parked outside the harbor in order to surprise the captain with the determination, a captain responded that he had already 5 people swim to his boat in the last couple of days.

So I decided fishing in another pond. I took a cheap flight to Lanzarote and found a boat within 6 hours of arriving at the island. Even better, it gave me the time to take an epic bicycle ride around Lanzarote. Good fun all around!


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