Hitchhiking. I always wanted to try it. Well I did it couple of times when there wasn´t any other option get to the place but those were just short distances. This time it was completely different. We filled our backpacks to be ready camping on the way, I wrote signs for directions on the cardboards and we hit the road ready to hitchhike Scotland.
There was just a tiny problem.
It was Saturday and it was raining. Raining all day.
Getting from the train station to the road what is maybe half an hour walk felt like ages. Our heavy backpacks started to feel like we´re carrying stones.
But we made it; we finally found the right spot and right direction. Only thing left was to stick thumbs up hoping somebody will stop.
Rain was getting heavier and heavier. Our clothes and backpacks were getting more and more soaked. And no one would stop. So we tried to change strategy, hide signs saying ´Aviemore´and just keep thumbs up but nothing changed.
So we moved under the bridge because we were totally soaked. Smiling almost dancing to keep us from reaching hands of cold we gave it there another hour. Our smiles were slowly shading away and bodies shaking more and more but no one would stop.
So we gave up thinking it must be wet weather which keeps luck away from us. Or maybe we just weren´t meant to go to Aviemore that day. Maybe we were still just too close to Edinburgh or there could be many other reasons why it just didn´t work. So we took a train to completely different place.
We were told hitchhiking Scotland is easy as people stop very often. Every ten cars one would stop. Not this day though. It was a valuable experience because we learnt following:
- Hitchhiking in heavy rain just doesn´t work or it takes much longer for someone stop by
There can be various reasons. Some people don´t want to get their car wet and dirty. People covered in large ugly waterproofed staff (which is btw very helpful – trousers) don´t look very nice and trustworthy because people can´t see straight to their faces.
- Backpacks feel much heavier first days
Looking back our backpacks were the heaviest first day. I honestly couldn´t understand how people walk through mountains with even heavier backpacks. Every day luckily backpack would feel lighter and lighter. We were just getting used to so don´t give up first day!
- Think your spot for hitchhiking very carefully specially if you´re starting in big city
We were aware we need to get outside of Edinburgh so we bought tickets to the village North Queensferry thinking it´s far enough. Until now I have doubts though if we were still too close or it was just the weather. Maybe it would wort it going even farther.
- Sometimes it worth put signs away
As we learnt later on just the thumb up is enough sometimes. Hitchhiking is very spontaneous travelling where you need to be flexible change your plans in case someone stops heading direction which you didn´t have in mind. One day we almost got to Glencoe if we would have more days to spend as guy taking us was heading there.
- Be ready to spend some Money sometimes
At the end we had to take a train. Five hours later since we started our hitchhike we didn’t get nowhere. So our only option was to give up completely and get back home or just buy train tickets to the same or different destination.
- Have plenty of time
We have started our journey pretty early but it was 10am when we got to the first hitchhiking spot. As mentioned five hours later we didn´t get anywhere but we still have some time to get somewhere by train.
Our very first experience hitchhiking wasn´t the best but it was still valuable experience. Our luck changed later on the trip and we would stop cars in 5-10 min. But that is different story. Hitchhiking Scotland is possible and really work but not in rainy days. Although it is about perception because we maybe didn´t get to planned destination but we got somewhere else. And maybe we weren´t successful this day but we learnt through the experience what we could do different next time and next time was completely different.
What is your experience? What about wet weather any tips how to be successful hitchhiker in such weather? Let me know your story in comments.
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