…And the fog swallowed us. I felt like a hedgehog in the mist (google Soviet cartoons).
That fog was my welcome back to Rio de Janeiro, the first thing I saw landing in its national airport this morning.
This time I came not only for Brazil but for other five or six South American countries. In two days my friend arrives, and we set about several hitch-hiking journey around the continent. Yes, that’s what I promised you before my previous trip. And I keep my word : )
All in all, there’s no certain plan. There’s road. There’s hot sun. There’s song. And wind (hopefully!). And we follow them. Where we will end up – let’s see all together.
And as aperitif… no, not the Christ Redeemer statue on Corcovado hill… Copacabana is also a wrong guess… well, for the starter – a portion of Brazilian street art. This time – from RIo-de-Janeiro!
From Nice we took another bus for 1 euro: number 100 that goes from station J.C.Bermond in Nice to Menton, a small town on the border with Italy.
Again we had two variants:
To go through Florence and take the route E35 to Rome;
To take the road E80 along the coast.
In Menton I said “A bientot” to France. But for several hours after that I was so happy to meet French drivers. At least, I can say something to them. In Italy I feel myself dump…
Lusiano taught me several words:
Bongiorno – Good afternoon
Buonasera – Good evening
Grazie – Thank you
and “the perl” of my Italian vocabulary: vai a Roma? – are you going to Rome?
We just said “goodbye” to a man who picked us up in Ventimiglia (the first town in Italy after the border). He told us that 30 years ago, while hitch-hiking in Italy, he was stuck in Ventimiglia for 24 hours. Finally, he took a train. He confessed: that was the worst autostop in his life. Well, nothing has changed in Italy for the last 30 years!
In Menton we were waiting for a lift for more than an hour. Two women, driving out of a parking, stopped on a turn and our glances crossed. They said to me something – and finally we got a ride. The first question the driver asked was a joking about killers-autostoppers… hmmm…Bad reputation of hitch-hiking in Italy in action.
In Italy people have a point that taking a hitch-hiker “on board” is a doubtful and probably dangerous adventure. As my friends told me, the situation is not better in other coutries of Southern Europe, like Spain and Greece.
What will be further…
In Ventimiglia we tried to catch a car on the entrance to the route E80 – unsucessfully. Then Lusiano found a huge truck parking nearby. We spent about 40 mintutes to ask drivers who were awaken. Everyone’s departure was appointed for the next morning. But we got used to stay in shitty places in wait for a ride, so it’s fine : ) And view is awesome here, just have a look))
Following drivers’ advice, we camped just in the middle of parking, near administration building. Not to loose our “bon chance” we posted a paper on wall with just two words: “Genova. Roma”. And in 20 minuted a Bulgarian driver Christoff ordered us a lift and invited us to spend night in his car.
The next morning it’s appeared that his plans had changed… Then we were picked up by ex-hitchhiker, I already wrote about that above.
… Way to Rome was long and tiring. It was the longest time I’ve ever waited for lifts. We reached Genova by E80, then another small town – Messa. There we were stuck again: in the middle of the day, when the sun heats the most. A couple of hours waiting… We were already going to have a nap under the bush, but I decided to make the last attempt. And found the man who was going to Rome through Florence!!! That was our “lucky ticket”. Several hours of driving – and we are in Eternal city!!!
Output: autostop in Italy doesn’t really work! In France we got 5-6 lifts a day and still had much time to relax on a beach. In Italy we spent all these hours on a gas station.
We left Avignon quite late – after six. Just 100 kilometres to Marseille.
Hugo was so nice to drop us to A7 – the national road to Marseille, right to that pleage where we hopped off on way to Avignon.
In five minutes we’re already driven to Marseille. Intelligent woman who picked us up listened to Bach and tried to speak to us English. We passed a huge-huge-enomous port. And drove through the city centre Vieux Port – a big harbor with hell of yachts. Does a paradise look like that?
The next day we discovered there marine shops – millions of cute and necessary things but sooo expensive! Not cheap to maintain a yacht in the centre of Marseille..
Finally the woman dropped us to the station we needed – “the place of gathering” of Marseille – station “Notre-Dame-du-Mont”. By foot it would not easy to reach because the square and a church itself are situated on a hill. This square is a place where young people gather for a frink and street artists perform. Streets nearby are full of bars and street art.
At this place my friend Emma suggested to meet. I was really glad to see her! And she really helped me to lighten my bagpack – now I can even walk with it : )
Through CS emergency group we found a couch – Blaise invited us to stay at his house, a house in two steps from a lovely lagoon. So –
first time in my life I swan in Mediterranean sea! Uuuhhhhoooo! What can I say – it’s turquouse, it’s transparant, it’s beautiful. But sooo salty! I couldn’t even open my eyes when swam back from a small island neaby (of crs, it was necessary to climb it : ) Crabs and jelly fish made me a company.
What can I say about Marseille… Cities are like men for me: I want to fall in love with them… It didn’t happen here.
Marseille reminds me Cape town – huge port, international, lively, surrounded by sea and mountains. I always dreamt about this type of city. But always fell in love with different ones.
The same is with men in my life. I know what kind of person could make me stay, could make me better. But always fall in love with wrong men – and ready to betray myself for them.
For this moment only one city occupies my thoughts – you know, it’s Paris. But during this journey I will visit many coastal cities, my “dream” cities. We’ll see if it change something or not.
And, down the line, the city is not an architecture or nature but its people…That’s why Paris will be always in my heart.
Well, the only news for this moment: journey has started!
My plan looks like that: flying to France – hitch-hiking through Southern Europe – sailing to Minorca, Mallorca, Ibiza – crossing Atlantic ocean with Cris – hitch-hiking in South America. No plan for further way. Sounds exciting, yep? : )
I’m in Helsinki’s airport. Next destination: Paris.
I’m quite sleepy because of early wake up to hop on a taxi-bus to Finland. By the way, if I would book straight flight from Saint-Petersburg to Paris, would be not more expensive than my tricky combination with taxi-bus and EasyJet. Or, maybe, even cheaper.
My mum went with me to the train station to say goodbye. So sweet… She worries too much about me.
Tomorrow Paris will be full of music. La Fete de la Musique! Can’t wait : )