Cutting up highway fences

Getting our of megacities is a hitchhiker trope. It is almost impossible. Paris is no exception. For our direction, we had three options. One very hard but from an easily accessible spot, one in the heart of the Massy-Palaiseau banlieue that looked like medium-hard, and one for which we had to ride the S-bahn for more than an hour but that dropped us in a village by a péage. So easy.

An easy spot out of a megapolis? We just had to check it out.

We left Amalia’s at ten thirty, Weirdo forgetting the food bag, which is the first blunder in what you will find to be a long list. We arrived in the cute little village of Dourdan at 12 where we had to do some food shopping, wasting more of our precious time. On the main square, a bunch of dudes in uniforms were lamenting the loss of local soldiers 70 years ago. I was about to mention they’d be dead anyway by now but I cut them some slack because they went on lamenting the loss of Polish and Russian civilians along with African soldiers. Not bad. Four stars only because no mention of the dead Germans. Germany FTW!

The péage was five kils away from the village, so we had to hitch the local roads to get there. We hopped off under the highway overpass, from where the Péage was only a one kilometer hike through the forest.

We soon found a little service road running parallel to the highway that was sure to take us to the Péage. Only problem: there was a closed gate. With quite high fences on both sides. Well, that’s when the cutting pliers hidden in Weirdo’s pocket knife come in handy, don’t they?

No, they don’t. This incurable retard decided to give me, and now you, the ultimate display of stupidity. The fence on the left of the gate connected to a sustaining wall that was part of the overpass. In whatever serves as his mind’s eye, a wall is easier to scale than a fence. So he throws the backpack up, tries to throw me up as well, like that’s gonna happen… I end up riding his shoulders up the wall, where we find that there is still a fence to climb, and that we’d then have to jump a stream.

He stayed there immobile, scratching his chin for minutes. You could almost hear his hard drive clicking like crazy, trying to justify his latest move before it threw the towel in. There was no way it could be worse the other side. We had to backtrack. But, instead of jumping down the same way we had climbed up, we took the purpose-made stairs that were part of the overpass just meters from where he’d climbed and that he hadn’t noticed on the way up. What. a. joke.

We followed the fence into the forest but it didn’t give way. We would have to cut through it. Right, Weirdo? Not so lucky. He had already thrown the backpack over the fence. We were going to climb it. Me strapped on his back in the sling. Ah well. Now we’re in!


Wouldn’t that be too easy? It soon turned out the service slip was not, in fact, servicing the péage, nor anything else for that matter. It ended in the shrubs a few hundred meters down. They probably had built it just to mock hitchhikers. From the other side of the fence, a cute little forest path was taunting us.

We tried to keep progressing through the vegetation, following the fence, but it soon proved impossible. We had to cross it again, knowing full well we’d need crossing once more when we would near the péage. This time Weirdo recalled his cutting pliers.


A few hundred meters through the forest later, we quickly saw the péage through the fence; and quickly cut our way through it.


We’re in! Again!

This is when we find out the péage is unhitchable, we only have access to the tiny fraction of the traffic that stops on the parking lot to use the toilet. By then, I had had it with this “easy” spot. Time to take out the big guns. There was a car with a Belgian ID number on it. Happen what may, the most dependable truth of the universe is that entropy must keep increasing and Belgians will compensate for it. I gave them my best babysmile and they gave us our golden ride. The rest isn’t even worth mentioning. We were in Cognac in time for dinner.

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Petit Bibi

Petit Bibi

I started this trip when I was 5 month old. By the time it ends, I'll have spent more than half my life on the road.

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