As you all certainly remember, the plan was that, instead of going home from Paris the same way we had already crossed Germany, we would take a pretty long detour North. For no other reason than hitchhiking a few hundred kays in the Netherland. No survey of the babe-hitchhikability of Western Europe is complete without our favourite upstuck Northern friends, right? It only takes the guts to risk death through immobility. I was up for the challenge. And Weirdo… Who cares about him anyway.
Let’s open this little adventure with a quick recount of how sucky it is to hitchhike from a big place like Paris.
Following the instructions from hitchwiki, we took a metro, then a regional train and finally a bus that dropped us within walking distance of a gas-station-on-the-highway. Not the easiest, but doable. Right? Actually, that was only the easy part. The following is narrated by that guy:
The gas station is protected by a high wall, a fence and some barbed wire. Recon spotted a gap beyond the wall, that is on such a steep earth cliff that the enemy hasn’t bothered to fix it. Probably on the assumption that it looks impassable. We believe a small team should be able to squeeze in undetected. Going down the cliff without special equipment is damn near impossible, but there’s no way around it. Once down, our intelligence reports that you’ll hit a second fence with barbed wire on top. You must follow that fence West for a few hundred meters through the jungle. There should be a weak spot where the fence is passable. Don’t miss it if you want to stay alive. Once inside the perimeter, you’ll have to dodge the traffic going out of the gas station. If you survive that, you will have reached target.
You can turn off Gen. MacArthur’s voice now.
And this, my good buddies, is the easiest spot out of Paris.
Of course, most of the drivers are only local traffic. But before long, we were in a car that was going our way. According to Weirdo, that is.
My fault, I didn’t double-check. Driver exited the highway as soon as we were outside Paris. We had to get out and hitch an onramp that was a good 9 on a scale from one to a hundred. Eventually, a true gentleman took us to the Péage where we scored a car that took us to a real gas station. Finally! Except there was no traffic for some reason. Some days…
One ride later we found ourselves on a godforsaken gas station on the ring road of Lille and I was about to sell Weirdo’s soul to the devil when our golden ride arrived in the shape of a French lady in a Dutch car. “Hi! We’re hitchhiking to Holland — That’s where I’m headed. By all means, hop in.”
Perfect. She was going to another town than us so we had to get two more rides from Dutch people to reach our destination. Respectively the second driver we asked, and the first. Clearly the reputation of the Dutch is undeserved. Hopefully we’ll get a few more on our way out of Amsterdam.