The Routes Retraced
Many hitchhikers keep some statistics on their waiting times, distances and average speed and the like. I don’t really do that. Keeping track of the routes is easy enough, but the waiting times? Isn’t that potentially horribly depressing? Anyway, you do you! I carry around a little book that I use to take note of my rides. I write down the date (if I’m aware), from where to where, what the driver’s name was and the topics we chatted about. It has no use in a spreadsheet. Here I made a few interactive maps of a few trips and a few other details. If it was my first time in a country they are written in italics so that’s why. This is totally not complete and many trips are missing.
The Southern Cone and the End of the World – The Trip Continues!
Date: 18 November 2015 – Ongoing. Google My Maps has a limit of how many places you can add. This map is a continuation of the Atlantic Crossing by Boat: Hitchhiking South America map below. Break-off point is in La Junta in Chile.
Kilometers hitched: 11.292 Kilometers (7017 Miles) so far till La Serena, Chile. That’s 22.093 Kilometers (13.728 Miles) in South America! Holy shit!
Number of rides: 90 and counting
Countries: Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, crossing the borders multiple times.
Languages needed: Spanish and English.
Use of Public Transportation: The ferry to cross over the Lago General Carrera/Lago Buenos Aires at the Chile Chico border crossing costs 2.100 Chilean Pesos (~€2,60). The ferry €20 from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay.
Atlantic Crossing by boat: Hitchhiking South America
Date: 18 November 2015 – March 27th when I arrived in La Junta. This trip is ongoing! The following map belongs together with the one above it!
Kilometers hitched: 10.801 Kilometers (6711 Miles) by hitchhiking and approximately 7000 by boats across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Corcovado.
Number of rides: ~110
Countries: Canary Islands (part of Spain), Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Perú and Chile.
Languages needed: Portuguese, Spanish and English. Occasional German.
Use of Public Transportation: I had to take a flight from Amsterdam to the Canary Islands (BOOO! I know…) and the cruise ship I took to cross the Atlantic Ocean was a really cheap “repositioning cruise” – both were sponsored. On the mainland of South America I’ve taken a few city buses to get out of the cities, namely the Saõ Paolo metropolitan area in Brazil and to get out of Asunción, capital of Paraguay. In many places it was possible to walk out of town though.
Edges of Europe Tour: The Missing Countries
Date: January 2015 – 18 November 2015
Kilometers hitched: 11.790 Kilometers (7326 Miles) by hitchhiking and walking (I had to walk a lot in Spain) and 630 Kilometers (392 Miles) by sail boat from Corfu to Malta, that’s 340 Nautical Miles. This was supposed to be the trip where I visit all the countries in Europe I haven’t been to yet, but then I changed my mind (it happens).
Number of rides: 300 and counting
Countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Malta, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, British overseas territory of Gibraltar, Portugal.
Languages needed: Spanish and English. Occasional German, French or Russian when hitching with other tourists. Super basic Portuguese, but many folks spoke English/Spanish/Portuñol.
Use of Public Transportation: None, except for the ferries from Malta to Sicily and Sicily to mainland Italy. That last one costs about €2.50 to cross a small strait (Can’t Be Arsed to find a boat for that). Emergency flight from Lisbon to Berlin.
Round Trip to the Caucasus, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus and Home
Date: July 2014 – December 2014
Kilometers hitched: 19.946 Kilometers (12.394 Miles) hitched over roads. Many parts were done using the speed hitchhiking method (get on the highway, don’t leave it until you’re at your destination) which is why I was able to cover such a distance in half a year while also visiting places. The distance Maastricht – Tbilisi was covered in five days. The distance Istanbul – Maastricht was covered in 60 hours.
Number of rides: ~600
Countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Abkhazia (disputed territory), Armenia again, Iran, Turkey (again), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey (yet again) and then the same route home for Christmas through Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.
Languages needed: English, German, Turkish, Russian and basic Farsi mandatory. Random others: Spanish, French, Georgian, Armenian, South Slavic (Balkan languages), Polish and even Dutch!
Use of Public Transportation: None, unless paid by a host/driver/friend. Oh and the ferry between Mersin and Cyprus isn’t hitchable so I paid.
Central America With a Touch of Caribbean
Date: January 2014 – July 2014
Kilometers hitched: 8.816 Kilometers (5478 Miles) From Mexico City to Panama City and a little in the Dominican Republic.
Number of rides: ~500
Countries: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Languages needed: Spanish and English. Occasional German, French or Russian when hitching with other tourists.
Use of Public Transportation: None, except for the flight to the Dominican Republic. The ferry from Punta Gorda, Belize, to Livingston, Guatemala isn’t hitchable, so I paid (but sailed it myself!), but I got a free bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
Hitchhike the UK – The Newbie Drop Out
Date: November 2013 – 23rd December 2013
Kilometers hitched: 4.900 Kilometers (3045 Miles) hitchhiked and ferry hitchhiked.
Number of rides: I have no clue. I wasn’t tracking my rides as meticulously.
Countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Shetland Islands (part of Scotland), Isle of Man, Wales.
Languages needed: English, French, Flemish and Dutch.
Use of Public Transportation: I went by train (one of those douchy Virgin trains with champagne for the wealthy commuters) from Liverpool to Lancaster once and took the Tube to get through and out of London. I paid for the ferry to and from the Shetland Islands (there was a blizzard) and to and from the Isle of Man, but I managed to hitchhike the Eurotunnel and the ferry back to Calais with drivers for free.