The Sierra Nevada from the Road (Spain)

Dramatic skies, flawless tarmac, and mountains everywhere: the Sierra Nevada in Spain! Just some shit-stains on the window, still it’s a pretty good photo taken through the windshield! Here’s the Google Streetview version, much cleaner:

This day I finished my speed hitchhiking trip towards Málaga in the south of Spain. It was a pretty rough trip of continuous hitchhiking for four days because Spain is just not that easy to get around. The people at the HitchGathering that told me hitchhiking in Spain was difficult spoke truth to power. My lowest point was when I was stuck at a roundabout for about 24 hours. I even slept on this roundabout in Tarragona with my hitchhiking sign facing the traffic.

The people who picked me up were friendly, but not very trusting in me in the beginning. That usually changes towards the end of the ride, but not always! I met some very scared old ladies at a gas station in Benidorm.

The closer I came to Andalucía – and the further away I hitched from Catalonia – the easier it became to stop cars. One of the reasons is the fact that there are many retirees from other countries living in the south of Spain. They have their own experiences with hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers. Another reason might be the difference in culture between Catalans and Andalucians. We’ll never really know!

Eventually, the lessons about hitchhiking in Spain are as such:

  • Don’t use thumb or sign; always go to a gas station so you can talk to people
  • Try to find a ride immediately after getting out of one ride. Heck, even ask your previous driver to help you find a new ride, so that people know you’re not a weirdo. If you wait, you’ll miss your window!
  • Try catching rides with foreigners. Look for non-Spanish license plates

Now I’ll enjoy the area of Málaga around the Sierra Nevada and the coast. What soothes my hurt hitchhiking soul is the beauty of this region.

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