Guest post: Hitchhiking at night in Ireland by Mikael & Valentina (Living Europa)
In this week’s guest post… we are lost in the hitchhiking world of the intrepid Mikael & Valentina. Join them as they rough the elements and the road in a journey of salvation…
We woke up in the morning of a cloudy and breezy day of August on a farmland near Killarney, in Ireland. We had set up a camp with a group of French hitchhikers the previous evening and after a night of drinking we found it hard to get up. I managed to get out of the tent and I found one of the French guys standing there.
“What do we have for breakfast?” I asked.
“Do we have something to eat?”
Well, a day starting with an atmosphere like that could not be too productive. After a few hours of idleness we all finally got on the street and walked back to the town. We bought something to eat at a supermarket and then we said good-bye to the French. They were going east, while we were heading to the Dingle peninsula to the west.
The weather was bad. It soon started to rain and we were cold. We found shelter in a service station and we asked for some directions. Every person we asked told us the same thing:
“Don’t go to Dingle. There is going to be a massive storm there.”
We looked at the sky. There were aggressive-looking black clouds to the west, and a shy sun showed up to the east.
We looked at each other. “Why don’t we follow the French to the east?”
So we did. It wasn’t a good idea anyway to sleep in a tent under a storm.
We walked through the town and got to the road which our friends had taken. But we felt something was not right. The French guys had indeed taken the wrong road.
We felt very nervous as the hours passed. It was already 6 in the evening and we hadn’t even travelled one mile. We had to get moving very fast. We crossed again all the town and finally got to the road leading to the east. Finally luck turned on our side. We hadn’t even started to hitchhike when a car stopped in front of us. We were feeling so happy because we could get into a warm and dry car for a bit. The couple which was driving offered to take us until Mallow. We already knew that place. It’s a very creepy town we had crossed a few days before on our way to Cork.
“We can book you a hostel there. You should not sleep outside in the rain.”
“No, thanks.” We answered “We need to travel further.”
We were very stubborn, but we just didn’t want to sleep in that town. It was the first time I’ve ever hitchhiked at night.
When we got to Mallow it was already dark. We walked until we found a good hitchhiking spot and after 20 minutes a car stopped. We desperately got in without even asking ourselves if it was a good idea. Well, it wasn’t.
A sixteen-year-old kid and his girlfriend were sitting in the front row. He was driving with no driving license and no safety belts. He drove the wrong way at high speed and sometimes stopped the car for no reason. It was the only time in my life I’ve felt in danger while hitchhiking.
Luckily, nothing bad happened. He left us in the middle of nowhere. I can remember very well that place. There was a small bridge and a couple of dead birds were lying on it. On the side of the road there was a small building, which seemed very old. There was a sign saying: “Bar”. It was raining hard and we were feeling sick and cold.
So we entered, but we soon understood that it was not a bar. Or at least not anymore. It looked like an abandoned place, except for two big suspicious-looking men sitting on an old sofa.
“Isn’t this a bar?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“No. Go Away!”
So we left and started walking quickly on the road, sticking our thumbs out whenever a car passed. We soon got a ride from a middle-aged woman. She was not too normal, and she laughed like some kind of psychopath, but she wasn’t bad after all. She left us on the road going to Fermoy.
That place was very windy and we were too tired. We just needed the last ride to get to a town and find a place to sleep. Eventually a car stopped. It had no back row seats and a dog and a cat were sitting with that very weird driver.
The guy was quite strange, but he was very kind. He took us to Fermoy and gave us his phone number, in case we had any trouble.
“Hallelujah! Take care!”
We put up our tent in a park and finally we got our deserved rest.
Mikael & Valentina (aka Living Europe) are two Italian, language enthusiasts who are currently studying in Milan. Both are passionate travellers who have spent time in and around Europe on the look out for for knowledge and adventure.
visit their blog at: livingeuropa.wordpress.com