Chester, my next destination, is only 25 kilometers away so it’s pretty tempting just to take a direct bus instead of hitchhiking, especially since no cars seem to be stopping and I’m standing a few meters away from a bus stop. I get off in the center and am immediately greeted by a collection of old Tudor houses. But the history of the town actually dates back to Roman times, and the remains of a amphitheater have even been found.
I don’t have too long to spend in Chester since I’m meeting a friend in Glasgow in two days. At the about five o’clock I head to the motorway to try and find a ride to Carlisle where I’ve found a place to sleep. After about an hour I get a ride from a guy who’s driving all the way up to Inverness in the northern Highlands. He tells me he used to live in Carlisle and it’s only a tiny detour for him to drop me off at the place I’ll be staying. Once I’m in the car I realize how lucky I am. Not only is the driver just a nice guy who’s good to talk to, but the distance I cover with the ride, roughly 230 kilometers, is greater than any other trek I’ve recently made. Since I started in the late afternoon I could very well have been stuck at a petrol station somewhere. I guess travelling has been getting so automatic that I don’t take any real effort to plan things out anymore.
I’m only spending the night in Carlisle. And I guess I’m not missing out on much since both the driver and my host, a Swiss doctor who works for few months at a time to fund her travels, assure me there’s not much to see and do in town. So in the morning I make my way to a petrol station where I draw a sign, stick out my thumb and wait for someone to drive me to Glasgow. An elderly couple take up the call. I ask them what they recommend in town and they drop me off by the Kelvingrove Museum.