a good start, and then…

The first guy who gives me a ride early in the morning offers to take me on a different road to my original route. But since he’s driving all the way to close to Cambridge, well over 100 kilometers away, and seeing how bad hitchhiking has gone the last few days, I take up his offer anyway. Since he’s a very active and enthusiastic Corbynite we mostly talk about the state of socialist parties in Europe and what it would take to save them. Though we can’t really come up with an answer he does think Corbyn has rescued the Labour Party.

I get a short ride to Cambridge, but than I’m stuck again. It’s starting to rain but thankfully a construction worker on his lunch hour takes pity on me and drives me to the south of town. I’m pretty close to my destination of Colchester when a mother and daughter on their way back from the hospital stop. I don’t recognise the name of the place they’re going to but it’s pretty much a straight road¬†from Cambridge to Colchester so I get in without hesitation. Unfortunately, they’re going far more eastwards than I’m supposed to. I guess it makes sense for them, since in their perception all roads lead through their town; they don’t even realise there’s a shorter route.

But by now I’m stuck close to Stansted Airport and I try to go down the back roads to avoid the motorway. I even catch a ride to a small village, but I find that the road from there is no good for cars so I walk back to the main road pretty pissed off at myself. It’s getting late and I really don’t want to spend another night outside. Especially now that I have a ticket for a ferry in a few days.

Luckily I get picked up pretty quickly by a Turkish architect who I manage to amuse with my basic grasp of Turkish. Next I get a ride from a South African who says he used to pick up people from the street who need help and let them crash at his place, but now he and his wife have a baby and his wife is not so keen anymore. Still, he says, I can probably stay at his place if I fail to find a final ride to Colchester. I don’t even need to make use of his offer as a former soldier turned taxi driver takes me along for the last stretch.