24 Hours

Slacks switched for 'sploring garb I ditched work, took sign in hand, assumed the requisite roadside position and launched the hitch trip. I hadn't tested the legibility  range of my signage but it was white, the letters were drawn in this thick black marker and even if the passing drivers couldn't read exactly what it said, the fact I was standing beside the road like a bellend holding a handwritten sign gave sufficient indication of what the fuck I was doing. I had my brightest clothes and cheeriest demeanour at the ready, accompanied by one small backpack containing sleepingbag, camera, tripod and a rain jacket.

A few supportive souls beeped their horn and it must be a running joke amongst motorcyclists because a large percentage of them smiled at me and my sign and shrugged. I laughed it off, I'd probably do the same in their boots. Sour faces to do not a quick lift make. Within 20 minutes though a trucker flashed his lights and pulled up. He was Greek guy called Stratos and in a mix of broken dutch and english we sorted that he was going to Calais via Antwerp, pretty close to my intended destination: Brussels. My first ride of the day I was cruising. The situation improved when, since it was his birthday, he offered me tart. I considered the possibility that he was trying to poison, defile and dump me in the septic tank of a truck stop toilet but one can't dwell on every nasty eventuality and the tart looked goddamn tasty, so I ate it anyway. Anything else would have just been rude.

Random church in er, dadizele.

He dumped me on the southern section of the Antwerp ring road, near where the A1/E19 splits from ring and heads south towards Brussels. It took a little weaving under overpasses, over underpasses and froggering across highways to reach the right onramp position but before I even had time to get my sign up, an observant french speaking lady had determined exactly what I was after and southward we flew towards Brussels. Halfway I traded down to a shitbox hatch back driven by a lovely african couple.

Deserting folks on the nightly atop random churches. You just can't trust the guy with the wellbeing of anyone. What a f...

Fortunately they were able to drop me at a highway on-ramp, which from my experience so far seems to be one of the best places to catch a ride. Cars turning into the onramp are definitely going in the right direction (providing you choose the right onramp...), moving slow enough that they'll see you and there's often a wide enough shoulder on the ramp where they can stop and let you on. Success with this approach lies critically in choosing your onramp. If your pissweak little onramp joins a sparesly populated area to the highway, you will have fuck all traffic to pimp yourself to. I tell you this of course, because I suffered this situation. All the good time I'd made was eaten up by one shitty ramp.

During my wait there was plenty of time to consider how my preconceptions were breaking down, as embarassingly I'd always imagined that people who pick up hitchhikers were hippy/bluecollar/weirdos etc, but my next ride left that idea defiled in a ditch. Middle aged guy, white collar, brand new Land Rover, had never hitchhiked nor picked up a hitchhiker but for some reason saw me standing holding a sign with dusk approaching and figured why the hell not. He was surprised to find I wasn't a total vagabond, I have a real job and wasn't hitchhiking because I lacked the funds to do otherwise, I was just hitching for shits, giggles and free tart. While he understood the attraction he couldn't see himself becoming a willing participant anytime soon. Still I think both of our preconceptions changed a little that day.

I cruised into town and met Slyv, Marc, Curly and Hount, after which things got quite interesting, in ways which I am not unfamiliar but ones that are better told in person than scribbled down here. If you see me ask.

You know things are getting desperate when you decide sleeping for two hours in fucking Cheratte seems like a good plan....

Ingestion of sustenance somewhere in Liege before busting into the old university.

24 hours after I departed I arrived back home having hitched, climbed, slept and explored. Alot can happen in 24 hours and hitching is the perfect way to jumpstart an adventure of random encounters, ass to mouth ditch rape action and plenty of all awkward silence. Seriously though, drop the preconceptions as participation comes highly recommended.

Sciency looking science stuff. Sadly no detectable results were detected by our primitive detection detectors.

Abandoned university.

About the author

Found frigid and dying in the snow by a passing missionary at the abandoned Soviet airbase in Choir, Mongolia, little dsankt never had a chance. The Dreams Foundation granted his wish to one day travel the world, thinking he'd only last a month or so. To everyone's amazement he's still going strong. When asked for comment the foundation's treasurer would only say, "The little mongrel cunt just won't fucking die, it's costing us a fortune!"

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winch   4 years ago
Nice work, we'd discussed a hitch trip, but as usual, while we're talking about stuff, you're doing it!
dsankt   4 years ago
They're fun trips but obviously going solo be prepared to spend a lot of time just chilling alone with your thoughts. Going with two guys might be a pain, since obviously your choice of posse is going to influence your ride catching ability. I've had success going with a girl though. Obviously three is starting to push it a bit. Yaz and his mates had a blast doing it in France, if you've time to burn then going city to city and just busting whatever you find is a sick option.
yaz   4 years ago
Haha, i've been waiting for this post since you left on this trip. anti... Ofcourse, anything is possible, i've even caught a free hitch with a taxi driver. Myself, Vivo and two other guys caught a ride through south france that let all four of us squish in the back, the driver & front passenger was fairly questionable though.
dsankt   4 years ago
You're prothitch son, I'm still a noob at this shit.
slyv   4 years ago
I expected more write-up of that night :)
dsankt   4 years ago
Some stories are better in person aren't they!
Rule   4 years ago
Monkeybarz shot is banana's.....damn.
dsankt   4 years ago
He's always looking for the camera ain't he ;)
Xtreme NO   3 years ago
Nice cover men! I love the photographs posted up there especially the city whole capture. It seems like you're doing it for a long time, did you?
Celo   3 years ago
Amazing what can happen in just 24 hours...
Extenze reviews   3 years ago
Great! You had an astounding skills in handling Photoshop. Anyway, I can see you had a very exciting tour out there. I hope I could join you someday.
Agnes   2 years ago
I love the photographs posted up there especially the city whole capture.
Waldo   2 years ago
Hi, very nice pictures... I live in belgium myself and was really surprised by the pictures of the abandonned university? Never heard of that one Anyway, i hope you had a good trip rgds Walt
Butiksjakt   2 years ago
Wow those are some really great photos. Its easy to understand that you love what you are doing.
protein   2 years ago
Alot is a good boy I like!
Gifts india   2 months ago
Planting trees in the typically milder, late winter Seattle conditions is an ideal time to get a flowering tree acclimated and ready for spring.