I started walking with my backpack weighting 17kg. I found it light. It was a short 10 minutes walking when I reached the first gas station. There were few trucks parked and one that was leaving to the same direction I was going to. I ran until the truck before the trucker speed it up, and asked him a ride. He said he was driving 20km further, but if it already helped he could lift me.
Awesome! I just started my 6 months trip and the first ride I asked I got it. He dropped me off 20km further. There was no gas station, just the road and a city aside the road. I started walking again, when I car pulled over and awaited for me. When I got closer the driver asked me about some industry company along the road. I said it was 10 minutes driving straight. He asked me where I was going and I replied I was heading south. He offered me a ride and I accepted.
“It’s much easier I thought” I was thinking. The driver left me 10 minutes later on the road. Now it was properly road. No cities. No houses. No factories. Just road and trees.
It was 9am. The sun was shining. I started to walk at the same time I tried to hitchhike. I walked for 2 hours before I see the first house along the road. I was fucking thirsty – I had forgotten a bottle of water. Around 11am the sun wasn’t shining anymore, the sun as burning. My backpack was heavy as hell. I went straight to this house which was a road restaurant, exactly. I ordered a 500ml water bottle. I drank in one gulp. I ordered other one to take with myself. The attendant was a boy no more than 17 years old.
The attendant had Mohican with dreadlocks. He asked me if was travelling for business or pleasure. I said pleasure. Then he saw the badges on my backpack and asked me if I had been in all those countries – around 12. I said yes. He asked me if I learn the language of them. I said I learnt English and Spanish. Then he simply started to talk in English with me for 10 minutes. I got surprised, because even at the international airports in Brazil sometimes is difficult to find someone who speaks English and this country kid was talking with me fluently. I left the restaurant and said: this is what I’m talking about. Then I came back walking.
I walked under the burning sun for more 2,5 hours with the heaviest backpack before reaching the other gas station. I didn’t get any ride on the way. Then I realised after 5,5 hours walking that the easiest way to get a ride was talking with the truckers at gas stations.
I was starving and tired. My back was aching. My legs and arms were burnt. My watch showed me 2.30pm. There were few trucks. I talked with the truckers but I didn’t get any ride. So I decide to lie down on the shadow, have my lunch (biscuits my father cooked for me) and apples and take a nap.
I woke up at 5.30. There were 2 trucks. I went straight to talk with them. One trucker said no, the other one made me some questions and said yes. They were brothers, and the trucker who said no said to his brother he couldn’t give a ride. It was forbidden. The trucker didn’t care and told me to climb up. It was the first real ride I got. It was around 2 hours travelling. He dropped me off in a gas station in a city called Cristalina around 8pm, wished me good luck and drove away in a direction I wasn’t going. Then I decided to set up my tent, take a shower at the gas station bathroom and go sleep to wake early and start hitchhiking again.
|André - The first of many truckers who helped me up|
* He asked my phone number to keep informed about my trip
|It was the first place I set up my tent. It was raining at night, so I set up my tent outside the gas station office|
To be continued...