Thursday, December 17, 2009

Like the good old days.

Haven't been doing anything long distance recently. Just the routine home to Midleton and Cork. Did go from Roscrae to Shinrone on New Years Eve.
The reason for the title of this thread is because of an interesting incident that occoured the week before Christmas. I was hitching home from Castlemartyr when I got a lift from a guy in a dumper. As in one of these:




During the boom years that would never have happened. It seems the recession has returned people to sensible health and safety practices. Don't have much more to post that I can think of at the moment. But my newyears resolution is get shit done so that includes trying to post more. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inconvinience

Well it's finally happened. Last Thursday I was hitching home from Cork when I believe I left my phone in a car. I always knew this was a risk and to be fair it has taken over 6 years. I'm just glad it was the older of my two phones and the one I was planning on decommissioning this month. This is still annoying though as up until now I have never lost a phone. I can name the location of all my previous phones.
Ah well. Such is life. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the contents of your pockets wen hitching . :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bloody Government!!!

As some of you may know as well as my many other faults I'm a gamer. Soooo the weekend just gone was Galecon. First may I say that the M8 now begins directly at the Dunkettle Roundabout!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGH!!!!!
What the hell am I meant to do now!!! That makes it really hard to make it to anywhere in the midlands and Dublin. And because of the nature of that roundabout one can't really hitch just before the motorway starts. Part of me is tempted to kjust hitch anyway but we shall see.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Most Random NHI (Near Hitching Incedent)

So there I was after having spent the day doing archery with Pajo and then having food with him, Angie and Róisín. Then on his way back to Kilkenny Pajo dropped me at the roundabout in Midleton and I had walked out as far as the aforementioned light in Ballinacurra when I remembered I had gotten a text message from an old school friend. I replied to it and got a message back: "Fancy a road trip to Cork?"
So went to the movies and saw Up which was a rather good move. So all I have to say is that sometimes a slow day of hitching can work out for the best. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I apologise for the lateness of publishing this. I was sure I had put it up weeks ago. It is referencing the weekend of the 29th of September

And finally I rouse myself from the lazies.
Last weekend was a fun one. I went to Kilkenny for a Michaelmas fair in a place called Graiguenamanagh. It was a good gig. On the way up I had to go into Midleton to get some new tent pegs in the army surplus store. Luckily I got a lift from Shan' to the door of the shop. THen I had to walk from there to thee other side of Midleton with my excessively heavy bag. After a short while hitching I got a lift to Youghal from a rather unique person. An Englisman in the Irish army. :P
The next lift that I got was from Youghal to Piltown. A rather nice chunk of the journey which got me within 20min drive of my mate Pajo's place. Then I got a lift to Owning ad after only walking for a few seconds I got a lift as far as Killmoganny. As Pajo was already on the road he asked how far I was. As I was only 5 minutes away he picked me up.

Over the course of the weekend the pair of us were chatting about hitching, wierd experiences while hitching and who would/wouldn't pick us up. Ya see the both of us are rather hairy chaps. With long hair and rather noticeable beards. For some people this is a put off which means no lift. Or as Pajo rightly said can sometimes make more people pick ya up. This is because we're not hiding anything. Standing there quite often as Pajo said in a long black leather jacket and looking for a lift you are not going to be carrying anything dodgy. Now I mention all this for a very important reason. Well two in fact. I shall elaborate below.

At the end of the weekend I had to head home fairly late. The only problem was that the busses from Kilkenny to Cork stop very early in the day (GRRR ARRGH SMASH SMASH!!). So I had to head down to Waterford. Pajo drove me down and we literally chased the bus to the interior edge of Waterford City. I then sat back to figure out how I was going to get home from Midleton at 11pm. Yes. It was that late. So anyway I got dropped in Midleton and started walking. As soon as I got to the last street light in Ballinacurra. I had decided that if I was still there an hour later I would start to walk the 12 miles home. Around 15 minutes after I had started a car slowed down and stopped. I thought I was sorted. But no. For the first time in several years of hitching the Gardai stopped to have a chat. To be fair, there I was big hairy eejit standing on the side of the road at nearly 11:30pm. They asked what I was doing, where I was from, and very insistently was I carrying any drugs. Now as anyone who knows me well will tell you not once in my life have I had anything stronger than booze, caffeine or nicotine. I did tell them that there were several knoves in my bag as I had been camping and so they left. There I was standing in the middle of the night looking for a lift. And the next car that stopped was.......a woman on her own!!! Talk about madness. She said she lived in Ballymaloe but would drop me home. Turns out she was had the attitude that if I was looking as I did that she should be perfectly safe (Pajo was right). I jokingly told her that I had the various camping implements and she didn't mind.

Yet again all the above proves that there are some awesome people in the world. And as a friend of mine says. Just be awesome. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Been mostly quiet lately. Not much happening. Been hitching up and down to the city a few times and such. On Thursday I was hitching up to the city to get the bus to Killarney for a wedding. As luck would have it the lift I got from Midleton to the city dropped me off on the south ring on the N22. So instead of the bus...MORE HITCHING!!!! XD So got a lift handy enough and got dropped again at the turn off for Castletownbere Haven. Then got picked up by a pair of dead sound lads in a van. Mad Mick and Seb. They were going the whole way. It was great. They did have to make one detour to the Toy Soldier Factory which only marginally delayed us and was absolutely and completely worth it. :) We then motored on rather nicely until we came close to a level crossing outside Killarney where a truck had so considerately jack knifed. It did take us a bit to figure this out, but thanks to the monocular I always carry in my bag we were able to see it, do a u-turn and get onto the back road.
Coming back from Killarney was also interesting. I was just buying a bottle of milk from the Centra near the hostel I was staying at before I left and I bumped into one of the girls that was at the wedding. She asked how I was getting home and I said that I was going to hitch. She asked why I wasn't getting the train or the bus. I said no as I was going to hitch. She then informed me that I was going by train as she could get me a free ticket....which she did. What we learn from this is hitching is great, but if we are offered a free and faster alternative, we take it! Anyway, I got the train to cork and then I got a lift from town to Little Island from a guy I used to work with. Then got 2 more lifts to get myself the rest of the way home.


Today I was down in Charles' Fort in Kinsale. Had a good day hanging out in the fort with the lads as there was a gig on. Hitching back I got a lift from a guy that was in the same class as me in college. He graduated on Wednesday. Out of a class of 92 I think he said 8 graduated. Some are on a year of work placement but there is still only 6 or 7 of them. Just shows that the course was only suited for a very small number of people.

That should be it for now. May your towels be fluffy and your lifts swift. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Advantge me!

Was going for a short trip from Roscrae to Shinrone the other day and got a lift the whole way. The unusual thing was, I was in competition with another hitcher. This has never happened to me before! EVER!!! The good news is I won. For a very simple reason. My girlfriend was with me. The woman that picked us up says that she never pics up lone men. But the fact that I had a woman with me meant I was not a threat so therefore I got a lift. Just goes to show that there are advantages to hitching in pairs. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life, Death and Epic Journeys

Any of you that follow my blog may have noticed that I haven't posted anything in a while. Well lets just say there are several reasons for this among them laziness and unexpected events. Firstly at the start of July my grandmother went in for a routine cataract operation. She had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic and had a heart attack. 12 days later she died. so for the bones of three weeks I didn't leave home. Also as you can imagine I was in no mood to write in the blog. On the up side during the weekend before she died I was up in Maynooth as my dad was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. It is a Papal honor which he got for the charity work that he does.
Anyway back to this whole hitching lark. Nearly 2 weeks ago I hitched to Craggaunowen.
From door to door it took me 3 hours (for those that don't know the average time for this journey according to Google Maps is 2:40). That's right kids! I'm back in full epic journey mode. The bad luck I was plagued by seems to be gone. I must in the near future have a go at getting to Laois again. See if I can do better than 7 hours. The lads up there couldn't believe it. Even my parents who are used to me having stupid god luck on the road couldn't believe me.
There are of course some unusual factors to take into account in this case. Firstly I got a lift from Cork City to Mallow from a friends brother (my mate Scully was in the car as well). When I was outside Mallow after they had dropped me off there was a guy on the other side of the road heading to Mallow in Punto that he was trying to push start. I gave him a hand and after he got it going again he gave me a lift to Buttevant. Then outside Buttevant I got a lift from a couple going all the way to Galway who dropped me off at the gate of Craggaunowen. It was a good day.

So things are looking up. Also there may be some interesting happenings on here in the near future as my friend Fergal is back from Japan......

Oh! What do people think of the profile pic?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGG!!!

So after getting that out of my system I can get started. Motorways suck!!!!!!!!!!
I was hitching up to Laois at the weekend and it was abysmal. I left home at 1pm. At 8:30 I was only at Urlingford. Considering that I was at the Horse and Jockey for 5 this was an epic fail. Looking at the cars going by it was fairly obvious that all the traffic on the old road was all local. That motorway kills the chance to get a lift. It really does suck great big floppy donkey dick!!!
Another factor is since the end of May and that trip back from Duncannon it seems to be harder to get lifts. I don't know what it is but the past month hitching has been very slow.
When I came back from Laois I used the bus. Coming out of Cork was dead slow. I got a lift from town to the Glanmire roundabout and then walked as far as the Little Island/Gounthaune slip-road before I got a lift. Then I got a lift from there all the way home from a dead sound bloke. Part of me is starting to think this whole hitching lark may not be viable anymore. I'm heading to Offaly this weekend so I'll see how it goes...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What an interesting week.....

Well as the title says it was an interesting week. It started off with hitching home from Duncannon on Monday.  As in Bank Holiday Monday.  Now normally Bank holidays are great for hitching. Lots of people on the road and often willing to pick up.  My brother dropped me off in New Ross as he was heading back up the country.  I was on the road for 17:30.  By rights I should have been home in 3 to 4 hours.  Normally the Journey would take 2 to 3 hours if driving.  It took me 6 hours.  23:30 I was walking in the door at home. I may not even have gotten home that early save for the fact that the last lift I got was from a guy going from Dungarvan to Cork, who took pity on me and dropped me home.  Added an extra 30 minutes to his journey time at least.  Well done that man and thank you very much.  

Next was Wednesday.  I was hitching from home to Portarlington in Laois to visit my girlfriend.  I left home at around 14:00 a 3 hour journey at the most when driving.  It took me 7 hours.  I was starting to think I was losing my touch.  Thankfully I got a lift from Cahir practically to the door by a very sound lad.

Then on Friday I was hitching down from Portarlington on Friday.  Left at 11:00.  Didn't get home till 17:30.  There were some advantages.  I got to prove how utterly random and awesome the world is.  Myself and my girlfriend were after getting dropped at the top of the Cobh sliproad on the Cork/Midleton road.  After walking back down onto the hard shoulder and waiting a while we got a lift... It was the man whose tyre I had helped change.  Granted he could only take us a small distance but I thought it was kind of cool.

Anyway.  After some consideration I figured out a decent reason for the slowness of the travel.  At first I thought it may have been the fact that I was wearing a straw hat as I had left my leather one in my brother's car (Also known as my hitching hat. :P) .  But then I realized that there was another time when hitching took a stupidly long time.  Last summer it took me 5 hours to do 26 miles.  On a hot day.  From this I have deduced that hitching on a hot day is always slow.  The higher the temperature the less generous the people - sounds crazy but my brother who also hitches would agree.

Secondly my long trip on Monday was not helped by the fact that I had to walk through New Ross and Waterford City.  New Ross wasn't too bad but Waterford was a nightmare.  That city just goes on and on and on.  Took 2 hours.  Felt like one of the longest walks ever.   Never, never, NEVER!!!  Get a lift to the wrong side of a city.  It's not worth the trouble.  Even if it means you have to pass up a good long lift.  Just leave it.  Also never get a lift it is out of your way too far.  For example getting a lift from Portlaoise to Limerick when you are going to Cork.  Pass up the lift.  Wait.  You'll be better off.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today I was hitching back from Ballincollig to Cork city and I got a lift from a suit.  I was surprised considering that I'm a scruff beardy freeloader...kind of.  That however wasn't the most unusual thing that happened to me today.  I was hitching out of Cork when I got picked up by a woman.  Now this in itself is a bit strange.  Women on their own don't pick you up unless they know you.  The really weird thing is the fact there was a wee panda purse on the dash.  (For those of you that don't know I'm known as Panda).  I said that I truly am haunted and she asked me why.  I told her that I'm known as Panda and then she said " So am I."  I was almost surprised.  I then went on to find out when she doesn't have/can't afford to run a car she also hitches.  I could do nothing but laugh.   A friend of mine used to say that there's a singularity of wierdness around me.  I think he may be right.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ok so there have been no updates recently but I have had some family stuff happening and at the moment I'm trying to put together a basic guide to hitching in my head.  I'm trying to word it properly so it'll be clear and concise. 
For now I'm just going to say one of the most important things about hitching.  Be nice to those that give you a lift.  For example at the weekend I went to Wexford.  On the way one of the cars I was getting a lift in got a flat tyre.  The guy that was giving me a lift said that he'd do it himself when I said I'd help.  I was insistent.  It's what you have to do.  The person is giving you a lift.  They are going out of their way to be nice to you so do the same. 
Bye for now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And so it came to pass.....

For a long time I didn't understand the point of blogging. But then a friend of mine made me realize how useful they can be (only today actually). So I decided to start this blog and hopefully it shall lead somewhere rather interesting indeed.
As my be suggested by my screen name I hitch hike a lot. In fact this is what this blog is all about. Several years ago I was after missing a bus to the city from my village and my mother (yes of all people my mother) suggested that I stand at the edge of the village and stick my thumb out. I did this and soon enough I had a lift. This was the beginning of what soon came to be my preferred mode of transport. Soon I started purposefully missing my bus home from school to spend time hanging out with my friends, then hitch home. The first time I did this I was surprised to discover that I had beaten the bus home. I soon came to realize the true advantage of hitching it is mostly faster than public transport in this country.

To most hitching conjures up images of the the film The Hitcher and therefore causes them to recoil in horror at the mere thought of someone undertaking such a dangerous and risky endeavour as obviously the world is a horrible and dangerous place. In actually the opposite is true. I have been hitching for around 5 years and I haven't had a single incident. Granted it only takes one incident to break the record but I remain hopeful that my trend will continue. Also one can meet many interesting people. What I hope to achieve with this blog is to record my adventures while hitching an hopefully encourage more to do it.

Fast forward a couple of years to last year when I did my first bit of long distance hitching. Up to now I had only hitched up to a distance of 30 miles. This time I was doing around 100. Cork City to Shinrone in Offaly. It is not an easy place to get to using public transport. It tends to be a 4 hour journey via bus. When I managed to make the trip in 3 hours I knew I was onto something. Part of this I believe was down to timing. I left around 5pm which meant I was leaving at peak traffic time on a Friday. The return journey on the following Tuesday however took 5 and a half hours. This didn't bother me though as I had time to burn.

Yet again we fast forward to only last Thursday when I headed to Galway for Itzacon, a gaming convention of much awesomeness. I manged to do the journey in 3 and a half hours from city to city. I did it in 3 separate lifts which seems to be the norm for long journeys. On the Friday when the rest of the Cork contingent arrived they couldn't believe that I had gotten to Galway faster than them as it had taken them 4 hours on the bus. Yet again my return journey was in excess of 5 hours but this was yet again due to heading back on a Tuesday morning. The lifts however were a bit more interesting. The longest stretch I covered was from 5 miles out of Galway to a garage near Banogue in Limerick. It was with a bunch of lads that were going paint balling for the day but as they were unsure of where they were going they ended up going 20 miles in the wrong direction. This benefited me was the wrong direction was Cork. The next lift that I got was from a guy wearing the same shirt as me...rather strange considering my hippyish taste in clothing. Strange coincidences however are the spice of life.

I think for now I will leave it at that. But when I have more time I shall post anecdotes as I think of them and record all my major hitching endeavours.