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.