Thursday, 3 April 2014

Dear diary....Sunday, 21st July 1991. Musing on hitching.

...and after the usual hiccups with arrangements I'm finally sprawled on my bed at the King George Hostel, Jerusalem.
I still get goosebumps on the approach to Jerusalem, even after all this time.
It's the cream stone, the green amongst the scrub - the chaos and bustle after an empty road - it's special.
But never, ever straightforward!
First, I only discovered yesterday that today is supposed to be a public holiday, but no-one seemed to know anything about it!
What if everything was closed?  No buses, no Underground!
Oh my goodness - but even a closed Jerusalem would be better than desert isolation.

Luckily, everything ran as normal, but it wasn't till I saw my first Egged bus that I could relax.
Not that I had the slightest intention of catching a bus, but it was a reassuring normality.

Trine, being very organised, got a straight lift from the kibbutz, organised the night before.
I was not so organised.
Having made plans to hitch with Emma's boyfriend, who was visiting family up north, I was surprised to find myself hitching solo at 7am.
He'd pulled out over the phantom holiday confusion.

A long wait for a car, but when it did arrive it was a moshav car going straight to BeerSheva.
Great - till it dropped me off at a desserted desert junction in the middle of nowhere, the driver pointing to the Jerusalem road along the Dead Sea.
I could feel my heart drop like a stone - there are two roads heading north from the desert - the new road and the old road, with the old road renouned for being dangerous for hitching.
I was being dropped at the old road.
Very apprehensive I left the safety of the moshav car and joined the two soldiers already there, prepared for a long wait and alot of hassle if they got a lift before me as there was nothing around for miles!

There aren't many rules for hitching, but the one I do remember is the avoidance of cars with blue number plates.  But - if I was stuck in a desert with no traffic and very little water I'm not sure about that rule anymore.
Incredibly, a car appeared within minutes, complete with shiny yellow numberplate and heading straight to Jerusalem!

He took all three of us, a crazy, crazy driver - thank goodness for an empty road - and I was at the Central Bus Station by 9.40am!
Who needs buses anyway???
That's the thing about hitching - it's addictive.
It may be dodgy and unpredictable, but the adrenalin rush you get from a good lift is amazing - plus, it makes my money go further!

Trine appeared at 11 and we spent the afternoon walking our feet off, battling a cold (Trine) and an eye infection (me).
Still no space at SdotYam, but looking hopeful for next week.

And tonight...The Underground.
That'll be beers and straws then.

The Underground.

No comments:

Post a Comment