Yesterday we were finally told the French phrase for hitch hikers; autostoppers. Today ryan and I would set to break our record for number of hitches and spend most of the day on the sides of highways playing out our newly developed Russian characters on an adventure through Europe. It was a day of sunlight, joy and laughter. If only ever day could be this way!
I woke up early to spend some time watching the sun rise over the English Channel with cows silhouetted in the orange glow beginning the day. I sat for a few hours watching gulls fly over the cliffs listening to the sounds of the ocean breathe. After I got my fill of morning clarity I left to find ryan. He had woken up and left our den in the park to find coffee in the town so we joined up at a fancy hotel for caffeine in the back to plan our day.
We wanted to get to Lille, but knew it was far away. Our plan was to hitch along the coast and hop in and out of coastal villages to explore. Within a few minutes we had our first hitch to the next town over where we found exercise machines on the beach. With baguettes in hand we did a few workouts and continued on to the highway. The cliffs in northern France are enormous and incredible steep all along the coast. We knew today would be our last day near the ocean for a while so we wanted to make the most of it.
Our next town was a cute little village with a small river running through it. We were almost stuck in the vortex of this village taking pictures of all the beautiful colombage styled homes making me really excited for having a family one day in a peaceful area with a lot of green around me. Reminded of the beauty of the north east and both of us missing the rolling hills of Vermont and Connecticut we kept on our path further north.
Our next ride was a bit further to Dieppe by a man who called himself Jack the French guy who gave us an incredibly sketchy small plastic container with a brown substance in it he said would make us soar. We got out of his car and he handed us a beer that was tequila flavored and took off. Ryan and I took a few sips of or beer before almost puking and threw the rest out. We have no idea what’s in the plastic sack, but have no desire to find out. Why would anyone make beer taste like tequila?
Eventually we made our way to Dieppe where we ate our millionth kebab and rested for a few minutes before heading back out. Dieppe proved to be impossible to hitch out of, but after almost an hour our savior came and drove us to a better place to hitch from further down the highway. We were picked up and driven a bit further, but still on small highways with little traffic and cars filled with families. Not ideal for hitching. For a long while we were stranded in Cramont between Dieppe and Doullens. We sat for almost two hours listening to podcasts and getting more wild with our Russian characters before a young guy pulled over to drive us into Doullens. I had my food out and was in the middle of cooking so it took a minute to get all of our things in the car.
When we got into Doullens I began feeling pretty exhausted and felt the need to sleep so we walked to a brick wall off the highway to make our home for the night. It felt surprisingly home like and comforting and I was happy to be where we were.
- We asked this guy to take our photo and we ended up getting 61 shots of his eye close up and 42 pictures of this.
In total we had 11 hitches today making our total count now 52. Tomorrow we hope to get into Belgium, but are a little further than we hoped to be from the boarder so we will see what happens. I also hope to wake up and continue this discipline of watching the sunrise and taking some time to find clarity and gather myself to prepare for the day and whatever may happen. I find so much peace in those early mornings and feel strong and capable in processing all that this summer has brought me into while finding healing and growth in my ability to love myself and those around. Things are good!