Today I did my first real Hitchhiking trip. I started in Leeuwarden and hitchhiked to a campsite in Sint Maartenszee near Callantsoog and back to Leeuwarden in the evening. The total distance accounted for about 97 kilometers and normally you need about one and a half hour by car.
I started at 9 o’clock in the morning and first walked half an hour to the town exit. From here the motorway to the next big city Harlingen starts. I was really lucky. I have had to wait for only one minute. The first car stopped. It was an elderly couple on the way to Amsterdam where they wanted to visit their daughter. The man studied engineering and hitchhiked himself during his studies every day from Amsterdam to Harlingen. His recipe for success:
Stand always there, where the cars can stop easily!
He worked for a shipping company and went frequently by ship to the Caribbean and even twice around the world. He really likes travelling so I do and says that you have to travel as long as you are young.
Well the couple gave me a lift until Den Oever which is located directly after the famous “Afsluitdijk”, the dike which separates the “Ijsselmeer” from the North Sea. Therewith the first 68 kilometers were made.
When Hitchhiking is everywhere as easy as it is in the Netherlands I would be in no time ‘Round The World.
Well, in Den Oever it took a bit longer until an elderly man stopped. He was on the way to Den Helder where he had to catch the ferry to the Island Texel. He was already late and his family waited for him. They want to make one week holidays on the island. He took me the next 13 kilometers where we parted company.
Until Den Oever it was pretty easy to find someone however the campsite is somewhere in nowhere and so I had to go with many people for a short distance. The next kilometers I went with a man who hitchhiked himself a lot, even for ten weeks in Australia. It was really interesting to talk to him and he made a short circuit for me.
For the last stage a woman gave me a lift. She stopped for me although it was pretty difficult due to the traffic. She lives in Callantsoog but made also a short circuit for me and drove me until the reception of the campsite. That was really nice, wasn’t it? When I told her that I am studying Tourism Management at Stenden in Leeuwarden, she said to me that her daughter studied Leisure Management at the same school.
Well, in total I needed three hours from my house in Leeuwarden to St. Maartenszee. Until Den Oever it was pretty easy. However due to the fact that the campsite was far away from the next big city I had to drive with many people for a short distance.
All in all it was a really nice experience. I have met many friendly and interesting people and spent a very nice day. Although hitchhiking is not that common in the Netherlands anymore it is still possible and I received a lot of positive reactions.