Yesterday morning I left Timişoara, Romania. I was headed towards Selles-sur-Cher, pretty much in the center of France. The first part of the day had been average, for a start. I was trying to get to the highway in Hungary, which is about a 100 km ride. I left at about 10 AM, but since there were only small roads I only arrived to the entrance of Makó, Hungary at about 12:30.
The entrance of the highway was on the other side of the town, which according to the guy that left me there was really small and could easily be crossed by feet. I wouldn't say it was hard, but I wouldn't call it "really easy" either, especially with heavy bags. I ended up walking for three hours.
When I got on the road that led to the highway, I started raising my thumb as I walked towards the entrance itself. What do you know, a guy pulled over.
- -Unde mergi?
- -Fransez! I said while placing my hand on my chest. English?
- -Where are you going?
- -I'm trying to reach the highway, I'm going in the direction of Budapest, but if you can take me further it's good too, cause I'm going to France.
- -France? France! I'm crossing France!
I held my breath for maybe a second, then a big smile came onto my face.
- -Are you kidding? And you'd be ok to take me all the way?
- -Sure, come in!
I jumped into the car. He was a Romanian living in Spain. He had just got the car, an Audi A4, with a V6 engine of 170 hp, and an automatic gearbox with 6 gears, the kind of car I never ride in. He looked like he was really having fun with this new toy. A bit too much maybe, cause after a while a police car started following us and made us exit the highway. He had to make a trade with the owner of a shady motel to get florints from euros in order to pay the fine for speeding.
We then headed to Budapest where he was supposed to pick up two french guys with big bags carpooling along. On the way there, we started talking about the car.
As it turned out, he had bought the car in Germany, which he had then taken to Romania for some cousin that was supposed to sell it there, but said cousin apparently rode in it without really trying to find a buyer. He came back and took the car from him, got it licensed in Bulgaria cause it was cheaper, and was bringing it back to Spain to sell it there.
This may be a bit confused because he explained the last part to me as we were struggling to find the west train station in Budapest where we were supposed to meet with the other guys. When we found them, we discovered that the big bags were actually huge. We barely managed to close the trunk. Actually, it was not totally closed, but the lock was engaged enough to prevent it from opening.
We then got back on the road. I don't have the literary talent to tell the whole trip without making it boring, so long story short, we drove without pause, taking turns in driving and sleeping. We crossed Hungary, Austria, Germany, Austria again then Switzerland (including Liechtenstein), to finally get to France, where we left the guys in Montluçon under a stormy rain. We then drove a bit more and he left me in Limoges, 200 km from home.
There are probably more astoning hitchhiking stories, but personally I've never been so lucky. Getting back home from Romania to home in France in under 36 hours, including a 2000 km, 20 hours long ride, this is a personal record to me. I thought I should give him some credit. So if you ever meet a romanian guy living in the Canari Islands, in his mid-twenties, some kind of hitchhiker's angel named Gabriel, please say hi and thanks for me!