Hitchhiking around the world
Visited 54 countries. The most interesting thing is that she prefers to hitchhike around the world. She started from Europe, but soon realized that she would leave this “region" to a very old age - too calm. In the meantime, cognizes distant lands.
How did it all start?
I wonder: why didn’t the whole country take off in the 90s and didn’t rush to explore a world that stretched beyond the Iron Curtain, and information about it was exclusively false? I did just that, and as the number of visa countries grew, so did my appetites.
Already familiar with the convincing concept of free travel in absentia, I fell into the environment of Moscow hitchhikers. There was a moment of exact hit, “recognition”, when a logical answer was found to all my inner requests: the fact that most ordinary people seemed to be a feat, madness or frivolity turned out to be the most natural thing. Having spent two summers in European countries, I saw: hitchhiking in Europe is so hassle-free that it can be postponed to old age. It's time to go to distant lands.
... It has become increasingly difficult to combine trips with work: even a long teacher vacation is too short to drive from India, for example, and 40 days to China is generally a mockery. The priority of slow ground movement has been formed, because when flying on an airplane according to the go and back principle, you miss a lot of interesting things. The idea of many months of expeditions through many countries overland ("entirely by land") has become an urgent need. Life took shape in the regime: 8 months in Africa, 2-3 months in Moscow, six months in Tibet and Southeast Asia, 3-4 months in the Crimea and Moscow, 11 months in the remaining Southeast Asia - up to Papua - and again several months in the capital of Russia ... Along the way, it turned out that this could also be a “work”: materials from expeditions can become a kind of “commodity”, turning into texts and photos. In addition, you can make a stop in the resort of Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Bali and get a few months a guide for vacationing compatriots. If the language is suspended and the season is high, the entire long expedition pays off, even with a plus.
Spirit of hospitality
Hitchhiking as a way of long-distance free travel is not an ideological principle or a necessary necessity. Free hitchhiking is a bonus both for those who vote on the road and for those who let them into their car. An interchange of curiosity and the best qualities of both parties takes place. The artificial boundaries of the world dissolve in supportive communication. And it is always supportive, since most of the world's people are brought up in the spirit of hospitality, a wanderer with a large backpack in the culture of many countries is a sacred figure. This is a guest, not a client - do you feel the difference? Hitchhikes in one car can last from several hours to several days. During this time, you can get a lot of information about local life, replenish the vocabulary of the local language, and penetrate the personal destinies of people. Everyone who drives us along the way enriches our picture of the world, makes it vibrant and personalized. Shaking hands with them, exchanging addresses and parting with friends, we know that we will not meet again. Though…
A wanderer with a large backpack in the culture of many countries is a sacred figure. This is a guest, not a customer! Feel the difference?
A Tibetan and his friend from Shanghai ride a jeep in China. The guys took to give us a ride, Russian hitchhikers - I often travel with a friend and co-author Ilya Aligozhin: we wrote 6 books, we conduct a general LJ (ilya-i-nadya.livejournal.com) - and ... we drove for three days. We drove singing Russian songs. The Shanghai man knew not only Kalinka, Katyusha, Moscow Nights, but also Curly Rowan, and even - what struck us in the heart! - “Here comes the mail troika,” a song that not every Russian knows!
Hitchhiking as a way to travel consists of some advantages over all other options. The route can be planned, but flexibly changes according to the circumstances. Hitchhiking is not only a way to stop the car in order to sit in it, it is also a way to stop it at any time to get out, if you liked the landscape, if there was a photo shoot of picturesque ruins, baobab groves, a lotus pond, a deserted seashore or those beautiful cliffs along the horizon. Tent with you - and you are free to spend time alone in the bosom of nature. But there is a great likelihood to rush past these beauties for an invitation to visit. To get into the house of a simple resident of a distant country means to get to know a new picture of life and customs, to honor the inhabitants of this house - large, troublesome, hospitable, inquisitive. How the Afghan, Syrian, Sudanese, Berber, Bedouin, Papuan families live, how people build relationships, raise children, how and what kind of food they cook, how they manage their household - right, all this is much more fascinating than usual or even five-star comfort!
In the famous Blue Mosque, we met Nazim, a veteran of the Afghan-Soviet war, and went to visit him. “In the war,” he says, “I worked in a gang, and now I have a house, a beautiful wife (local television announcer), and five children.” In the house of Nazim we were given a warm welcome, and also - the New Year in our, European, calendar. In the Afghan, the yard is still the 14th century ...
A free trip is a sphere of unpredictability, and it just suits me: you need to do something with an excess of vitality and curiosity.
You never dreamed
Free ways on the Earth, like any life, consist of weekdays and holidays. I have accumulated a collection of exotic New Year's Eve events: in addition to the Afghan one, there is also a tent on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in equatorial Africa, on the shore of the Andaman Sea, on the island of Chang on the border of Thailand and Cambodia, in the Moorish village of Bir Mograine, in the fabulous Es Sueira on the Atlantic the coast of Morocco ... There is also a collection of weddings: Indian, Kurdish, Sudanese, Moroccan, Yemeni, Indonesian ... In the east of Turkey, where there are no tourist routes, they dance at a wedding for three days, from morning to sunset, and all on a sober head! No feasts until the evening. They dance energetically, selflessly, but this dance is built and strict. The sequence of movements is well known to everyone and is reproduced clearly and amicably. The more crowded and amicable the dance, the more forces it will pour into the new union, the stronger and more fruitful the nascent family will be. There is a saying: "The Kurdish wedding will teach you to dance." We were convinced of her justice: being among the guests and dancing all day (just one!), Fell down without legs in the groom's house.
Moving around the world
According to local conditions, the hitchhiking can be modified into a railway stop, hydro-, motorcycle-, television- and even combine harvester. Everything that moves and is able to place a person is suitable for moving around the world. In a solo trip to India, local motorcyclists were very useful to me. Hundreds of kilometers among deserts, mountains and the jungle, I flew in the back seat of local bikers. Donkey carts in the African and Asian wilderness are often the only (other than on foot) way to get to the neighboring village, and several brave harvesters on their bulky unit threw us in Georgia, on the way to Mirzaani. Freight trains are an excellent thing for the hitchhiking. The local population actively uses them, not forgetting to grab chickens, goats, sheep and even camels. Among the freight trains of the planet there is a rarity: the train Nouadhibou - Zuarat, the "coal train" is the basis of the Moorish economy. He carries coal and ore for 700 km through the desert (there are no other roads) from Zuarat to the port, and goes empty again. To Zuarat I drove in an empty carriage (by the way, consisting of more than 300 cars, length about 3 km), back - on a coal heap, with the local population. In fact, there are two passenger cars in the train, it’s both cleaner and warmer, but it happens that you cannot reach them during a stop. And upstairs - for free and with a breeze. And with coal dust ... Of course, this is a difficult test. But the delight of this trip is indescribable. Infinity desert on both sides. A rusty, grating, unhurried monster crossing it from horizon to horizon. Tuareg family preparing tea on a coal heap. And I'm with a camera on my neck, yelling Russian poems into the sunset distance.
On the waves
And here is the most memorable episode of the hydrostop. On a trip to East Africa, my friend Ilya set out to reach the island of Madagascar by sea and set off along the coast, stopping by in large and small port cities of the coastline of Kenya and Tanzania in search of cargo ships. Mombasa, Tanga, Zanzibar, Dar Es Salaam, Lindy, Mtwara. Nowhere to succeed. After moving to Mozambique, we turned to Mosimboa da Praia - the first Mozambique port. At the pier - an impressive cargo ship ... "Here is our ship!" - Ilya said prophetically and headed for the pier. The ship Niki-Ti, under the control of the Greek captain Mr. Lapsatis, is just taking the load - a tree and bags of cashew nuts - and it follows ... to Comoros, to the island of Anjouan. This is halfway to Madagascar! But the captain is not eager to take passengers on board and advises us to follow the coast further, and load it for another week. But we, believing that we grabbed luck by the tail, decide not to miss a chance. We put up a tent on the beach and slowly settle down in a new country. We spend days walking around the city, swimming in the ocean, learning Portuguese. Loaders and fishermen feed us rice and fish, and when the uniformity of the diet bothers us, we go on a coconut hunt ... Every morning, crawling out of the tent, we see a new string of loaded cars on the pier, loading is unhurried, and the ship seems bottomless. The captain tells us neither yes nor no. On the ship there is another influential person - cheef-offi cer, assistant captain, Mr. Stanley, a native of Comor. His sister is married to a Russian, this marriage is safe, and, although we have nothing to do with it, the black Stanley deliberately sympathizes with us. In the evenings he brings beer and tirelessly talks about his beloved half-blood nephews, the sons of his sister and her Russian husband. Stanley knows two Russian words: "Comrade Gorbachchoff!" and this is the only way he addresses us. The Dutchman Casper leads the loading. He escaped to Africa from a boring European life, and here he obviously does not have to be bored. His opinion on our prospects is rather skeptical, but he does not exclude the possibility of breaking Lapsatis ... After waiting exactly one week, we still “squeezed” the Greek. The ship is sailing with us, happy, on board. Movers in full force escorted us, waving from the pier: "Elijah! Nadia! Bom Caminho! ” (Bon Voyage!)
We are the first in the Indian Ocean. In all four directions to the horizon - blue, void, wind. Fantastic beauty sunset. In the morning, our ship is accompanied by flocks of flying fish: chirping with fins, they emerge from the water, fly 40-50 meters, sparkling in the sun, and disappear in the waves. From time to time, fountains and silhouettes of whales are distinguishable in the distance. The crew has fun fishing ... Gotcha, honey! Marlin Swordfish. The captain approves the prey, and the coke sets to work. We, illegal immigrants, also got something ...
When a man with a backpack gets off the ship to the ground, jumps from the truck to the side of the road, leaves the train on the platform and finds himself in an unfamiliar place, the children are the first to meet him. They crawl out of all the cracks, run away from all sides. Children swirl around - catch up, overtake and carry home the news of strange creatures with large backpacks. You sit in the shade (make notes in the travel diary), dozens of curious heads bend over you: “And we write like this!” The smartest one flies to the well and brings water. Someone will stretch a cake, a date ... And here the adults appeared. They call into the house. A free trip allows you to penetrate into the thick and colorful reality of a foreign life that is not oriented to the travel industry, to get in touch with the simplicity of morals. Global processes are pulling a happy, simple-minded humanity by the ears to standards, to progress, to rational comfort, to consumerism. However, for example, in Sudanese villages, people often do not know that dollars are money. They never saw them. And for the whole village in the desert there is only one TV - they cut it for several hours, turning on the antediluvian rattling generator and arranging collective viewing. In the houses - peace, order and cleanliness, the guest is not a hindrance, but live news about another world. And the poorer the country, the farther away from the world historical and cultural centers the village is, the more difficult the living conditions, the more disinterested and hospitable people are, the happier and more harmonious they look. Why is this so? To this day, the Papuans of the Indonesian part of New Guinea do well without clothes, roads, trade relations, transport, electricity and other nonsense. And they call themselves “orang asli”, which means “real people.” Maybe there really is a lot of superfluous in our life?