Day 2, Bellinzona-Monaco-village near Monaco, 6 cars, 3h waiting time
At 7am the sun rose between the mountain peaks and woke me up. After a typical hitchhiking breakfast I asked for a lift with a sign saying “Genova”. An older couple from Germany, who saw me the evening before, took me all the way, since they were boarding a ferry to Corse.
At Genova I walked a bit to get to a highway entrance. There was already a guy who told me right away what a bad spot this was. He had a big sign with multiple lines. Anyway as he walked on I ignored his “advice” and after some minutes a car stopped next to me and this young Italian couple was going in my direction. Some hundred metres further they picked up the other guy. He turned out to be an Erasmus student, who was super annoying. Apparently, it was his first hitchhiking trip and he couldn’t hold back with his “awesome” experiences he already had. He couldn’t shut up.
At the gas station where they left both of us, he got an earlier ride, because he was continuing to Barcelona, whereas I wanted to make a detour via Monaco. The gas station was not very busy. There was a small car that was completely full. I asked its owner, a young Italian named Pietro, and expected that he would decline my request. I wouldn’t have totally mind because the reason “Sorry, but the car is full.” was true, not – as usually – a stupid excuse. But to my surprise, he still managed to find space for me and even my backpack. He even intended to drive me directly to Monaco, but didn’t have time in the end.
That’s why I had to accept a ride from a rich Russian woman in her Porsche Cayenne. Uhmm was a pitty… I had to go in a Porsche… how unfortunate. She seemed to live the cliché life of a Monacan wife: Together with her husband, who was the rich guy and her two children in a huge house, not working. She said, Monaco is a very nice place to live, but sooo expensive – well who would have known that Monaco is an expensive place to live??? Nevertheless it was funny having gotten a lift by her.
Anyway I continued by foot the border with France again, passing Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, shops like Svarovski, blablabla [insert something really expensive]. The people gazed strangely at me, while I was passing with my outdoor/hitchhiker clothes and the backpack…yeah I didn’t (want to) belong there.
Behind the border I was picked up by a priest who was collecting food to donate for poor and homeless people in Nice. At the gas station inside the city, where he left me, I waited quite a long time till someone stopped. The owner was a hitchhiker himself, but couldn’t increase my hope to get away tonight. However a car stopped, but it turned out only because I had a sign showing the driver’s hometown (Nîmes). He said he could bring me to a toll station (péage). On the way Didier suggested I could sleep and eat in his house. Due to the fact it was already 11pm and dark I accepted his offer. His house was in a small village with a great view to the Mediterranean Sea and Monaco.
Day 3, Village near Monaco – Perpignan; ~470 km, 5 cars, >7h waiting time
After breakfast Didier left me at a toll station (péage) before Nice. This experience should have never made me being left off at these places (toll stations): I had to wait for about 5 hours, because the cars just passed by. When a driver finally stopped at the small parking area where I was standing next to, I hurried to catch him before he drove off. He took me to the next service area (French “aire”) near Cannes. It was not far from the péage, but a way better spot.
A truck driver took me some 100 kilometres further and from there I went with the Dutch-Spanish guy Joris to a service area just before Perpignan. He just came from Nice, where he spent a hard party week in the house of his super rich friend and was now returning to his family living south of Barcelona. We had a nice chat, but from the service area he dropped me, I didn’t get further this night.
To make it worse – actually I didn’t care about the first fact – a melon was kind of squeezed in my backpack and its juice was now over in my backpack. In addition the stupid melon was not even eatable any more…
At 1am I put my sleeping bag on a soft carpet made of dry fir needles and, hoping it wouldn’t start to burn, soon slept, which made some insects happy…..
On French highways there are electronic screens, that, if a car is too fast, show its number plate and a hint that it’s going too fast (“trop vite”).
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