Zadar - Split - #66HT - A Rich Homeless

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domingo, 6 de maio de 2018

Zadar - Split - #66HT

I was starting my 4th day in Croatia, having already new and intensive experiences in Zagreb and Zadar. It was time to move to my 3rd stop: Split.

Original plan: Hitchhike from Zadar to Split. About 160km were separating both cities and I though that I easily could do it in one afternoon. Before arriving in the Balkan so many people told me how easy was to travel by hitchhiking there. But in fact it didn't really work with me.

In the past 4 days, the only trip that I had by hitchhiking was from Novo Mesto to Zagreb. In fact hitchhiking wasn't being really easy since I left from Germany. In Czech Republic I had a mixed between hitchhiking with trains. In Austria I used half hitchhiking and half bus. In Slovenia half Hitchhiking and half Carpool. In Croatia until this moment, half hitchhiking and half bus.

One thing that I started to realize was that in Belgium and Germany, for hitchhiking, were so much easier than the other countries. I don't know if I was using the best strategy for hitchhiking, but it was the only that I knew how to do until this moment. Going to the exit of highway I held a paper signal written the name of the city that I wanted to go. In Germany and Belgium this strategy was working almost perfectly. In more than 10 days I just paid for public transport 3 of them, however since Czech Republic it became a little bit more complicated and I was using public transport at least once every two days.

I believe that the highways have a big influence. The Czech highways aren't as good as the German ones. For instance in Germany I've done 300km by hitchhiking in about 4h, but I spent longer time for crossing the border of Czech republic to Linz, it was about 40km.

Austria and Slovenia had good highways and good connection between one city and another, but Czech Republic and Croatia, not really. Once there weren't so many highways connection the cities, smaller and slower roads were connecting these cities.

If you want to check something interesting, go to Google maps and check the map of Europe. In this map you're going to see yellow lines that are the highways that exist in this area. The large lines are the main highways. If you observe and compare countries in the map you'll see for instance that there a lot of main highways in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France. At the same time in Serbia and Croatia there is just a main highway. In another view countries such Bosnia, Monenegro, Kosovo and Albania don't have a main highway crossing the entire country. I believe that the fact that there weren't really good connections between cities in the Balkan, making my trip harder by hitchhiking.

I believe that you can use other strategies for hitchhiking and be successful. Also if you're not in a hurry and are opened to put your tent somewhere to sleep in the way in the case that you don't find a city/place to stay, it could be great. I would love to try it if I had longer time to travel and a tent in my backpack. This backpack that I was traveling, it was the one that I was carrying my life during 4 months even being minimalist, I already had a lot of stuff inside it.

It was beginning of spring and still cold. Even with a tent, my sleeping bag wouldn't be enough to protect me from the cold. 

In fact excepted Austria, all of countries that I traveled after Germany were cheaper to travel by public transport and I wasn't really afraid to fail in my Hitchhiking trip. I still had a cheap second plan.

I was becoming less stressed in the traveling way. I'm not saying that I wanted to travel by regular ways of transport. For instance, my easy mission to move from Zadar to Split didn't work.

I did the same as I use to do. I just went to the exit of the highway, precisely in a bus stop were cars maybe could stop to pick me up. I waited there for the first hours and nobody stopped. At this moment was fine, I could wait for longer, but by the first time in this trip I faced a problem that I didn't consider it before, the rain. Not just a quiet rain, but an intense of rain, a kind of storm, do you know what I mean? Well, the first minutes were enough to make me realized that I couldn't finish this trip by hitchhiking, in fact it didn't even start.  My wet jacket, pants, socks in this windy and cold weather were a good reason motivate me to find a warm place with Wi-Fi that I could check the bus schedules to Split.

It was simple like that, I just walked back to the city until the bus station where I could catch a bus for a fair price. Another fail for my list, this time the one that I didn't even started. Gladly I had a second cheap option. As I said some articles ago, this traveling style was making me learn more myself and also about my limits, then respecting it.

I knew that if I tried to insist one it, wet and cold even if I had finished, I wouldn't have enjoyed this trip.

To celebrate my wise decision I just said goodbye to Zadar having a beer before facing these 2h of trip by bus.

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