Monday, 14 November 2011

A venture into hitch-hiking

On Monday the 7th I left Linda's with Vincent to hitchhike my way to Qualicum Beach where Joanne would pick me up to go back to the blueberry farm. I hadn't got round to getting the money I'd spent on milk and cat food from Linda before she left on her latest trip to Courtenay, but instead I could get it back by hitch-hiking with Vincent rather than taking the greyhound. At 9.00a.m. after making the fire, doing some last minute packing and giving the house a bit of a clean we walked into the village and managed to get a ride on the first try to the community centre with a mother and her baby in tow. From the community centre we got picked up quickly by another mother and her toddler Fern who were on the way to drop off their recycling in Quathiaski Cove. We were dropped off at the dock and walked aboard the ferry hoping to see orcas rather than just becoming windswept. Vincent went up to a few trucks to see if they would take us onward, but they said they weren't going south. He wanted to play a game where we would take it in turns to go up to cars and ask them for a lift, unfortunately for him I was not feeling overly courageous.

In Campbell River we walked almost to the edge of town to a lay-by where there was good potential for a car to stop for us. So we stood there and stuck our thumbs out and smiled. Quite a few cars passed us by and the rubbish lorry didn't seem to want to give us a ride. After a while a man with six children who fixes mold in houses around Courtenay stopped for us. He talked almost the entire way to Courtenay and was quite interesting. He has walked Vancouver Island's West Coast Trail five times and enjoys hiking around Cape Scott Provincial Park (at the northern tip of the island). To improve our chances of hitch-hiking he drove us to the highway and left us there beside a lot of scotch broom (an invasive species that Joanne at the blueberry farm is doing her best to eradicate around Coombs with the aid of her broombusters).

After quite a lot of cars had passed by us by Vincent came up with another game for us to guess how many cars would go by before we got a ride. Optimistically he guessed twenty and pessimistically (but what turned out to be more realistic) I guessed sixty. We counted the numbers in german while car after car sped past us. Sometimes it looked like they might be slowing down but it seems we didn't pass the test and they sped up again. It was cold and just as I was saying that I really didn't think anyone was going to stop for us a nurse from Nanaimo, on his way back from sorting out his passport, hesitantly stopped and Vincent said we had to be really nice to him since he looked like he wasn't going to stop. He had taken pity on us, because he had himself been hitch-hiking a few weeks ago after his car broke down and no-one stopped for him. He drove pretty fast and probably in excess of the speed limit, which got me to Qualicum Beach quite a lot earlier than Joanne had been expecting me.

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