Wednesday 25 March 2015

Hitch hiking in an age of anxiety - Salen to Kilchoan

I had to deliver the truck to Loch Sheil Garage this morning for open heart surgery. I don't get it back until tomorrow so it was either the bus in late afternoon or "en pousse". About six years ago I hitched from Corran Ferry to Kilchoan, in the evening, in March largely in the dark and was home in three hours. So I thought,,  use the thumb once more its sustainable travel for pensioners whose time is worth diddly squat.

Ever since the movie, "The Hitch-hiker", drivers have been anxious about picking up strangers. These strangers are obviously poor and therefore potentially dangerous so I have developed some rules to help  elderly hitch-hikers.

  • Stand where you can be easily seen and where traffic is slowing down
  • Stand near to a pull off or parking space
  • An isolated stretch of road is better than a village (more empathy).
  • Don't wait outside a pub or one of HM's prisons
  • Make eye contact but try not to look like a psychopath
  • Carry a small pack,  don't carry a chainsaw
  • Wave to those who don't stop, they are not necessarily Tories (Republicans if in USA).
  • You have greatest chance of a lift in an area that is socio-economically depressed, empathy again, forget the S.E. of England.

Fifteen or twenty cars passed me, One lady driver stopped to apologise, she was going in the opposite direction! Two signalled that they were turning off and of course truck drivers are no longer allowed to pick you up, it's an insurance thing.

A delightful young couple ( they would be if they picked me up )  brought me all the way home in just over half an hour from Salen, I can't do it in that time when I'm driving the truck and I know the road. 

Who needs a bus pass? There  is obviously a great future for hitch hiking pensioners it could be the Government's next big idea for the elderly.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, I enjoyed your latest post above. However I always thought that Pensioners were a bit like Dog Turds - the older they get, the easier they are to pick up!

Alasdair Thornton

Michael said...

We missed the last bus once in Dervaig on Mull and had to hitchhike back to Tobermory to get the last ferry to Kilchoan. I think the first car that came past stopped to pick us up. We just missed the ferry but then the ferryman saw us standing on the slipway and he turned round and came back for us!

Tom Bryson said...

Y experience too, The West Highlands and the French Alps seem to be the best places for hitching.