Next came two young lads who, after a lot of persuasion, drove us to Poole. Funnily enough, they had also just come from Exeter, but in a quarter of the time that it had taken us… *sighs*. Once we arrived in Poole we thought we could somehow blag a ferry but turns out Brittany Ferries have dealt with their fair share of Jailbreakers, and although they were keen to donate money to our charities, they wouldn’t allow us on a ferry for free.
3:46 pm brought us our first of three lucky breaks. Tim, a successful looking business and family man, looked absolutely petrified seeing my friend walk towards him. When she asked him where he was heading towards, he said “Oh I’m just heading around the corner so I won’t be able to help you”, which we later realised was a huge lie. Since we were desperate, we asked whether he could just drop us off five minutes away, because as Tesco say, “Every little helps”. So somehow we ended up in the back of his fancy car sat on his children’s booster seats. When it had been five minutes and we hadn’t been kicked out yet we realised he was heading further than we thought… all the way to South London! Two hours, and plenty of personal stories later, we arrived at some motorway services near Guildford.
The most memorable anecdote from the weekend was probably jumping into the back of a van, at these motorway services. The guys (who were around our age) drove off down the motorway before we even had time to slide the van door shut. Just a little bit scary! Everything (including us) went flying, but thank goodness we managed to close the door before anything really bad happened. There was no light in the back of the van so we were sitting in the pitch black praying for our lives, not only because it was probably illegal but because the guy was a terrible driver. Turns out he was FaceTiming down the motorway…
By 8:30 pm we had somehow made it to Folkestone, a port town on the English tunnel in Kent, with hopes of hitchhiking a ride across the Eurotunnel. We hitched with three different drivers from Guildford to Folkestone, including one lovely woman, Isabella, with the most interesting life story. She is a very successful lawyer who got pregnant during her first week (Freshers) of studying at Oxford University, and is married to a South American guy (I forget which country) whom she met across the pond on her “gap yah”. This was one of our favourite parts of Jailbreak: meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life whom we wouldn’t otherwise speak to!
Our luckiest ride came next! Two guys drove us all the way from Folkestone to Amsterdam (270 miles), covering four countries. However, let’s just say this ride was very interesting to say the least and the guys were going to Amsterdam for *ahem* one reason and one reason only… Let’s just say one too many reasons pointed towards the fact that the driver’s “trader” occupation wasn’t quite what you’d expect. One reason being his super flashy car, though I can’t complain – it was pretty comfortable!
At 3:55 am Saturday morning we were dropped off at Amsterdam Central Station. From Amsterdam to Berlin it was one straight road of hitch-hiking, with many European lorry drivers. At this point, despite a complete lack of sleep, hopes were high as we knew we could end up somewhere cool in Europe, bearing in mind that we did not plan out our route at all. Driving beside the Netherlands’ countryside was so beautiful, passing windmills and tulip fields. The sun was shining and all was swell. One ride we hitched was in a bread lorry with a Dutchman and his two sons who were our age. The soundtrack to my Exeter Jailbreak 2016 video was taken from this ride. The song, a Dutch cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, came on the radio and they all sang along in unison. Another enjoyable hitch was with the sweetest Serbian lorry driver who drove us six hours from the Netherlands to an area close to Berlin. He told us how he loves British culture and showed us by playing current British chart music and watching Mr Bean. We also hitched with a van of creepy Polish guys, which I don’t plan on doing again anytime soon…
By 7 pm, 33 hours after we left Exeter, we finally arrived in Berlin!
Thanks, Exeter Jailbreak 2016. I definitely think a bit of luxury is needed after all that exhilaration and chaos, and that’s where the Algarve’s Vidamar Beach Villa comes in (and believe me, it’s stunning!) This wild travel story is entered into Oliver’s Travels exciting blogger competition to win a holiday in the Algarve *fingers crossed* – enter before it’s too late, guys!
So, what has been your scariest or most exciting travel story? Reveal all in the comments below and we’ll have a lil’ natter!
READY TO SAVE MONEY FOR TRAVEL?
Get access to my free eBook filled with tips and tricks to help YOU save money to travel the world.