The will to movement
4
JULY, 2018
summer
culture
travel
memory

Travelling through the West Country on a Sunday at 5pm suddenly makes me wistful for the days when I used to hitch my way around the country.

When i was young enough for hitching to be a safe endeavor, because I had the indestructibility of youth..
Hitching was transportation with the possibility of meeting new and potentially interesting people.

Travelling the country for free was so much a part of my life that one day in a mid ‘Eighties summer, I woke up with no plans and the desire for a change of scenery and decided to make the 200 mile journey to my old school friend’s home on public transport to see what it was like.

I made my way by a variety of buses and coaches, that were heading in a general south-westerly direction. I wasn’t all that bothered by the passing of time or the directness of the journey. I was having a better-to-travel-than-arrive moment

Lunch from a pub, taken outside Worcester cathedral: sun, and sandstone, and the first time i’d ever had hummus and pitta bread.

By the time I got to Exeter public transport services had closed down, but the driver of the last coach arranged for me to hitch a  ride on his friend’s bus across the moors to my destination. People were like that to each other then.

I only had to walk the last mile and a half, and got to my destination at 10:50pm – just enough time to wish my old school friend a happy birthday, and help her drink the last 4-pack of beer.