Two Beijing guys spent 3 and a half months hitch-hiking over 16,000 km across 13 countries to see one of the guy’s girl friend in Berlin, Germany. Altogether they took 88 hitch rides, including tricycle, tractor and carriage. Their journey was dubbed “the most romantic hitch-hike in history” by netizens.
Liu Chang and Gu Yue are both born in 70s, they were first seen standing in the mist of Hou Hai thumbing for rides on June 8th last year. Carrying super heavy packs, they convinced the visa officers of 12 countries by the purpose of “backpacking travel”. Getting all visas done, they hit the road with cashes, credit cards, sleeping bags, laptop, camera and a few clothes.
The most difficult ride is actually in China from Beijing to Hebei, according to Liu Chang who recalled that they waited in vain for over an hour in Hou Hai, nobody would stop to take them. Finally they got help from one driver who took them to the entrance of the highway leading to Hebei, where they continued to wait despite the rain storm. They were asked to leave by some road maintenance workers, one of whom thoughtfully said: “not many cars go to Berlin from here.”
Hitch-hiking is far more difficult than they imagine. From Beijing to Berlin, these two swarthy, ragged Chinese guys with half long hair were turned down by 1000-some drivers. It happened a lot of times when they had to wait hours before getting a hitch, the longest one they waited for 2 days at road side.
“Countries like Uzbekistan, Kirghizstan don’t have the custom of hitch-hiking, and we don’t speak their language.” Said Gu Yue, who settled this by having someone written a few cards in Russian, saying “we need to hitch ride to Germany from China” “Could you give us a ride?” “Excuse us, we don’t have money for you but we’ve got cigarette and smiles” …
The more they hitch, the more they love it, according to Liu Chang, and meeting so many different people is the biggest reward: a Mr. Qiao, who is delivering goods from Hebei to Shanxi, decided to keep driving for 20 years in order to build houses for his two sons; a petrol truck driver in Xinjiang liked to take every hitch-hiker to kill the loneliness of the long journey; a financial officer who got fired in the financial crisis took them to Czech the day after he landed a new job; a easy-going CEO who drove a limo; a drunk driver in Georgia who played “Speed” live…
The funniest experience happened in northern Iraq, where they got on a tractor and rode for 2 or 3 km before the driver switched into a smoky village. They realized that the tractor was rushing all the way to help put out the fire, and they were brought there along. When the fire was under control the two become the scene, and treated with dinner at an Iraqi home.
Three and a half month later, they finally reached Berlin, where lived Gu Yue’s girl friend Ika (dubbed).
“I traveled in the direction of sunset for the last 3 months, because I know Berlin is where the sun sets, and that is where my Ika lives.” Said Gu Yue.
Ika, on the other hand said: “next time you want to see me, take the plane.”
Their journey was tagged “Most romantic hitch-hiking in history” “Best Valentine gift” by netizens. At the moment, Gu Yuan and Ika are on vacation in Thailand, celebrating their Spring Festival.
For more, watch the “Xing Zhe” program aired 22:30 in Travel Channel.
pictures from Netease:
Gu Yue in Turkey
On the tricycle in Aksu, Xinjing.
Pretty and kind-hearted driver.
It is common to wait for hours before get a ride, the longest one they wait for 2 days on road side.
On a truck that’s delivering Coca-cola In Uzbekistan.
The tractor that took them to the fire scene, and got them a dinner in an Iraq home.
Taking a gypsy carriage in Bulgaria
Finally they reached Berlin. Gu Yue and his girl friend Ika, who said “next time you want to see me, take the plane.”