This week we travelled down Route 1 from Big Sur down to San Diego.

We’d realised that contrary to our expectations, California is NOT easy to hitch and although this popular route is flooded with tourists, they are mostly American tourists raised to fear hitchhikers, not hippies as we’d imagined to find along this route.

 

Writer guy

We’d stood for a couple hours before this writer guy picked us up from the Kirk Creek Campground with a hostile “you have too much stuff” and complained we were taking too long to get in his car when there was actually no where to sit. Diving in before he could drive off, he dropped us down the road at a gas station.

Marcello & Vinz

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We felt like it was going to take us forever to get down the coast at this rate with people only taking us very short distances. The day before it had taken us the whole day and six rides to travel only 100 miles. At this rate it would take us a week to reach L.A.!

Vinz approached us, stuffing a hot dog into his face, joined a second later by Marcello. We heard the European accent and were immediately hopeful – generally, Europeans are more open to picking up hitchhikers. Apparently they’d spied us earlier but hadn’t been sure what we were doing, but once we explained they said they could take us to Santa Barbara and then to L.A. the following day! Brilliant. At last, a good ride. These two were travelling around the states for a few weeks. The next day, they offered to drop us at our destination rather than at their destination. Unfortunately none of us realised that would take them an extra 4.5 hours…through L.A…at rush hour. We felt so bad! What guys though – thanks for not chucking us out!

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

Throughout the trip we have not wanted to use any resources that might take away a meal or a bed from someone that needs it more than us. We’re choosing to be penniless for the experience, and would never want that to negatively impact someone who genuinely needs help. Arriving in Santa Barbara on this Wednesday night, we saw that the Rescue Mission was serving dinner at 6pm. We hadn’t eaten a meal since Sunday, getting by on nuts, nibbles of cheese and candy. We were very hungry. The Mission is a ministry of Christian people bringing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to people who struggle with homelessness and addiction. We thought we’d go and see if we could volunteer in exchange for a meal.

Marcello & Vinz dropped us off, just as people were let in for dinner. As ladies are served first, we got ushered to the front of the queue before we could say a word. The place was packed and it was an extremely well-run, tight ship with an abundance of food – people were invited up for seconds and thirds if they wished. Looking around, it was clear we would be more of a nuisance if we ventured up to ask about volunteering (especially as we couldn’t stay to help the next day or another time) so instead of being a pain we kept our heads down, ate the most delicious meal I have ever eaten in my life (beans, fried chicken, rice, bagel and a muffin) and reluctantly left. We’re glad we went there as it was good to learn how well these things are run. A lot of the food they cook with has been donated and/or rescued from restaurants and bakeries etc.

We were annoyed that we were not able to volunteer and so after the trip we’ll be making a donation. If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here. A donation of $45.30 will provide a meal for 30 people.

Nate

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We had no where to stay in Santa Barbara so we sat in Starbucks until 10:30pm racking our brains to think outside the box. We had messaged everyone on Couchsurfing. “Come on, there must be something we’ve not yet thought of!” Tinder?!

Sarah wrote about our “Tinder: Not Just For Sex” experience here. Thank you Nate, for saving our asses…

Suady

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I’d met this crazy bitch in Vietnam a few years ago and could not wait to see her again! Messaging earlier this year she had said “hitchhiking around America?! You won’t get here until Christmas!” We’ll be there around July 20th I said…and sure enough we arrived July 21st! She welcomed us into her home and was outraged that we hadn’t had an In-N-Out Burger yet so treated us to one for dinner! The next day we grabbed supplies (tequila) and headed to the beach. Her darling friend Elle Belle had made kebabs and we spent the night dancing like weirdos on the beach around a fire. That weekend Suady drove us to San Diego to stay with her friend Jess that she’d met in Croatia! We ended up at a secret rave til 5am, it was excellent.

Elle

Cheers for the kebabs Elle!

Jess

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Jess met my friend Suady in Croatia in the summer. She let us crash in her room at the Hotel Andaz! Comic Con was on and we bumped into Elijah Wood in the elevator which was pretty cool. The hotel lobby had coffee, fruit and flapjack, yes! On the Sunday, Jess was working on Comic Con and managed to sneak us some sandwiches, crisps and water. Thanks Jess! We also managed to leave Comic Con with 24 boxes of Krave (yay – kind of).

Jakob

It was boiling hot and we knew we couldn’t walk far with 24 boxes of Krave. We made it to the main road and thought it would take a while to get a ride. We’d barely put all of our stuff down before a tiny car pulled over and out popped lovely Jakob. He was a student, home for the summer. He said he wasn’t doing anything so would drop us at our destination in Venice Beach! BRILLIANT.

Nathan

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Nathan lived in a beautiful apartment near Venice Beach. We had our own room and bathroom – it felt like we were in a hotel! We arrived and he stuffed us with lasagne and beer then we headed to Venice Beach where we drank enormous shots of tequila, more beer and ate pizza. Nathan was so much fun, we messed around on the beach (not that kind *rolls eyes*) and pretty much nailed the dirty dancing dance move. When it was time to leave his and hitch to Vegas, he wouldn’t let us because he didn’t want us hitchhiking through the desert and ended up buying us bus tickets!! What a legend.

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