This week we continued to chill in Miami and then started heading north to the Carolinas on the final leg of our journey.
I’d like to say that we spent our Miami time in the sun but the storms confined us to our apartment, blitzing our way through the Game of Thrones series. Finally, on our last day in Miami, the sun came out. And we both burned ourselves silly 😦
Leaving Miami marked the beginning of the final leg of the journey; the east coast back to Boston. James had managed to stay with us in Miami and agreed to drop us just outside Savannah off interstate 95 on his way back to work in Tennessee. Cool – only a two hour hitch for us to Charleston.
These “two hour” hitches always end up being THE WORST.
Stefanie had three small children and had (finally) got their dad to agree to take them for the night, so she was free. She told us that her sister lived in Charleston and was away on business so all she had to do was go to her parents house around the corner and pick up the keys and then she’d able to drop us in Charleston and spend the night at her sisters for a little getaway. In the mean time, she said she could drop us at a shopping mall near her parents as she didn’t want to turn up there with a couple of hitchhikers. Three hours later Stefanie finally arrives and says she’d drop us back where she picked us up – if we want? Confused, we asked about the ride to Charleston. “Oh they don’t have the keys so I won’t be driving there anymore”. “Oh, ok” we replied and painfully returned to our spot from that morning. Thanks for trying to help Stefanie.
Hours passed and afternoon became evening. Finally an 18 year old on his way home from work at a car dealership offered to take us the other side of Savannah where we might have more luck. After a couple of stops looking for gas money (at his house and then his mums’) we were on our way. Kynan, much to our relief, decided that he’d drive us all the way to Charleston as he had a new car and wanted to give it a stretch. He dropped us right to the door of our Couchsurfing host. Amazing. It was 10pm by this point!
Jon hosted us for a couple of nights in Charleston. He kicked us out at 6am as he had to get to work – somewhat against the trusting community spirit of Couchsurfing! But oh well. He brought us home burritos from his work which were delicious! Thanks Jon.
With the early start we thought we’d spend the day exploring the city of Charleston. There were hundreds of cars crawling past us into the city centre but people didn’t seem to want to pick up hitchhikers on their way to work or on the school run. A couple of hours later Tido pulls over, shocked that we’ve been stood there for so long. He drives for Uber but also works in a parking garage in the city centre. We spent the journey listening to his irrate girlfriend on loudspeaker, furious about breaking down in Tido’s truck, furious that the garage isn’t open and even more furious that Tido had “picked up” two women.
Kevin and son Preston
When we finished with Charleston, we set off early for Charlotte, North Carolina. Our first ride of the day was Kevin and his little kid Preston in their minivan filled with…a bathtub. A huge bath tub. A bath tub that Sarah and I half squatted, half contorted our bodies around for the short journey to the North side of the city. A bath tub that Kevin didn’t really know what to do with, and was keeping in his car until he decided. At any rate, he wasn’t dealing with it today as he was dropping Preston off with a neighbour then going home to get high. He invited us, but we politely declined.
Guy who asked for a blow job over his PA system
Guy who dropped us in a better location
We stood at a gas station for an hour or so but it was too quiet so we moved to the on-ramp where we received many cat calls and sexual propositions. What a lovely place. Finally a guy pulls over and drops us at a truck stop ten minutes down the road.
Trucker #1 of the week
We waited in the shade of the gas station (for cars) for over an hour and had no luck so we thought we’d try the trucks. It’s always a difficult decision to make because if the staff of the gas station aren’t aware of us, we want to keep it that way and asking around trucks massively draws attention to ourselves BUT trucks are the best when you need to travel a ways down an interstate. Also, you have better luck with trucks at the gas pumps because they’re about to leave – ones parked up tend to be there a while. We decided to give the trucks a shot and the first guy we asked said he was heading our way. After setting off and checking the maps he realised that he wouldn’t be heading to Charlotte but could drop us in Columbia. Arriving in Columbia he bought us a Wendy’s! Thanks!
Trucker #2 of the week
Golden hour with our bellies full, we were happy. A trucker who was parked in a parking lot across the road (I say “road” but this is America, it’s massive, it’s like saying the other side of the village) said he’d give us a ride but was clearly being cautious about who was seeing us talk. We were definitely suspicious of his behaviour so were both on our guard. The usual sex related questions arose along with a strange sexual proposition as we exited the truck in Charlotte. No thanks, bye.
Saji was our wonderful smiley host in Charlotte who is studying for his PHD. He came out to pick us up from the gas station, much to our relief. We took the opportunity to look around the university which was fun and got ourselves kicked out of an american football training sesh (also fun). We stayed up talking about everything and anything. Really nice guy. Thanks Saji!