My first solo hitchhiking trip to… Kyiv
During the whole way, I asked myself 5 or even 10 times “What the hell are you doing here?” I could easily take a bus, train and stop that act of proving that I’m able to do hitchhiking. All in all, it was even easier than I expected. Maybe it was caused by the fact I had tear gas in my backpack and it gave me more self-confidence.
So one gloomy, rainy and cold April day I woke up at 5 am so that I could start my adventure at 6. I don’t really like that direction from Krakow to Rzeszow as there is no really good stop or place to stay.
Paradoxically, a man was turning around and noticed me by accident.
It would be really difficult for anyone else to stop there, but my rescuer used to be a hitchhiker and understood how really difficult it was. Five mins later we were talking like old friends about travels, sport, best spots in Leiser Poland. He took me to Przeworsk, 40 km from the border. It started raining and I was pleading for help. I girl stopped to grab me and decided to drop me to the border as she found out I was about to make a surprise to my parents.
I was walking towards the border waving a hand in case someone will be kind:) An old car with a Ukrainian senior driver stopped and he took the opposite side of the road to avoid traffic jams. The police cars with alarms turned on didn’t make him stop. “They think I’m stupid? Ahah look, we will drive through the field!” In two mins I exited the car 200 meters from the checkpoint. At the entrance, I was welcomed by a huge queue and women with Ukrainian vodkas in their hands. Weird atmosphere.
I couldn’t let myself wait so long with all those people and headed to the door.
– Sorry, I’ve lost my brother. Can you let me through, please?
In addition, I was speaking Polish, so Ukrainians wouldn’t recognize an insolent soul. I just hate that thing that we are treated unfairly and have to spend 4-5 hours proving we have a right to enter or leave the country. That’s insane.
To sum up, I crossed the border in one hour.
I was walking towards Lviv…
…hoping that someone finally would notice me. A minivan did. Without back thoughts, I jumped into a car. 5 seconds later I figured out that I was with five men in one car and ten hungry eyes were staring at me. The whole situation was really weird but they were normal guys who were looking for happiness in Poland.
They brought me to the direct highway to Kyiv. And once I said goodbye to them the downpour started. I was hitchhiking at the petrol station when a stranger reached me and offered me a cup of coffee to warm up a little bit. He was waiting for his boss and was extremely happy to talk to someone on such a cold day. 20 mins from the flat white on a station I was grabbed by a brother and a sister who was coming from… Krakow.
– We spent 6 hours on the border. Never again!
I was lucky enough to get the last and the longest ride from Lviv to Kyiv by three young students. They covered the distance of 1500 km, cause one of the boys went to his ex-future-girlfriend just to tell her he had been missing her! I was deeply touched! We really need more heroes like this. Hope they are together now!
Five hours later I was walking towards my home. I had to cope with 7 km. And guess what? A local man took me and brought straightly to my parents!