Leaving Gateshead at 9am was interrupted by breakfast, a last minute shoot, and a lot of rain.
By midday it slowed somewhat so we chucked our gear on us backs and got gone toward Edinburgh with a cardboard sign that simply read ‘North’.
The first hitch was the hardest of the trip so far, it took almost 2 hours to get picked up and it was raining and cold. The amount of drivers that ignore you usually isn’t too bad, it’s when they start giving you the finger that it’s irritating as fuck.
After almost giving up, and being shouted at by an unhelpful woman over the petrol station tannoy, we ended up waiting on the actual slip road to the A1 where a bloke eventually pulled up and offered us a ride.
He worked in IT and loved his job as he got to travel around and not be confined to one office every day. He dug what we were doing, and went out of his way to help us out which was lovely. He dropped us near Morpeth where we waited by the A1 for another ride. It was much colder there, but the wait wasn’t as long as a woman travelling to Alnwick with her 14 month old baby stopped and let us jump in. Considering the amount of people warning of hitchers, the trust this women showed in letting us ride with her and her small child was genuinely lovely.
At Alnwick we waited under a bridge taking shelter from the rain and a man in a white van with a real intense stare caught our eye as he passed but drove on. I noticed we were just by some services so we took a walk in there to try our luck with some lorry drivers. The man we saw in the white van was by the side of the road, so we went up to him. He was Romanian and his English was excellent, he asked where we were going and said he’d take us the rest of the way to Edinburgh but we had to hang back ten minutes to wait for his boss to switch vehicles and leave.
We went for a piss, grabbed a couple of snacks and headed back. He told us to jump in. We did. And that’s when we noticed we were riding with a coffin. Marvellous.
This bloke had a real enthusiasm for life. He was absolutely wired, despite having being driving for 19 hours or something. He told us all about the history of his country because he struggles to sleep and just reads up about these things. It was interesting, but I was exhausted so was mostly politely nodding on trying to keep up. If he noticed, I don’t think he cared. I think some people just enjoy the opportunity to talk on long drives.
He was a real interesting character, and hinted at a very questionable past, yet we weren’t uncomfortable. We chatted history, cameras, technology, coffins…
In no time we were just outside of Edinburgh, where we were dropped at a garden centre and waited for Grant, our Edinburgh host, to come pick us up and take us back to his flat.
I’ma try and get the Edinburgh trip written up at some point today too.
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