b3ta.com user KlausWaugh
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» Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Travelling round Europe
Long time reader, first time poster, be kind please!

I went travelling round Europe for two and a half months in the summer of 2012. I left London with 40p in my back pocket and jumped the train to Dover, stood at the side of the road with a sign saying "France" and got a lift onto the ferry. I faredodged my way round most of Europe, racking up a lot of fines on the way that were basically unenforceable, as they won't bother sending angry letters to England. I spent some time staying at a hippy gathering in Slovakia, where I saw a shooting star and made a wish for a few quid to help me along my way.

Fast forward about a week, and I'm trying to fare dodge my way across Spain, to a friend's place in Portugal. Conductors in Spain are among the most militant in Europe and will quite happily stop the train at the next station to throw you off, whether or not it's scheduled to stop there. It took me two days to get from Barcelona to Zaragoza. I boarded a train to Madrid, where I was accosted by a conductor. I stood there pleading with him for a good five minutes, telling him how my interrail ticket had been "stolen" and how I'd not eaten for days and needed to get to Madrid to collect some money from my "travel insurance". The conductor said he'd allow me to stay on until the next reasonable sized town, where he promptly kicked me off.

I made my way to the local bus station to see if I can jump a bus out of there but being a Sunday afternoon in a small Spanish town it was deserted. I walk over to the information counter where I see a small payphone not unlike one you'd find in a pub, held down by nothing more than a piece of wire. I look around and see no people or CCTV, so I cut the wire with my trusty Swiss army knife and squeeze the payphone into my bag. I walk round the corner to a building site where I smash open the payphone with a scaffolding bar, thinking there might be enough to get myself something to eat before trying my luck on the next train. I count the coins inside and find 130 euros.

I managed to buy a train ticket to Madrid, a nice sit down meal, a coach ticket to Lisbon with enough food and booze for the journey, a train ticket to my mates place in Portugal, and I had enough left over for a piss up in the local bar and a fat block of hash.
(Tue 26th Aug 2014, 0:04, More)