We knew that things could only be better than the previous day, we checked out the hitchwiki.org and after few hours we were at the right spot.
It took us few minutes to understand that at that gas station, located at the outskirts of Ljubljana, most of the drivers were heading off abroad therefore get a lift was likely to happen.
Nevertheless we spent four hours toing and froing around the lorries parked at the gas station, asking each driver if Zagreb was part of their itinerary. The answers varied between “no, I am going to the opposite direction or “yes, but a colleague is coming along”.
The names of different cities started wandering on our mind tempting us to change our thoughts: rather than stick to our plans, we could just go wherever someone was willing to take us. But the fear of skipping countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina or Montenegro was far more powerful, hence we just had to nourish the idea that an adventure like us would stop and take us to Croatia.
Lorry drivers could only take one of us, hence I tried to “get rid of Johan” when I realised he was losing hope. He was thinking of getting a train in case things didn’t work. After a chat during which we tried to find strength to cope with the waiting time, we agreed that spit up shouldn’t be part of the trip.
Wise words came from a polish fellow hitchhiker who appeared from nowhere. A tall, skinny young man full of beautiful stories about hitchhiking joined us to find out if we were heading off to the same place. He was coming from Hungary, and he seldom had to wait more than 1 hour for a lift. For us that sounded a miracle due to hour experience day before and even at that gas station.
What’s the secret? We asked him, Always be positive and smiley, but obviously the main secret was hidden, her girlfriend, we found out later.
The moment wouldn’t happen until I saw a young, smiley lady parking her car next to us.
She shrugged her shoulders showing disappointment for not being able to help us. Ten minutes later she came with two coffees telling us that it was the least she could do for us.
Whilst I was setting up the camera to record her gesture, she started pondering change her plans to drive us to Zagreb.
Tjasa, whose name I only memorised when she gave me her business card, did change her plans on a whim and drove us to Zagreb, 140 km from where she was going. She stopped for two travellers, but ended bringing along the skinny, tall polish professional hitchhiker I mentioned before who; indeed, never wait more than 1 hour, and her girlfriend who finally showed up.
This moment was more than a lift, “a ride, carona, boleia, pedir cola” whatever you called it, it was instead a journey to the point where we all understood that we’re more alike than different, and we here to help each other.
I failed to feel Zagreb as a great place to be. My mood, my spirit, tiredness might had conditioned my way to visit big cities, nevertheless I met nice folks who did welcomed me with a glossy smile – reason enough to come back for a proper visit.
Clear as a whistle, when one have the heart in the right place, one meet people with the same will, someone wrote when I shared this picture on my facebook page, what else can I say?
Happy travels fellows.