Hitchgathering/2011

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Hitchgathering 2011
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Hitchgathering 2011 is the temporary title for the fourth edition of the annual European hitchhiking festival.

Organisation & Discussion

Latest News

  • The date for the meeting in Magdeburg is set: 1.-3. of April
  • The poll to vote for a location will be available soon!

Timeline

  1. Organisation meeting in Magdeburg: 1.-3. of April
  2. The gathering: 5/8/11

Evaluation

Location Hunting

Have requirements for the suggestion of places

  • Person that suggests a spot becomes responsible on setting up a team to organize it there.
  • Pros and cons
  • Central or more adventurous destination?
  • propose a specific location, not a country (see example)

If you have a place where you know 100-150 hitchhikers can be hosted and you can take care of making sure there is local support (also just by finding someone locally that wants to take care of this part), please, list the location. :)

Suggestions

For now, let's display the first suggestions first.

Bristol -- xo

Pros

  • 100-150 hh can easily be hosted in squat like The Red Factory or other, a squat could even be open if needed.
  • There is also enough food for everyone in the large population of dumpster in the city.
  • Most of the Noborder activist in Calais are people from Bristol, as most hitch-hiker would pass by Calais maybe some action in collaboration could be made.
  • Huge number of contact (including local media) and local support with individual and different group.
  • a lot of local groups are interested in the project from the few talk I had
  • one benefit gig could be easily be made on the Friday night to raise money for food and the diverse expense during the week end, even free for the hitch hiker. it would be a good occasion to comunicate and attract people outside of our closed circuit community.
  • I'm on it! and there were 2 other people from Bristol at the last hitch gathering
  • The beer is great, and you're supposed to drink it warm (which we WILL do)
  • We could cooperate with Mark Boyle´s Freeconomy community and arrange quality program with them (artists, free shops, veggie kitchen etc)

It would be interesting to experience the urban side when traveling (finding a squatt, dumpster diving...)

Cons

  • UK Immigration polities and visa issue
Worse than Schengen? Anyway, people going to UK HHing must also get Schengen pass... --Sitarane
Much worse than Schengen. Since there are no exit stamps and their stamp is good for 6 months, they always end up suspecting you of living/working illegally in the UK. Last time I landed in Glasgow (to avoid Heathrow) but was still asked 23 questions in a row, including written details of two people in the UK. I am aware of not less than 4 different people, US/CA/AU that have been denied entry while hitchhiking over the channel. If I would not be changing passports, I wouldn't assume it's gonna work now because I already have 4 different entry stamps + a work-holiday visa. Each entry was more difficult than the one before. --Perilisk 22:26, 10 January 2011 (CET)
  • You've got to cross the channel
  • HH sucks in Britain.
    • What a load of bullshit, I've done over 60,000 km in the UK and it works, even for someone well over the age of the average hitchhiker. See the table below! Prino 22:38, 29 September 2010 (CEST)
   +------+---------------------------+---------------------------+---------------------------+
   |      | Waits <= 1 hour           | Waits > 1 hour            | Total                     |
   |      +------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+
   | Cnty |    # |    Time | Avg Wait |    # |    Time | Avg Wait |    # |    Time | Avg Wait |
   +------+------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+
   | GB   |  471 |  210.17 |  0:26:47 |  138 |  242.24 |  1:45:23 |  609 |  452.41 |  0:44:36 |
   +------+------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+------+---------+----------+
  • Rain
  • Expensive
    • not as mush as Paris, and for participant expense should be limited to their own consumption of cider
  • Doesn't qualify as "central for a big gathering" nor "far and more adventurous". It's far and boring.
    • That's a weird conception of boring, I've never considered hitch-hiking boring especially when having to hitch a boat.
  • Beer suck
    • not just beer, cider as well...

Lyon --Sitarane

I went on a bike trip today to review the spot candidates. Long story short, it sucks but I found another one that's better.

Long story long:

A map should help understanding.

Basically, you can see that the first spot I thought of is a huge park, really far off. Going there today, I realize how far. Nobody would have been going to Lyon. A bit Berlin Beach Camp style. Now the new spot is only interesting in combination with the nearby park.

In Lyon, there is only one park really. All the others are more like squares. So everyone that wants to go to the park goes there. How is that for visibility? You will notice that the suggested spot is adjacent to this only-park-of-Lyon.

The routine I suggest we follow, if we go for that, is to retreat to the spot at night and move it to the big park at day. A bit like in Odessa, minus the 1h walk.

The big park is closed at night anyway.

The night-spot while being close to the city, is a bit out of the way. During the day it sees quite a few joggers, at night I bet it's a werewolf hangout. So, while we still want to be in good terms with the squares, it is possible that we won't even be noticed by the enforcers of the establishment.

It consist of a little forest on the western tip and large grass fields on the western, larger tip. The Rhone is running near and I bet it's drinkable (it flows south west, so towards the city). If not, it is definitely swimable. There are dry toilets not too far.

Drinking water taps (for those too posh for the river) are all over the day park. At night there is nothing.

Pros

  • For some reasons that I can't begin to understand, travelers love France. It can attract many people.
  • A rather central location

Cons

  • France again? We already had Paris!
  • I would never, ever drink the water from the Rhone, be it downstream or upstream from Lyon. And I'd never advice someone to do it unless I want to see him/her dead.
People bath and kayak in the lake labeled "my first idea". It's the same water hey. Actually, since the Rhone is flowing, it might even be better.
Know what? I'll go and drink a half liter of it, and tell you all how I feel over the following days. Sitarane 14:10, 16 February 2011 (CET)
  • French drivers have too much testosterone
  • Too much in the west
  • Too expensive
  • Schengen...

Nordics --atopia

  • Nordic countries refer to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland (Scandinavia is without the latter two) --Astikain 04:10, 10 January 2011 (CET)

Pros

  • A new+missing geographical direction of Europe (888:West, 789:East, 6810:South, -> 5811:North)
  • A different type of setting: we had beach-gatherings for the last two times
    • In Scandinavia both urban and rural camping works well
  • Another cultural part of Europe (compared to Italy, France vs. Portugal)
  • Hardly any language barrier for English speakers
  • Easy to hitchhike (very good in south, slower in Swedish/Norwegian/Finnish -Lapland) And countries where HH would get a lot of spread in the media - and the purpose of promoting HH would help!!!
  • The privilege to camp wild for a day in most places (although this is VERY illegal in Denmark)
  • Can include ferry/boat hitchhiking
  • Wide & good everyman's rights
  • Very cool nature more north you go
  • Very beautiful, and a lot of places to camp!
  • Could get sponsored, and camp close to one of Turistforeningens cabins (Norway) - toilets, showers etc.
  • A lot of very beautiful beaches/mountains.
  • Drinkable water (And if no toilet around, there's always a mountain with small rivers and the best water in the world)
  • I could get a team together on the west coast of Norway! :)

Cons

  • very general proposal, too broad.
  • difficult to reach location. discouraging for newbies.
  • limiting if you want to spend the rest of your summer somewhere else
  • Mosquitos?
   -Easy to avoid.
   -But still annyoing.
   - No Mosquitos in Denmark and Southern Sweden
  • Unstable weather!
  • Too expensive (!!!!!!) (But easy to get sponsored with free food/supplies) How to get sponsored ? (ask local shops and stuff. No problem.)
  • Schengen
  • No public beer drinking in cities (in Denmark public drinking is not only legal. It is the norm)
  • No places + local contacts yet (but we do know some sweet folks from Scandinavia)
    • \o_ one here from FI. There are plenty of good places, esp. around the countryside. And I have even more contacts. We would also love to bring some life to our almost not existing anymore "HH-club". -Mikael 18:50, 23 November 2010 (CET)
    • A lot of places, campings and even big tents, easy to arrange very cheap.
  • Unfortunate discrimination against people of a "darker" hair/eye/complexion (happened to Amylin too many times, especially in Finland)

Comments

  • let's have a 888ish meeting again: it's about time for an easy destination as hitchhiking is best promoted by many hitchhikers
    • Hitchhiking is not too popular around Scandinavia, but it works. These countries are a good choice if we wish to promote.
  • Estonia has a "Scandinavian feeling" and is in the north, but is a lot cheaper. I feel that a huge concern about the real Scandinavia is that it's just way too expensive. Hhikers usually know how to get around with little money, but something always comes up you need to buy/pay for.
  • In Finland there are a lot of free places to camp, either with facilities (have to book early) or just anywhere in the nature. --Astikain 04:10, 10 January 2011 (CET)
  • Why this f*cking emphasis on cheap, we are traveling for free, so what's wrong with spending some money at our destination?
    • 1. In many countries a salary of 400 euro/month is considered good money. People from these countries should also be able to participate. 2. A lot of long-term travelers go around on spending less than 100$/month. 3. Most people who travel for free also got used to free places to sleep, and many are also into getting free food (e.g. through dumpster diving). guaka 10:06, 19 January 2011 (CET)

Bulgaria --Boyan

Quite big national hitchhiking society. Local support is a snap. Hitching is a blast. Exact location: The Black Sea, Kara Dere (near the city of Biala)

Coords.: 42.892231,27.899687

Have a look at Pictures of Bulgaria

Pros

  • huge remote beach
  • water supply from a spring on the beach (The issue of drinking water: There is a natural spring right on the beach. The only insignificant con is that the nice camping areas in the forest are a bit further on the beach on a 15 mins walk from the spring. But 10 liter tubes do a great job and daily "trips" are just a walk on the beach)
  • perfect shade, as the beach borders with a marvelous forest, where it's cool all day long and in the night it's not windy and sandy
  • people there are generally nice
  • cheap!
  • equally near to (between) the two biggest cities (Varna, Burgas) on the coast line.
  • close to turkey
  • small "bar"(caravan) for beer, fish&chips, etc. on one end of the beach
  • few to none about the mosquito issue
  • the trumpet festival at Guča happens the week after 5/8/11, just 850km to the west

Cons

  • 40 mins walk on a dirt road to the nearest village for food supply (quite easy and pleasant though)
  • project for closing the area and building an "Eco Village" (decision and deadline unknown yet)
  • language barrier?
    • I guess there are as many hhikers who don't speak Bulgarian as hhikers who didn't speak Portuguese. And I guess there are a lot more Russian speakers in Bulgaria than English speakers in Spain.
    • language barrier is absolutely no problem, everybody knows what the thumb means, also city's names on road signs are nearly always in Cyrillic and Latin.
  • Many campers in summer
  • Forget about dumpster-diving here

Lithuania --Mikael

Pros

  • Active HH-club(s)/people. Good connections by Mikael. Actually it seems we would have multiple places where we could arrange this, and some people ready to arrange stuff.
  • Lots of similar events already arranged (in countryside mostly), a good coverage of known good places
  • Relatively cheap country
  • Might be easier for Russians & Belarusians to get a visa? (not sure)
    • Nah,it's everywhere the same shitty procedure throughout Schengen. Only exception might be Finland visa for people from Karelia/Petersburg area.
  • Curonian Spit
  • Easy to reach from any direction really

Cons

  • No public beer drinking in cities
  • HH is already "normalized", and promoting would be of no use.

Berlin

Pros

  • Germany is one of the best place to HH
  • Northern and central at the same time
  • Most of us know dumpsterdiving/parties/life there --> easy and family-ish
  • Cheap
  • Will attract much more people than last year.
  • Huge community of couchsurfers, hitchhikers, dumpster divers, etc. There'll surely be some people who are willing to help.

Cons

  • Too easy --> Boring
    • So what? It's supposed to be a gathering, not a challenge. Easier = more people. More difficult = less people, only hardcore-hitchhikers with a lot of time.
    • Last year we had quite a challenging destination, maybe we should go for a central one this year, more people means also more promotion.
      • How was Portugal a challenging destination??!?!

The Netherlands --???

++jeee,lets do it in NL!

Cons

  • where? motivation? it is a bit like saying: let's do it in Europe...
  • name of the proponent?

Spain --jimmsfairytales0com 17:03, 25 January 2011 (CET)

(specifically: at a free campsite in a mountain natural park near Vistabella del Maestrat [province: Castelló], Comunitat Valenciana)

  • Circus! Competitions! Prizes!


Pros

  • It's off the beaten track, so hitching there offers an interesting challenge.
  • It's different, not "touristy".
  • There's a less-than-an-hour hike to the top of the mountain (We'd hike from 1400m. to just over 1800m. [altitude]).
  • There's a 2 hour hike to a mountain stream (with diving and [short-distance] swimming possibilities) that is so clean, you can drink the water you're swimming in.
  • I have friends in the park service who could give us (if we want) an additional guided trail tour / nature talk.
  • Have you ever seen stars like this??? (Well - most of you - probably... but not often.)
  • The European rainbow gathering will be in Spain in august, so people can camp there after the hitchgathering.

Cons

  • It's off the beaten track, so hitching there might be problematic.
  • Because of other campers, we'd have to respect noise levels, but we can do an overnight trip to a possible partying place. (Near the mountain stream, so we could tie in the two activities.) Or organise an "open-house" party in the village 9km away.
  • Dumpster-diving is possible nearby only on a limited scale.
  • Last year's was in neighbouring Portugal, and many of you want something completely different. (But then this is mountains as opposed to beach.)
  • I'm usually a FIASCO at organising (I think too big), so I'll need somebody on the team to keep me in check. (I'm new at this kind of wiki-posting. Can somebody explain how I get rid of those lines? "use sparingly", but I DIDN'T ask for them!)
  • We had the area last year (including the long discussion about Spain's hitchability ;-) )


Turkey

Amylin

Pros

  • Excellent delicious natural (also inexpensive) locally-grown food (and a good variety of it, too)
  • Good weather
  • Out of Schengen + Recently made easier for Russians to enter Visa-free + Many nationalities don't need a Visa
  • Hitchhiking in Turkey has received a lot of press ever since the death of Pippa Bacca. Nearly all Turkish citizens are aware of this event and feel deeply saddened by it; for this reason, they are often kind to and protective of hitchhikers.
  • Lots of beautiful natural areas for camping. Great beaches and lakes and mountains and countryside and so on.
  • The route to Turkey (via Belgrade-Sofia, alternatively via the train in Austria then Hungary-Romania-Bulgaria or Slovenia-Croatia-etc. ) is serviced by a huge number of trucks, who are generally hitchhiker-friendly. If you want to take the lazy way out, you can for sure stay the same Turkish truck all the way from Germany to Istanbul.
  • Thank God It's Not Germany!


Cons

  • Visa cost for some countries (i.e. Netherlands, Canada)
  • Can't drink most tap-water


Czech Republic

Nate Prague or Cesky Krumlov

Pros

  • Cheap beer
  • Centrally located

New proposals

add your suggestion?!