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Revision as of 16:01, 11 April 2011 by Sitarane.mp (talk | contribs)
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Hitchgathering 2011
Home - Slogan Debate - Graphic design - News and press - Workshops - Website

5-8-11 is the fourth edition of the annual European Hitchhiking Gathering. It is going to take place in Kara Dere at the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. (View it on googlemaps.)


Organisation & Discussion

  • communication is done via the Hitch mailing list
  • you can help organising, e.g. by signing up for tasks on the TODO list below (just put your name/timestamp and if you're without wiki account a way to contact you next to the task)

Latest News


  1. Different pre-meetings in Berlin, Budapest, Sofia and so on ... initiative welcome!
  2. The gathering: 5/8/11
  3. After-meeting in Turkey?
Willing to organize a pre-meeting in Budapest.. Question: should it be just before the gathering (5th August)?.. so all the hitchhikers who choose to go through Hungary could have like a 'pit stop', and if so what would be the appropriate date for it (5-10-15 days before)?--Maxijazz 20:30, 4 April 2011 (CEST)
We thought that we shouldn't make the pre-meetings as close to each other as last year, because some people found it too tiring to travel that fast. Also, we had the idea that a pre-meeting could also last more than a day. Maybe we can decide together also based on when and where other pre-meetings will be held. Sofia is likely (Boyan) which could be 1st or 2nd of August so maybe the 29th or 30th of July? n0id
We should coordinate with other close-by events, such as Road Junky Festival in Romania 15-17 July. --Astikain



  • get in touch with Christopher's nomad base
  • how hard it is for off-Schengen to come to Bulgaria? Do they need visa?
    • Figure out how Schengen people can assist in helping to acquire visa for people who need it
    • ... put this on the website in Russian
      • here is the info from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage, about the visa regime(with the list of states witch need/don't need visa),types of visas and charges

Website work


  • Translate the FAQ in your language


  • make the location more visible on the website (you cant even find Kara Dere by search with googlemaps)
  • make organisation more visible on hitchgathering.org: atopia
    • Well, I have changed the menu item to 'wanna help' and reorganised the page it points to. Anything else you wanted to do?
  • Thoroughly adapt the website to 2011. Views, menu...
  • add a timeline capability to reports and merge them into the 2010 timeline, remove reports
  • Set up 'nodecomment' so we can display forum posts and first forum posts together (drupal nonsense)
  • make it possible to offer or request workshops (Brainstorm page for Drupal geeks)
    • encourage people to suggest activities
    • have a workshop list on the website
    • suggestions from Evaluation
    • link in a discussion forum
    • ask for interests/offers on registration
  • Similar gimmick for sports, kitchen and music stuff (who brings what?)
     - I will take volleyball ball! - Ania_Szuti

General communication

Most of that is going to be on the internet. But offline comm is welcome if anybody can handle that.

  • Research and include Russian-language information on visa issues for off-Schengen people.
  • print and distribute flyers
    • Someone check with Robin how it worked last year. Working on that. --N0id 20:19, 4 April 2011 (CEST)
    • track and communicate flyer distribution
  • get in touch with hitchhikers in different countries to have local contacts:
    • Tadas for Lithuania
    • Martin for Latvia
    • add more... or add yourself

Social media

Most festivals spread through word of mouth. We can put that on steroids with all that social media thing.

List of micro-bloggers (twitter, identi.ca...) that actually use their account:

  • twitter: sitarane

The idea is to follow each other, to make communication faster.

List of travel bloggers that actually have readers: The idea is to get them to write articles on hitchgathering.

List of people to contact:

Other travel celebrities The idea is to get them to communicate the gathering to a wider audience.

  • hospex camp organizers
    • Miicoo
    • Flohfish
  • Nonesee
  • Andrej
  • La Sophiste
  • Pavel
  • Tom (Roadjunky)
  • Pat Pong (www.hitchhikingcontest.org) --Astikain
  • Tomislav Perko (www.hitchhikingcontest.org) --Astikain


Arty stuff

  • new logos and stuff (Sandra)
  • create a flyer to print and distribute (maybe stickers?) (Sandra)
    • can we distribute the file and print it in several places/countries (try to get it for free)
    • Contact Robin about last year (you're reading this?): price, can we get the same offer? --N0id
  • track distribution and make it more open; make better use of them --N0id

At the gathering



I've looked into that and I'm confused. It's not a view, is it? It's a taxonomy trick. Can some drupal wizard shed some light? --Sitarane.mp

Sort of done, if not for the detail above. I simply removed the 2010 bit. It is now not accessible through menu, and as far as I know, through any other way than knowing the url. --Sitarane.mp

  • The right column is too long --Sitarane.mp
    • I removed the slogans from last year that were cycling under the title and replaced them with the countdown
    • Removed both the "work in progress" block (since we do the orga chitchat on the mailing list AND the "who's new" block that I didn't see the point to. Comment if that makes you unhappy.
  • It's hard for admins to track how each user type sees the website. --Sitarane.mp
    • There's a new block visible only to admins that allows them to 'masquerade' any other user in one click.
  • Clean up the permission/role system --Sitarane.mp
  • Editing posts in plain text is annoying. In particular when one must include an image or a link. The html syntax is a big deterrent --Sitarane.mp
    • I might get into wysiwyg later, but I hate it and it's a lot of work. Instead, I set up the 'Markdown' syntax as default. It's a bit like the wiki syntax, but simpler and more intuitive.

Promotion: DIY!

We are planning to do flyers and/or maybe stickers like last year, but also we would like to pass on promotion to everybody. There are endless possibilities to spread the word about the hitchgathering. For example:

  • Tell your friends
  • Tell hitchhikers you meet on the road
  • Write cardboards with hitchgathering.org, the place and date (and maybe more) and place them at popular hitchhiking spots ... be creative and use your colorful markers!
  • Draw your own flyers :)
  • Spread the word around hitchhiking clubs and websites in your country/your language
  • Post on your hitchhiking / travel / nomad blog or website about the gathering
  • Tell your favorite hitchhiking / travel / nomad blog author to write about it
  • Organize a pre-meeting (can be early like May/June/July to raise attention and connect people)
  • Invent a new slogan for this year! http://hitchwiki.org/en/index.php?title=Hitchgathering/2011/Slogan&action=edit

The Location

The gathering will take place in Kara Dere, Bulgaria. Below is the description for the proposal.

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


  • 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


  • 40 mins walk on a dirt road to the nearest village for food supply (quite easy and pleasant though)
    • There are cars passing by as well on this dirty road, so they can at least bring the bags with food.
  • 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