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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : 2 years around the world

 Here it is, the end of my trip, this is time to go back... this is what I was supposed to say today, when I left in October 2007.

But there is a little problem there, a little something that I didn't realize in the beginning: “The Earth is a little bit bigger than what I was thinking!”

Today, the October 8th 2009, this is my second anniversary of my journey. I haven't completed the half of my challenge, which should keep going until 2012. However, between October 2008 and October 2009, many things happened... Remember...

From Malawi to Alaska, where I am today, let's go back, if you want, to the highlights of this second year by hitchhiking around the world.

 

39000 kilometers in 370 véhicles

 

In the beginning of my second year, I was still in Africa, in Blantyre in Malawi. I was entering in Mozambique where I could hear a latin langage (portuguese) which was going to prepare me to my entrance in Central America.

After a long way down Africa, my shoes were promoting a new concept of “Air”


My visit of my last country in this old continent was extremly interesting: the post-Apartheid South Africa had a lot to show me and to teach me.

Even if a lot of racism is still there, the source of diversity of the country must remain an asset.

Hitch-hiking in South Africa had been possible and even very easy after all. Blacks, whites, indians, colored stopped to help me to go a little bit further on my way.


This is in the city of Cape Town in South Africa that I spent my second Christmas and new year Eve far from my homeland in Normandy. My Christmas gift, nevertheless, had been much more important than my best expectations : a catamaran...

Indeed, the highlight of this second year is certainly the crossing of the Atlantic by boat-hitchhiking. A journey of 57 days and 12700 kilometers from the city of Cape Town in South Africa to Panama City, after having also crossed the Panama Canal.

The Atlantic passage by boat-hitchhiking, the highlight of this second year


As soon as I putted my feets on the ground, I had already a new problem in front of me: the Darien Gap. There is indeed no road going from Panama to Colombia. I finally decided to start my visit of America by the North.

The problem of the Darien Gap in Panama: no road going to Colombia


My first ride towards the North of America had been given by a car of the panamean police... Pure truth!

 


 

I didn't feel as much difference by entering Panama and Costa Rica as I felt when I got into Africa. Those two countries are very influenced by a culture coming from the United States. Anyway, I found some untouched places like here, in the costa rican jungle.

The costa rican jungle, incredibly dense, by its flora but also its unbelievable fauna


The entrance in Nicaragua has been like another cultural shock... a huge difference between the average level of life in Costa Rica but especially by a very warm welcome from the nicaraguans. Honduras and Salvador had been as nice as Nicaragua. I had even the chance to be there while the “Semana Santa”, important religious time in Latin America, where everyone is going to the water.

The Semana Santa in Honduras, everyone in the water


I am discovering a new country: Guatemala. This is surely an interesting place for a traveler because the maya guatemalan culture is still very important. At the roundabout of the civilizations, my curiosity stayed focused the whole duration of my stay in one of the last country that I visited in Central America.

At the bottom of the volcano Pacaya in Guatemala... before to see the chimney!


After a short crossing of Belize, I finally crossed Mexico, which is quite close to be my favorite country so far in this tour of the world. I have been extremly nicely welcomed for the six weeks that I spent in this country, I highly enjoyed the difference of culture for each area, an amazing cuisine... I wouldn't need more to stay there a little longer!

Mexico, close to be my favorite country so far


Back to the developped countries with my entrance in the United States. The cultural shock has been quite rude. I was passing from the number one attraction of the road to the statut of homeless who was not leading anymore to a smile on the face of the drivers. Also, I was entering the country of Uncle Sam by Texas, which is at this day the most difficult to hitchhike for me... with Italy also maybe...

In Texas, long hours to wait between each rides...


I was discovering slowly this huge country which is not missing of curiosities. The United States are quite big so I started by going to the West, where I admired wonderful landscapes and astonishing cities like Las Vegas or Salt Lake City

Welcome to Sin City.... euhh Las Vegas sorry!


Then I went along the west coast through California, Oregon and Washington. From the ultra-individualist culture of southern california to the alternatives movements of Oregon, I couldn't say that it missed of diversity. I ended up my first part in the United States and entered a new country: Canada.

The long californian beaches... for the happiness of the surfers!


I went very quickly through Canada by visiting Vancouver and I went straight to Alaska to reach the Great North before the beginning of the winter.

This is from here that I am enjoying my second anniversary of this journey, and not with any vehicle: the notorious van VolksWagen, a mythical mean of transport for the traveler, that a kind driver chose to stop to take me.

In Alaska with the Magic Bus, 2 years on the road already

 

My impression

As when I finished t the first year of travel, my way of thinking is still the same today. I am still convinced that our planet is mainly populated by people with good intentions, able to do the best.

Unfortunately, we are hearing too much about the little bad percentage.

I would like to thanks one more time the drivers of my 774 vehicles who help me today to show that the distance of 64000 kilometers realized so far wouldn't be anything without them... I would still on the side of the road in Caen.

This is a beautiful proof of unselfishness that I am glad to bring with me wherever I go: “Realizing the tour of the world, helped by the good will of many citizens of the world”.

 

The next?

From Alaska, I will firstly come back to Canada on the way to Vancouver. For the third year of this journey, I am considering crossing America from my northern oiunt, where I am today, to its southern extremity in Ushuaia in Argentina. All of this should take me one year, with difficulties, like this Darien Gap in Panama, that I will have to cross in one way or another.

I will see you soon on the website for a newsletter talking about this unbelievable way-back of more than 7000 kilometers :“Vancouver-Alaska-Vancouver”.


See you very soon

Jeremy

 



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