After around fifteen minutes, a tucker, with a name I cannot remember, offers me a lift to a huge truck stop further south on the motorway. Woohoo, I'm on my way!!
"I'm not supposed to take hitchhikers because there are rules with the insurance," he says ten minutes into the ride.
"I'm also not supposed to smoke when I'm driving". He lights a cigarette.
"But rules are there to be broken, hey?!"
If you wonder what I talk about to a random stranger for six hours then here's your answer... Usually, in my experience, people pick hitchhikers up because they want to chat to somebody on their long lonely journey. Which usually means they are a chatty person, so I can just let the conversation go as they want it to. Let me tell you; some people talk about strange things. This one in particular; about horses. I've never really had anything to do with horses myself, but after six hours of conversation mostly about horses and looking at pictures of horses of which all looked exactly the same to me; I am now an expert on...horses. I would delve deeper into the subject, but I've already mentioned the word horses too many times in this paragraph. Horsey horse horse. Ok, that's enough.
He also had a story about the time he was identified as a match to a police sketch of a murderer. But his faithful electronic trucking log graph gave absolute proof that he was in a very different place at the exact time it happened. I'm glad he said that, otherwise this story might not have ended so well...or been written at all.
The good thing about sleeping rough for the night is that not only is it free but it is also very easy to wake up in the morning. At 5am I was standing at the exit to a truck stop with my thumb out and my sign saying "PARIS".
By this point, I trusted Basos completely but if hitching's unwritten rules were ordered in terms of importance, I'm pretty sure that falling asleep would be top of the list.
He bought me breakfast and a coffee to wake me up, gave me a spare ticket for a ferry from Italy to Greece, and even offered to take me all the way to Greece over the next few days as that was where he was headed. I took his number and promised to get back in touch when I get to Greece later on this year. He dropped me just outside of Paris where I could then get a short train ride to the centre.
I had made it! From home to Paris in one and a half days. Not one penny spent, on travel or food. Now I'm a real vagabond!