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My Destination is Donostia / San Sebastián

(see more entries for this location)

If you're inspired by Donostia / San Sebastián, you might also like to check out Bordeaux, Barcelona and Galicia.

Hitchin' the Highlands

"Youse? Travellers? Bollocks!" scoffed Steve, the driver of the red panelled van hurtling us through the Scottish Highlands.

He smiled, twirling a toothpick in his mouth, and hit the gas, swerving into oncoming traffic to overpass a Land Cruiser. "I'm a rrreal traveller!"

Oh great, I thought. This conversation again: the typical "traveler versus tourist" debate staged nightly in hostels around the world.

But this was no hostel. We were in a stranger's caravan that reeked of hay and horse manure, trying to hitchhike across the least populated region in the UK on New Years Day, when all public transport was cancelled.

My fingers clenched a cardboard sign reading: No Bus, No Train...Help us Please.

I looked to my brother, Alex, to confirm my guess. His eyes widened.

"By 'traveller' do you mean a British...uh...gypsy?" said Alex, "Like Brad Pitt's character in Snatch?"

"Brad Pitt?!? Brad Pitt's a wanker! I'll tell youse what it means to be a Traveller."

He explained that 'Travellers' were the nomads of the British Isles, originally migrant communities who went town to town repairing tins, living in caravans on the outskirts of the cities.

"Folk don't understand us, aye, because we move abouts all the time. We never put down roots."

"Yeah, we can relate," I said, telling him about how we also had wanderlust and had lived in a few different countries.

Steve hadn't left the UK, but he said that if we wanted to meet "real Travellers" we had to see the Applebee Horse Fair.

"That's a sight, that is. All the Travellers of England, Scotland and Ireland git together. There's millions of us! We could teach youse a few things about travellin' cheap!"

He said a friend had once travelled to London by bike, sleeping in pastures, slaying unsuspecting sheep and roasting their carcasses under the moonlight.

Alex and I stared at him with mouths agape.

For all our talk of the simple nomadic life, we were more likely to search out a WiFi signal than a potential lamb chop grazing in a croft.

For a moment, I questioned the wisdom of taking this ride.

Steve looked at our shocked faces and grinned. "Every traveller's a bit of a Robin Hood, isn't he? We steal from the rich to feed the poor - ourselves! Hahaha!"

I eyed our camera equipment nervously. Steve noticed.

"Ahh, don't worry," winked Steve, "You're always safe with a fellow traveller!"

I fell back into my seat and started laughing, realizing that for all the "normal" drivers who'd passed by our outstretched thumbs, it was another traveller who picked us up.

He let us off an hour later, wiser for the lift and proud to have put our travel principles into practice. We'd taken risk, trusted strangers, and left the rest up to fate.

Risk rewarded, faith renewed, there was only one thing left to do. We faced the road and raised our thumbs.
We were stranded...(Ullapool, Scotland) ...stuck like the Standing Stones of Lewis... ...but we had a destination to get to!
KellyBeIñigoZoéDaneGlennJonRubenAlessiaAlhy

719 people are supporting Alex & Marko Arrow

719 people are supporting Alex & Marko

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Alex & Marko Ayling

Alex & Marko Ayling

Currently located in:
Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain.
Twitter: @Vagabrothers
About me in 140 characters or less

"2 Brothers. Alex: Outgoing outdoorsman. Marko: Reflective writer. In a word: Synergy. In two: Ying/Yang. Killer Combo Called "Vagabrothers""

A bit more about Alex & Marko:

"I draw the line at eating... Nothing, I'll try anything once"

"My most essential travel phrase is... Are you local?"

"My most memorable souvenir is... Mark: Swine Flu from Beijing - two weeks of hellish hallucinations, but a lifetime of immunity from influenzas. Alex: The severed toe of an ostrich, yanked from a cheetah-killed carcass in the Namibian desert. The ungodly stench is outweighed by purported voodoo protection. "








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