Ceh, în vârstă de 37 de ani (1978), Pavel este cel mai complex personaj autostopist ce l-am întâlnit până acum: alpinist (cel mai tânăr ceh care a urcat Everestul), schior, surfer, kitesurfer, snowsurfer, snowboarder, jetsurfer and windsurfer.
Când l-am întrebat cum a început să călătorească cu autostopul Pavel povestește: I was with my cousin and we were less than ten years old, we were in elementary school, spending the summer at our grandma’s house and we were going to an outdoor movie theater. We missed the bus, so we stuck our thumbs out and it worked. We also hitched to the lake or in the area as kids. When I was fourteen or fifteen I would be allowed to take longer trips. As a teenager I was criss-crossing Czechoslovakia by thumb to go skiing, snowboarding, or to events. When I turned eighteen and graduated from high school, I wanted to take a big trip to the end of the world – that was Portugal for us. We wanted to learn how to surf, which was not possible in our land-locked country.
I) Prima expediție autostopică : Cehia – Germania – Franța – Spania – Portugalia – Spania – Franța – Italia – Elveția – Austria – Cehia
After that summer I got a scholarship to study in the US and I hitchhiked all 48 US continental states and also Alaska, plus many Canadian provinces. When I went back to Europe during summers I took a big trip around Europe usually with my sister or with my high-school friend. We have done Scandinavia one summer, UK and Ireland the other, then we did a big trip to climb Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus and streched it to Moscow, Saint Petersburg and the Baltics. After that it was Turkey and Cyprus. Always starting and coming back to Brno.
II) A doua expediție autostopică: SUA – Canada
III) A treia expediție autostopică: Cehia – Germania – Danemarca – Suedia – Norvegia – Finlanda
IV) A patra expediție autostopică: Cehia – Germania – Olanda – Belgia – UK – Irlanda
V) A cincea expediție autostopică: Cehia – Slovacia – Ungaria – Serbia – Bulgaria – Turcia – Rusia – Estonia – Letonia – Lituania.
When I ran out of USA states to go to, I started flying to some places and hitching there. I went in a big trip with my sister through Central America (Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and back).
VI) A șasea expediție autostopică: SUA – Mexic – Guatemala – El Salvador – Honduras – Nicaragua – Costa Rica – Panama
After a few years of working, I took a trip around the world. I started in South America, I landed in Rio and hitched to Buenos Aires then took a plane to Ushuaia from where I hitched to Chile and back to Mendoza, (climbed Aconcagua) then I hitched to Santiago, flew to Easter Island, flew to Tahiti , flew to New Zeeland and hitched from Auckland to the end of the South Island and back. Then flew to Melbourne, hitched to Sydney, flew to Indonesia, then hitched Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
VII) A șaptea expediție autostopică: Brazilia – Argentina – Chile – Noua Zeelandă – Australia – Indonezia – Malayesia – Thailanda – Cambogia – Bangladesh – Nepal – Sri Lanka
After that I worked in Europe for the World Bank and I was sent to Africa (Dakar) on a plane by business class. I did not take the plane, but I hitched across the Sahara desert (Spain – Dakar). My new boss in Dakar asked me: “How was your flight?”
VIII) A opta expediție autostopică: Spania – Maroc – Sahara Occidentală – Mauritania – Senegal
I later worked on hospital construction projects in Gabon and I wanted to hitch to Senegal. I crossed Cameroon, climbed the highest peak, then Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast in civil war, Mali and made it to Senegal. But I got Malaria and almost died. That was the most dangerous trip of my life.
IX) A noua expediție autostopică: Gabon – Camerun – Nigeria – Benin – Togo – Ghana – Coasta de Fildeș – Mali – Senegal
I got rides on boats, trains, planes, motorcycles, donkeys, horses, snowmobiles and snowcats, helicopters, police cars, military vehicles. I ended up in a vegetable truck. I was in the cargo room on top of cucumbers and the door lock worked only from the outside. I was taken once by a Rolls Royce. The biggest speed was 275 km/h! Once I was hitch-hiking with my skis and kite and I got a ride from a girl. She thought that she would never give a ride to someone. I asked her at a red light and she was so surprised that she actually agreed to take me. And she became my girlfriend for a year! Two persons took me twice! They found me again on the road!
When you clock so many miles by hitch-hiking, the odds are that you will also get into an accident. We were coming back from Turkey with my sister and we were crossing Hungary in January. There were very strong winds from the north and snow drifts on the highway. We were in a light truck and it was light indeed as it carried styrophone parts. The wind just pushed the truck off the road and we tipped on a side like matchbox car. We were all three sitting up front, but luckily none of us got injured.
My longest ride was from Anchorage to Alberta (2 940 km) for seven days with one gentleman. The driver was a seventy-five year old grandpa and his wife passed away and he said he would visit all fifty states. He bought an RV and traveled to every state. His last state to visit was Alaska and he was driving back he stopped for me near Anchorage. He was kinda like my grandpa, we took turns driving, cooking and experiencing the great north.
My longest wait was out of Layounne into the desert. The people who took me hitchhiking went to pray and left me on the side of the road. I waited all day and there were no cars. In the evening the same people took me back!
My passion for hitchhiking was never primarily connected to saving money. When I hitched as a teenager it was because I did not have a car and I was in the same situation as a student in the US. But later I did have a car, but still I wanted to hitch, because it was the best way especially for long distances when you did not want to go alone and you wanted to meet people. When I was working at the World Bank, I had a Jaguar. I would drive outside of Washington, DC, park my cat at a Walmart and hitch-hike to go surfing. NO FRAȚILOR!!!
1) What languages do you speak?
English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Polish, Slovak, Czech and I can get by in Serbo-Croatian.
2) The most important realities about this world, which hitchhiking learned you?
Have good intentions and God will help you!
3) Had you ever been robbed?
I was robbed in Venezuela by young boys who were boy scouts. They were so friendly, invited me to their house and the next day we went hiking up a mountain on the Caribean coast. I had no idea that when I was sleeping, they took all money from my wallet. I was hitching so I did not need the wallet to pay for a bus or anything and I realized that I was robbed only four hundred kilometers later. In Nepal, I was hiking back from Everest Base camp and I let my boots dry in the sun, they were stolled. After I had to continue in sandals.
In North Carolina, I hitched to go surfing and it was April and there were no people on the beach. I got a ride with some guys who sold me a surfboard and took me to a beach. I asked at a restaurant if I could keep my backpack there, but they would not allow it. I had a premonition, but the waves were good, so I just tied my backpack to the post and went in the water. The guys who gave me a ride watched me got out in the waves and when I was far enough they took my back pack with money, clothing, shoes, everything. I was stranded barefoot in a wet-suit. Luckily another driver helped me chase the guys and we recovered some of my things.
In Australia, I was crossing the endless Nullarbor plain and I got a ride with a guy who was drinking behind the wheel. So I took the wheel and drove for thousands of kilometers by myself. We then stayed at a motel and the next morning we were to continue, but he dissapered. With my kiteboard!
Expediții autostopice prin 58 țări
Marele Frumos Nebun Artist al Sufletului, Pavel: