Hitch-hiking for food in France

Some times you have these moments. Actually perhaps it is just me who has these moments.

I arrived at the camp site at which I was completing a Workaway. It was in a beautiful location in the South-West of France; about an hour by car from Gap and perhaps 10/15/20km from the “shithole” town of Barcelonetta. Apart from those places there was nothing… but beautiful nature and good company.

Unfortunately I had arrived with no food. One of the staff took pity on me, and donated me a packet of pasta, and a bit of butter to tide me over until I could get to the shops. Luckily, a few days later one of the staff gave me a lift to the shops, but being the idiot I am I only bought enough food for a few days, not a few weeks – and no one was heading to the shops again.

A couple of hard-boil egg meals later I was back down to the original packet of pasta & stick of butter. I think I ate only pasta for 1.5-2 days.

Facing another monotonous meal, I remembered that I had some Cola-Cao in my backpack that I had bought months ago. Cola-Cao is essentially the powder for chocolate milk, and the Spanish consume it like it is crack.

Lightbulb idea.

What is chocolate? Its… cocoa, sugar, and butter… right?

Given Cola-Cao is probably just cocoa and sugar, if I added it to my butter pasta … I would have the deliciously different chocolate pasta! Way more interesting!

However, two mouthfuls in, the idea didn’t seem so fabulous any more.

And so came the moment I mentioned. “What the fuck am I doing with my life?”

Oh that’s right: eating “chocolate” pasta, in my caravan home, because I’m working in exchange for food and accommodation. I’m a hick and a bum, and I have to eat this because it is the last of my precious pasta.

I resolved I was going to have to hitch-hike to the grocery store the next day. I would have done so earlier, but I had mentioned to my mum on a previous phone call that I might, and she had freaked out and regaled me with tales of evil people, and hitch-hiker murderers.

Yet faced with the risk of death via a hitch-hiker murderer and the risk of death via self-inflicted starvation, I decided to hitch for groceries.

And it was fine! Good even!

My friend and I (he was also volunteering there, and had hitched before), did this a number of times over the proceeding weeks. Everyone who picked us up was a couple, and nearly all of them had travelled for extended periods of time in the past. The exception was the old French couple (non-english speaking – but my friend could speak a little French), who seemed to think picking us up was a great adventure. Generally speaking it probably would have been nicer to spend more than 15 minutes in a car with our ‘hosts’ – they were all kind people with interesting lives.

I’d still be hesitant to hitch-hike by myself as I don’t want to hitch with the kind of ‘host’ who would only like to pick up single girl. However I’d definitely do it again! And it was another thing I did this past year, which I never expected to do.

Any hitch-hiking stories? Or ‘what the fuck am I doing’ moments?