Hobo tourism/Transport

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By trucks, hitchhiking through the Sudan
(Third creative trip of Viktor Pinchuk to Africa)
From Vanimo to Wewak by motorboat
(Viktor Pinchuk's expedition to Papua New Guinea)
Ticket for the ship "MV Princess Marie", heading (via Epi and Ambrim) to the island of Pentecost and further on the route

Transport and the costs associated with it — one of the components of the budget of travel, carried out in the format of "hobo tour".

General information

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To begin with, it is necessary to divide the transport issue into two categories: "method of getting to the planned point of the planet" and "options of moving on arrival".

On the first point:

  • Watch for seasonal airline fares, planning to take advantage of which, it is important to remember that the direction should be chosen from the available low-budget options, among which the country you need may not be.
  • There are loukosters, where the meaning of the savings boils down to the following: the earlier purchased ticket — the cheaper it is.

On the second point:

  • In the territory of the countries selected for the route can be moved by hitchhiking, or use a low-cost public transport.

For the first of the listed options — read below.

Hitchhiking: pros and cons

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One of the main methods of movement of the supporters of hobo tourism (as well as backpacking) is hitchhiking. However, here there are "pitfalls".

First, you need experience and some skill, otherwise drivers will ignore your efforts as they pass by.

Second, this method is not always economical: in poor countries (namely, they are a priority for a hobo tourist) the cost of public transport is often low, and finding passing cars will take some time. So initially you should decide what is more important for you: hours spent and even days, or a modest amount of money.

One of the regularities in force in any country of the world: in the places, where there is no public transport, the driver can enter the position of a foreigner, sometimes voluntarily offer a ride, but, where plying public transport — will be different.

Experienced hitchhikers know how to use the method, not only traditionally — stopping cars on the track (or at petrol stations, as is customary in South Africa), but also practice ways of free transportation by air transport, water transport and even on freight trains.

Examples from practice

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While travelling through the Sudan in December 2010 (prior to political events), I have repeatedly asked for help from the traffic police on duty on the highway. The logic is as follows: it is easier to express once on a broken Arabic the essence of the question to a representative of the law enforcement (he will summarize in native language and quickly pass the request to passing); than every time long and tedious to explain drivers.[1] Policeman in any country of the world — a respected man, A driver of truck is more likely to respond to his request than to the words of some stranger with a backpack.

I received similar assistance from the police in Semonkong (Lesotho): the policemen agreed with the driver of one of the passing cars and he drove me to the next point.[2]

In 2011, changing vehicles repeatedly, I reached the ticket office of Fish River Canyon, (from where to the natural attraction a few kilometers of the way), and sought help from the responsible person. He volunteered to help and, only on the second day, was able to find a car, the passengers and driver of which agreed to drive a money-less tourist.[3]

On the island of ʻEua (Tonga), which is 19 kilometres long and 7.5 kilometres wide, there is no public transport, so drivers are sympathetic to the request of foreigners who are not frequent in these parts, and sometimes they offer help: I was given a free lift by the owner of a car who was not going to drive anywhere.[4]

Moving along the highway in the wilderness of Paraguay, hoping to find the waterfalls marked on the map, I was invited in a passing car whose driver volunteered to help the foreigner; after visiting natural attractions, the well-wisher placed the guest on his territory in the village, and in the morning — brought it to the place from where had to continue way.[5]

Russian traveller Anton Krotov hitchhiked through Indonesia using a variety of transport, including locomotives of freight trains.[6].

For the information

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It is difficult, if not impossible, to hitchhike to objects that are far away from population centres. For example, a three-day excursion to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, including a visit to several scenic sites (such as Italia Perdida, Ciudad del Encanto and many others) passes through the desert.

Another example. El Nido in Philippines known to the world for number of picturesque islets located at some distance from the shore. Public transport does not go to uninhabited islands. You will have to pay for the tour at the local agency, or... remove this item from your route.

Summarising the above

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It is better to get to another country or another continent (and even more so, the territory of the island state) to make budget flights, and on arrival — to move by hitchhiking.

In general, the methods of moving international bums are not different from those used by backpackers.

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  1. Pinchuk, Viktor. Third African trip (in Russian). Russia: Simferopol: Phoenix Enterprise. p. 17. ISBN 978-617-671-039-4.
  2. Pinchuk, Viktor. Holiday of wandering mzungu (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 147. ISBN 978-5-9908234-0-2.
  3. Pinchuk, Viktor. Third African trip (in Russian). Russia: Simferopol: Phoenix Enterprise. p. 45. ISBN 978-617-671-039-4.
  4. Pinchuk, Viktor. Two months of wandering and 14 days behind bars (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 76. ISBN 978-5-9909912-5-5.
  5. Pinchuk, Viktor. Two hundred days in Latin America (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 27. ISBN 978-5-9909912-0-0.
  6. Krotov, Anton. Hitchhiking in Indonesia and to the Papuans (in Russian). Russia: Publishing solutions. ISBN 978-5447-47940-4.