Back in 2007, in the cold month of April, during a period of some lack of money, I decided to plunge into a hitchhiking trip and drove off to the Caucasus. It was my first long hitchhiking. The three of us started to stop, and then we had to split up. Unfortunately, I didn't have my own camera, so there are few photos..
Route: Moscow - Epifan - Revival (near Gelendzhik) - Tuapse - Apsheronsk - Efremov (Tula region) - Moscow.
Purpose: Hitchhiking to the Vozrozhdenie village, drive into an ecovillage near Apsheronsk and return back to Moscow.
I will immediately explain what is Vozrozhdenie village, and what kind of ecovillages.
The village of Vozrozhdenie is a village near Gelendzhik, next to which there are dolmens, and where in the summer, all sorts of people hang out with tents. According to some people - a place of power.
Eco-settlements are settlements of people living outside the city and advocating for the environment. They unite for a variety of reasons, which do not interest me, but are interested in how they live and what they do..
The first day. Hitchhiking: Mikhnevo-Epifan.
It all started with the fact that I was standing in the rain on the platform of the railway station «Kolomenskoe» and was waiting for his two friends (aka Veter and aka Commander), looking at the departing train, which was supposed to take us to Mikhnevo (Moscow region). The guys wanted to get into it at the station, but they were late. As a result, we went on some fashionable express train, with seats from the plane, with tables and digital displays. But we only got to Domodedovo, because the controllers refused our offer to close our eyes to the lack of tickets. But there we took the train, which we missed because the express train overtook it. So they wanted to be in time and had time! True, in a different way.
Our hitchhiking began in Mikhnevo. We went out onto the track and stopped the 9th track, which went to Lipetsk. Not quite along the way, but we sat down. All the way, the driver was broadcasting on various topics, about history, politics, jumping from topic to topic. At first I listened attentively, and the guys even kept up the conversation, but after half an hour it became difficult to perceive. The impression was that the driver just wanted to speak up and share his knowledge. Crown phrase «no not like this», to any of our opinions. And suddenly I remember what I was told the day before about some ecovillage on the way. They called, agreed and went out near Epifani (Tula region). We were met by car and taken to the village. The peasants, his name was Alexander, showed us his house, plot. He told us about his life, where he just had not been, and what he did not do. And now she wants to live in the village. In the conversation, we learned that he was a chiropractor, after which everyone wanted to check his back, which was done, the vertebrae were adjusted as much as possible at one time. He also had a miracle apparatus, a bed that does massage and warming up. Would lay on it and lay, upward of bliss.
Second day. Hitchhiking: Epifan-Efremov.
Morning greeted us with village potato dranks, the owners did their best.
But the hitchhiking that day was dead. A hundred kilometers from the highway, cars and buses rarely go, life here generally freezes.
In the second half of the day, only 70 km of hitchhiking - a gazelle gave us a lift, a joker with a man, he was funny, he weighed out compliments, but promised to find a bride.
We spent the night near Efremov (Tula region) in a forest plantation. That night I realized that with a summer sleeping bag I got excited, it's zero on the street, yak tsutsik froze, despite the fact that my friends threw me from above with their warm clothes.
Day three. Hitchhiking: Efremov-Rostov-on-Don
Brrr ... What a frosty morning. I thought a lot about the warmth. By the way, my backpack is the smallest, it is two times less than that of the Commander. I feel like an amateur for taking so few things. Of course, walking light is great, but getting cold is not an option either..
It was decided to split up, because three guys are probably not the best gift for the driver. I got the lucky lot to hitchhike alone, that's what I was afraid of, in general I was afraid of a lot of things, as it turned out, but more on that later.
After another stagnation in hitchhiking, my friends stopped a MAZ truck for me (there was only one place, that's why I went). I express my gratitude to them, hehe. From that moment on, my hitchhiking went reactively, which later served as a reason for jokes and jokes about me, because I arrived in the Vozrozhdenie village first, in a day the Commander, and in another day the Wind, the element most attracting adventure to itself. Like, it's only thanks to them that I got there so quickly. So what am I talking about…. Oh, yes, that means I was driving the MAZ until the evening, even until the night. All the way I was stunned by ACDC, I probably listened to almost all of their albums, try to find ten differences between them. With the driver, Zhenya was his name, there were not many topics for conversation, but still they did not remain silent, the truth was remembered, only some information about imported trucks. Near Voronezh, I saw the guys from the window, we waved our hands together. Then they sent SMS that they drove a little more and spent the night. I got to Shakhty, 70 km before Rostov-on-Don. All day, the thought that came to me that I did not want to sleep in a tent materialized - I spent the night in the MAZ cab. When we drove into the parking lot, I thought whether the driver would kick me out or not, but it was raining and snowing outside. How happy it was when he said, clear the shelf and fall.
It's good in the cockpit - warm and dry. The condition of the road and hitchhiking allows you to forget all your troubles, here are other goals, here is a chain of events. What matters is quite another, which car will be next, how long you will drive, which driver. You have time, of course, to see enough of the beauty through the window, and to feel the nature. You don't think for more than half a day, you wait for what life will prepare this time.
Day four. Hitchhiking: Rostov-on-Don-Vozrozhdenie.
It was warm to sleep! The mood after such a night is magical! The stove was on all night. And most importantly, I slept in just a few hours.
We continued our journey, Zhenya dropped me off about 30 kilometers after Rostov. The main part of the way has been covered, SuperMAZ has driven me A total of about 800 km. And here's another thing I forgot to tell: such beautiful hills and pine forests near Voronezh. Some places resembled mountains, the height differences are stunning.
Then the hitchhiking went like clockwork, near Rostov, after 5 minutes, 8ka stopped, though at the nearest driver's post they detained me, and they searched me. The driver was my grandfather, they also found someone to contact me. As soon as we left the traffic police, the Chechen stopped, asking first if his nationality bothers me. After 150 km the gazelle braked. Lesha, the driver, I liked most of all, such an open, cheerful guy, he drove with him to Krasnodar. He treated me to delicious apples. I kept thinking how great it would be to meet him on the way back. So he dropped me off at the Krasnodar bypass, and after a couple of minutes I saw someone waving in the distance, it turned out Lech. They called him and asked to come to one place, and just another 20 km was on the way with me. Well, just a miracle man who waited for me. Thank you, Lech. After that I was stagnant for an hour somewhere. While I was standing, I thought. What else to do when you are standing? And so I noticed such a thing, you must first satisfy your natural needs, and then continue hitchhiking. Immediately after I slowly ate and did my business, the car stopped, and before that there was nothing. The guys from Adygeisk wanted money at first, but they agreed to give them a lift for no reason. I went out near the turn to the city and thought about a car to the village of Vozrozhdenie, well, this is how I wanted it, faster, and so that without changes. And then she appears, the same cherished car. Driving is a guy who goes exactly where I want to go. We talked about this and that. He knows about all sorts of places of power, and knows a lot more, but apparently he doesn't need it, although he understands that there are different points of view. Since he was a taxi driver, they agreed that I was going to the first client. On the way, his license was taken away, the cops practically set him up. The driver reacted philosophically, well done. He eventually took me to Pshada (Gelendzhik district), the client because he was found.
I'm almost there! Almost arrived! Then I was immediately picked up by a golf course with a silent driver. How great it is to be silent. For two days of continuous conversations, I already want silence.
And here it is the Renaissance! Four days and the goal is achieved. Although if we had not stopped by anywhere, and immediately separated, then I would have arrived faster.
I set up my tent on the banks of the Janet River. Right under the feet of the tent there is a cliff of about three meters. The water murmurs soothingly, eyes close. Only in a tent alone, a little lonely ...
Day five. Without hitchhiking, in the Renaissance.
The morning began at six o'clock. Frozen. Again! …! A warm sleeping bag is a dream of my whole life. After all, we do not appreciate some of the moments to which we are accustomed. It turns out that sleeping in a warm bed is the height of bliss. With a shudder I look forward to the next night, I must come up with other options for the struggle for warmth.
I didn't want to go anywhere, so the whole day passed. But I managed to think a lot. Yes, yes, I was thinking again. For this, I probably went to the Renaissance. And after I discovered hitchhiking for myself, it became easier to carry out such trips. I realized such a thing, it is sometimes necessary to get out of your comfort zone and interact with life. Otherwise, development stops. Hitchhiking opened my eyes to many of my fears. I was afraid of both drivers, and raising a hand, and spending the night next to the highway. And here in the village of Vozrozhdenie one has not yet had to spend the night alone. However, it so happened that hitchhiking alone and had to spend the night alone. I overpowered myself, overcame myself, I am glad now that it is so. Fear less, but learned the lives of other people. People in the regions live quite differently, as if in another country..
In the Caucasus, the grass is already turning green, flowers are appearing. Some trees have acquired foliage, almost summer. And in Moscow, before leaving, almost snow was still lying.
I just got an SMS from the Commander, I think I should come at night. I will sit by the fire and wait. Where the second member of the expedition is unknown. Maybe they were also divided, but how long you can already go, I overtook them by more than a day.
Sixth day. Without hitchhiking, in the Renaissance.
In the evening the Wind came! Finally! He told how he got there. Yeah ... Exactly, the man wanted adventure. And I spent the night without a tent, and went along the wrong road, and walked for five hours. Tired, almost immediately upon arrival he fell asleep. Now we are all assembled. The commander, as he wrote, arrived last night.
I sat at the dolmens today, meditated like. Well around them, new thoughts then appear.
Seventh day. Hitchhiking: Revival-Tuapse.
On the last sentence, I passed out, lying in a tent, with a flashlight on, and a pen in my hand. So, either getting up early makes itself felt, or I had so much boiled condensed milk with bread fried on the fire that I was worn out in a warm sleeping bag. Yes, now I sleep in comfort, I put a bottle of heated water at my feet. This healthy way is a great solution, and why didn't I think of it before.
We got up, bathed, and decided to move to Tuapse. There, take the Commander's car (he lives in Tuapse) and go to the village of Anastasievka (Tuapse district), where the dolmen, called the temple of the sun, is located. And then, see the ecovillage near Apsheronsk.
We got to Tuapse quickly, probably about 2 hours. First, Kamaz drove me to Dzhubga, and a gazelle drove me to Dzhubga, where we met and stopped a passenger gazelle, but the three of us were more fun to drive. In Tuapse, we went to the Commander's friends, such funny people, a little fussy, fed us the way my grandmother probably fed me in childhood. We listened to stories about mountain hikes, after which I realized that, apparently, I was not a hiker, and I would not go with them: go almost without rest, waist-deep in cold water, some kind of mountain maniacs.
It was late afternoon, and we stayed with the Commander. In such a cute room, made in ethnic style. And most importantly, there is a heater. And I was also lucky enough to sleep on the bed. Well, that's why when it is there all the time, you don't notice it.
To be continued… Hitchhiking to the Caucasus and back. Spring 2007. Part2.