HungaroHitch, the 3-day-long hitchhiking competition started on the morning of Friday, July 8. More than 100 people undertook the challenge, with no idea where the road would take them. Their only plan was to get back to Budapest by Sunday evening, writes.

At the start, the 2-person teams could decide whether to head east towards the Tisza, or to the west towards Lake Balaton. The travellers could go whichever way they chose, the only objective was to get back to Budapest by 6pm on Sunday.

The team which collected the most points on their journey won. Points could be earned by taking selfies with the signs of easily or less easily approachable villages and towns, but there were more creative tasks as well: to find hidden books at motorway rest stops, to find out the price of a forklift at a designated yard, or to borrow the armband of a BKK inspector in Budapest.

Plus points were given if the team reached a neighbouring country, however, for reasons of safety and convenience, travelling at night was not allowed. To monitor their journey, the teams had to take selfies with their drivers, and they had to keep a logbook as well, as it was told by the organisers, Péter Kovács and Adrián Bors in the Kossuth Radio programme Közelről.

55% of the hitchhikers were female, an increase from last year’s 51%. The race had participants from every age group between 18 and 60. This year, 30 teams completed the race successfully; the rest either gave up before or during the competition, or did not get back to Budapest on time.

According to the organisers, who hitchhike a lot themselves, cars stop for travellers every 10-15 minutes. The success of hitching a ride depends on the location, and the direction the hitchhikers want to travel. Based on their experience, Polish, Finnish, German, and Swedish drivers stop to help travellers most often, while the drivers of the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy are less helpful.

Copy editor: bm


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