Monday, September 25

Pals hitch hike 1,200 miles to Morocco in aid of charity

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Pals hitch hike 1,200 miles to Morocco in aid of charity

Grimsby Telegraph

TEENAGER and his pals deserve a “thumbs up” for hitch hiking 1,200 miles to Morocco.

Armed with a pop-up tent and a foam thumb, Harrison Smith, 19, managed the free trip travelling via ferry, lorries, cars and vans – all in aid of Link Community Development.

LIFTING THE SPIRITS: Harrison Smith with hitch-hiker pal Aron Fernandez.
LIFTING THE SPIRITS: Harrison Smith with hitch-hiker pal Aron Fernandez.

The international charity helps develop education in rural Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.

Harrison, of Louth, who is studying radiotherapy at the University of Liverpool, thought it was a “crazy” idea, which is why he decided to go ahead with his university friend Rosie Chapman and Aron Fernandez – who they found on The Hitch website.

The “Morocco Hitch” takes an average seven to eight days, so they were lucky to make it to the coast of Africa in six-and-a-half days.

The journey, described by Harrison as a trip-of-a-life time, took them through the heart of rural France, onto Spain, with a brief pause for paella, and finally into Morocco.

“We had to smile in the pouring rain with our giant, foam thumbs,” said Harrison.

“A nice truck driver gave us a lift to France, and we were there in two days. When we got to Spain, we found the hitching more difficult. They were giving us dodgy looks with our foam thumbs.

“In Madrid, we managed to get a lift from a couple with a caravan.

“It is such a life-changing experience which I will never forget.

“The people we met, the scenery and the stories we heard were all amazing.

“My hiking bag weighed the same as a small child – I think I over-packed!

“We had a pop-up tent, which I slept in if there weren’t any hostels to stay in.”

Harrison said he has “made friends for life” with Rosie and Aron, because they were together 24/7.

“I knew Rosie from being in my lectures at university, but we had never met Aron. And the first time we did, was the first day of our hitch.

“It was a good job we all hit it off, otherwise it would have been awkward during the whole hitch.

“When we finally got to Morocco it was an amazing feeling.

“There were waterfalls and wild monkeys. We stayed there for six days to enjoy the place.

“We didn’t contemplate hitch-hiking back – we got a flight home which was much quicker.”

Harrison has raised £275 and needs more sponsors to support the Link Community Development charity.

Can you help?

To donate directly to the charity, visitwww.justgiving.com/harrison-smith1. Alternatively, visit the charity’s web page at www.lcdinternational.org

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