That day when we hitchhiked a school bus in Latvia

We were hitchhiking in Latvia, trying to cover the 200 Kilometers between Riga to Ventspils. But we were not having any good ride, there was not much traffic and all cars stopping were going to next little towns. Little by little, lift by lift, we have managed to go half of the way in 3 hours. It wasn’t being our best day as hitchhikers.

Latvian roads are not the best in Europe, and even when the Baltics are known as easy places where to hitchhike, the lack of cars going further away could become problematic, specially if the sun get down before arrival.

Our discussion was ranging from future travel plans, Latvian meal recipes and why cars are not going to the Western coast of Latvia on a Monday. It was that moment when I saw a bus in the horizon.

– Pablo: Do you know what would be cool?
– Ilze: Tell me.
– Pablo: Get a ride on a bus hitchhiking!
– Ilze: Come on, which bus is going to pick up a couple of hitchhikers?!
– Pablo: I have heard stories of buses stopping, even a taxi giving a free ride, why not?
– Ilze: Well, it can be, but…
– Pablo: Let’s hitchhike that bus!

The bus kept approximating us; while I was holding my arm tight, closed fist and thumb up. Standing like that, even being trained and used, it was starting to be tiring after several hours on the road.

My eyes kept looking straight to the driver, trying to get eye contact, and the smile always on my face. I had to get that bus stopping, we needed a sign that everything would be ok.

When the bus was nearing us, I figured it out it wasn’t a regular bus, it was a school bus!. Even better! Would it stop? Of course, it will, what a silly question!

It was just 100 meters from us when we notice the bus reducing speed and taking the side of the road. Seconds later the entrance door was open and a smiley driver was asking us where were we headed.

We are going to Ventspils on a school bus!