I've been silent these days because I was in a truck for 2 days!! Between many stops, It took 2 days from Torres Vedras to Paris by truck :)
First time we got a ride from a truck driver was on March, from Switzerland to Portugal. It was a loooong way but in the end I was very happy that we made it, I was pround of myself. But it wasn't easy. Bruno had the brilliant idea of asking directly portuguese truck drivers who were heading back to Portugal if they could give us a ride.
The first one told us that they cannot bring more then one person in the truck and the fine for that was 30€. We said immediatly, with 20 swiss francs in the pocket, we would pay for it :D He accepted.
In the meanwhile he had to make this 9 hours stop, there are soooo many rules for truck drivers, if you think they are free without any boss around them, you're wrong. They actually have a machine inside the truck that keeps track of all the hours they drive, when they stop, when they go to sleep. Works like this: Every 4 hours and a half they have to stop half an hour and when they have 10 hours driving total, they have to rest for 9 hours. If the police caught them with more hours driving they should, they gotta pay a big fine and even the driving license is taken or sometimes you get arrested! This means, you are screwed!
In this 9 hours rest we decided to try our luck and get a ride from any car but we agreed with the driver if we didn't get it we would go with him at 3am.
After an hour, a french girl stopped but she only could give us a ride of 10 kilometres so we decided that wasn't worth it. But she was so nice and interested in our culture, she even could speak portuguese from Brazil (he lived there for 6 months) that she asked us to have dinner in her house and then she would bring us back to the gas station, where the truck was :))) This brilliant people who we meet along the way keep us thinking "Gosh, we still have kind and helpful people in this World, who doesn't think only about themselves"
Needless to say we had a great time of sharing with her.
3am we were back in the gas station and ready for one more day. When it was time to stop the 9 hours again we decided to find another portuguese driver and we found him! This one was talking all the time, we feel so grateful to give company to this lonely people ;) But at the beggining he wasn't sure and said "No guys, the problem is not the fine but what you bring in your backpacks" We started laughing and said that we didn't have any drugs on us. We understand his point of view: imagine you being nice giving a ride to 2 homeless and then we get caught with illegal substances, this guy will lose his job and maybe go to jail, he could ruin his life just because he was being nice.
In the end, he found us another truck driver who was leaving his truck in the Gas station and heading with his own car to Porto (Portugal) YYEEYY!! It was so fast and this driver was so interesting, we discussed literature, politics, economy, music... This was a great way to stop with this steotype that truck drivers are damn people who speak loud and swear all the time.
It was woman's day and I was in a restaurant in the border Spain-Portugal having dinner with Bruno and 6 more truck drivers.