We spoke to the Edi students who hitchhiked all the way from Edinburgh to Paris for charity
It only took them 27 hours and they came in sixth place
Oscar and Bella, two fourth year students at Edi Uni, hitchhiked from Edinburgh to Paris this weekend to raise money for the Kaleidoscope Trust in an endeavour that involved some “humbling and embarassing experiences, to say the least.”
Taking part in the Race 2 Paris 2023 scheme, organised by Edinburgh Raising and Giving (RAG) and Edinburgh Student’s Charities Appeal (ESCA) their goal was simple: Get from Pleasance to Gare du Nord in under 48 hours with the condition that: “You cannot spend any of your own money on travel.”
Ahead of the journey on Friday, Bella and Oscar, neither of whom had ever hitchhiked before, said that they were “to be honest, absolutely terrified” but also excited – not only for their “fourth year adventure” but also to “raise money for a really good charity that is close to both our hearts, it’s a very personal thing.”
The Kaleidoscope Trust, their chosen UK-based charity, is “focused on fighting for the human rights of LGBTI+ people across the Commonwealth” including countries such as Uganda that are “quite hostile against the community” and carry severe laws, including in some circumstances, the death penalty, against homosexual activity. They also do intergovernmental work in the UK, where Oscar and Bella say “there’s still lots of work to do.”
While they were nervous for their “morale to get low…and getting cold” they embraced “the epitome of getting out of our comfort zone” and relied on strangers’ help to get them to Paris.
The first leg of their journey mostly involved getting lifts, including one from Laura (“legend”) – someone who spotted them outside a McDonald’s and drove them “basically all the way to Newcastle” but upon getting further south had to rely on people’s generosity to pay for their train tickets, including a lift on a ferry from Dover.
In London, Bella’s passport was lost but was swiftly handed in to Lost and Found and they were comforted by the fact that “since the challenge has started, no one has not managed to get there or taken more than 48 hours.”
They arrived in Paris at 12:30, only 27 hours after setting off from Edinburgh and came sixth out of all the pairs participating.
So far, they have raised 50 per cent of their £1,000 target, which you can donate to here.
You can also read more about the Kaleidoscope Trust and the work they do here.