Le Havre. Never go there. Ever. If you do then first of all 'I told you so' and secondly, good luck escaping.
Let's start from the beginning. We got the ferry from Portsmouth to Hell. Despite some technical difficulties and leaving 2 hours late we still docked an hour or so early. There were 2 other Hitch groups on board, one of them had already secured a lift down to the middle of France whilst the other, Jack and Alfie, were in the same boat as us. We rushed down and outside the ferry terminal, holding out our signs and thumbs but it was all to no avail. We, group 103, stayed nearby at a crossroads hoping to get a lift but again, no luck. I was starting to seriously worry about getting pneumonia, as it was raining and ridiculously cold. After 3 hours of this we then git stopped by the police, having to show our passports to prove our ages. Apparently it's illegal to hitchhiker if you're under 18.
We saw Jack and Alfie again who were off to the tourist information centre, so we tagged along as they could speak French. We didn't realise just how valuable a knowledge of the language is, and consequently found it much more difficult to get on with the Hitch. At the tourist centre we found out that there were no more ferries today, no buses out and a train to a nearby town would set us back €77! It wasn't looking good, the only way to escape the hell of Le Havre seemed to be by hitching. So, we stopped for food, which turned out to be quite disappointing and then set off 30 minutes across town to get back to our hitching position.
A young French lad approached us, he didn't speaka word of English and our combined knowledge of french anounts to hardly anything. However, he seemed set on helping us, i have no idea if he understood what we were doing but took us to a bus stop. We had to decline his help as we were getting nowhere.
Zoe and i got her map out and started looking puzzled, trying to figure out where we were when a nice man pulled over and offered us a lift. Claude, the tuba professor (the occupation may be wrong but thats all I managed to understand of his french) took us to a junction where we should have been able to get a lift to Le Man's. Zoe and I both fell asleep in his car, leaving Jon to have to make small talk- I'm sure I'll be able to stay awake for one if these journeys... We stood at this roundabout for about 2 hours, during which time we got moved on by the police and lots of sympathetic smiles but no lifts. It looked like it was going to get dark soon so we headed off towards the nearest town, Bernay.
Bernay turned out to be 5km away, along a country type road which we had to walk along. To make matters worse, it started haleing but after 10 minutes it subsided into just heavy rain. We ended up walking for an hour before getting anywhere close to our destination. We were tired, hungry and cold. Bernay is a quaint little town, full of traditional architecture and posh shops. We began to regret the decisuon of not bringing a tent after seeing the price of the hotel but had no other choice but to stay. So tonight we are in a 2star hotel, have had nice hot baths which soothed our aches and nice comfy beds.
The free wifi meant that I had far too much time to write this, so sorry for the boring details, but I hope to have gotten across how hard this hitchhiking stuff is! Up bright and early tomorrow fir another day of standing by the road side...