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Jailbreak 2014 Stories – Team Rushour and Team Greece Lightening

Team Rush Hour’s Jailbreak Story – Michaela Lo and Takyiwa Danso

From the beginning we aimed to be different, and so instead of following the crowd by heading South to the ports, we decided to go West; an interesting and difficult choice we realised later on. Hitching a ride to Cambridge within 15 minutes, we were off to a great start!

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Unfortunately that stroke of luck didn’t last long as we missed the only flight out of Cambridge Airport, and found it extremely difficult to hitch a ride anywhere. We were stuck in the Cambridgeshire area for about 12 hours- spending 8 hours overnight in a big service station, trying and failing horribly to get a ride from lorry drivers or other people.

At this point we were beyond tiredness and had hit delusional due to lack of sleep! Finally getting a ride at 7am, we escaped to Kettering (a small town in the middle of nowhere)! But we then found ourselves stuck again for a further 5 hours. We now realised that buses were the way forward as they were the most helpful and willing to let us come on for free- trains were a no go. Getting a bus to Northampton and then walking along a country lane alongside speeding cars (which was every bit as fun as it sounds) we made it to Watford Gap services, where we were saved by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in a coach going up to Huddersfield.

From there we went on to Manchester, Chester and eventually Holyhead, we succeeded in going (almost) coast to coast across the UK. The biggest problem wasn’t the fear of getting picked up by weirdoes, but the fact that we couldn’t get picked up at all! Most people thought we were crazy but brave to be doing Jailbreak, and the most memorable people were those who went above and beyond to help us out- they really restored our faith in humanity.

Though we didn’t make it to Ireland in time, we still went for quick trip to Dublin, and (for once) were very happy to actually PAY to go somewhere- it makes life so much easier!

Greece Lightening Jailbreak story – Holly Tuxworth and Evie Griffin

With no solid plans whatsoever in place other than our cab ride from UEA (thanks to Goldstar Norwich for that one!),we managed to get ourselves on a train to London, only to get ourselves kicked off again at Stowmarket. We jumped on the next one anyway, and this time we made it all the way to Liverpool Street! After an unsuccessful evening at the airport and coach station, the beautiful people of London helped us get on a coach to Lille! From there we hitch-hiked across the border to Belgium, and ended up stuck in the most remote town we’d ever been to with very little French between us, no English speaking people, and pretty much no way out.

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Eventually we took the risk of jumping on a train to Brussels, and luckily the ticket inspector took pity on us and allowed us to make it all the way there! We spent brilliant night in Brussels where people were lovely, and thankfully understood our attempts at speaking ‘a petit pois’ of French (they knew what we meant). We then met the loveliest woman at the station who got us on a train to Luxembourg just in time for the 48 hour mark! The people who helped us get back on our budget were incredible too, (who would have thought we’d meet a lady from Manchester who’d drive us to a Belgian carnival then buy us tickets back to Brussels?!) and we made it back to Norwich definitely wanting to do it all again next year!

In general total strangers on the street were incredibly nice, helpful and interested to hear what we were doing; it was amazing how many people totally went out of their way to help us. Trying to get anywhere for free in terms of airports and places was pretty much useless, companies weren’t generally feeling too charitable- hitching and talking to strangers despite what our parents would tell us was actually the best bet and not only the most successful way to get anywhere, but also a really great experience to see how lovely so many people can be.

It’s safe to say we’d both recommend doing Jailbreak to anyone who likes an adventure, is prepared to take a few risks, and wants to raise a lot of money for a good cause whilst having what’s probably one of the most bizarre, exciting and surreal experiences.

Both photos courtesy of Livewire 1350. 

15/04/2014

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