Armchair Explorer

Hitchhiking to Pamplona with Comedian Andy Smart

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Episode notes

Between 1977 and 1982 comedian Andy Smart hitchhiked 72,000 miles across Europe – the equivalent of  crossing America coast-to-coast 24 times. This is the story of his greatest ride ever.

At 20-years of age Andy sold everything he owned and left his home in Liverpool to move to London and pursue his dream of becoming a comedian. But before he did, he had one hitch, one last great adventure, left. It was the World Cup and England were playing France in Bilbao, Spain on his birthday. He planned to hitchhike through UK, down the length of France and into Spain to watch the game. 

It wouldn’t be easy. He carried a hammock, a piece of tarpaulin and some string to sleep by the side of the road. He had a small backpack, hardly any money and barely more than a change of clothes. But as he stood on the East Lancs Road on the edge of Liverpool, thumb out waiting for his first lift he knew, somehow, that this was a pivotal moment, that his life would never be the same again. He was right, but he never could have anticipated what a wild ride it would be. 

Highlights include:

·       Hear about one of the greatest hitchhiking adventures of all time

·       Catch a ride to the Council of the Universe (well, sort of …)

·       Take part in an insanely violent game of medieval soccer 

·       Run for your life in the festival of San Fermino

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