My 6 craziest stories from hitchhiking 17,000 km’s in less than 2 years

Igor Sobolev hitchhiking автостоп с сержем Adventure Prime

17,000 kilometers. Exactly so much I traveled hitchhiking for a year and a half. This is the approximate distance on earth from Lisbon (Portugal) to Bangkok (Thailand).

Of course, these 17 thousand brought me a lot of interesting memories and funny stories. I decided to remember them all. Now I will tell you about the six most memorable adventures on my way.

1. How much does this girl cost?

Georgia, Tbilisi
Who said hitchhiking isn’t sexy? Me and my classmate. Tbilisi.

This happened during our trip in Georgia. We kept our way from the Russian Caucasus to Istanbul (Turkey) with my former classmate – a beautiful 19 y.o. girl.

Late in the evening we decided to hitchhike from Borjomi to Batumi. A luxury car stopped. There were 4 Saudi millionaires inside. They all looked at my friend with a huge interest. Then one of them pointing at the driver said: “He is my brother. He has 2 wives. He wanna have one more…from Russia”. And they all stared at my classmate.

Seeing my dumbfounded face, one of them added: “We are very rich, dude. Money is not a problem”. To be honest, I still regret that I did not sell her to them. If I did this, I would probably never travel by hitchhiking again (okay-okay just kidding?)

I had to tell them that my classmate was my wife. Then Saudi driver gave me his number and said: “If you find one in Moscow, call me. I would buy”.

2. Uzbek illegal workers and police on my way to Finland

Hitchhiking, Igor Sobolev
On my way with the sign.

Having received a cherished Schengen visa, I rushed on the road that same day to hitchhike from Moscow to St. Petersburg. It was the only way to get to Finland by the next morning to finally meet my friend there and then come back to Moscow in time and write exams in my university. I stole a cardboard from a cafe and wrote “St. Peter” on it to show to all drivers. 

Soon a car with Uzbek numbers stopped. Inside 4 illegal workers. One of them told me: “If police stop us, then we will have big problems, brother. We have no right to be and work in Russia”. I nodded my head.

This was probably the only chance to get to Russian North Capital before 11 pm to take the last bus to Helsinki. “If police stop us, they would definitely arrest me for a while too to identify me. If they do, I won’t get to Finland this year”, I thought.

You will hardly believe me, but this happened. The Uzbek driver violated the rules of the road and a policeman came up to our car. “We are going from the Uzbek-Afghan border to St. Petersburg for the fifth day without stopping, my friend. Take this 5,000 RUB and let us go, please”, the Uzbek driver said pitifully. The policeman agreed.

Corruption that day saved me and illegal workers. I got to Finland and met my friend.

Finland. Igor Sobolev
I made it to Finland! Oulu, Finland.

3. Mongolian pimp. “Did you have a sex with a Mongolian girl?”

Probably the craziest story happened on my last but one day in Mongolia. I drove to the Russian border. Hitchhiking again.

One of many Mongolian drivers who stopped on the road was driving exactly there. He was very friendly and extremely talkative. Happy to meet Russian traveler too.

After feeding me with traditional Mongolian snacks, he suddenly asked me:

The rest of the way to the city of Cholbaysan my driver did not change the subject.

“Mongolian girls are the best in sex, believe me!”, he said.

“Oh really? You experienced a lot?”

“Of course, a lot! I tried one time with Chinese and Korean girl.  But they both were…money-girls”.

“Oh, that’s really a lot!”, I answered laughing.

Exactly at that moment the driver was called by his wife. They already had several children. After talking with them, he continued boasting, talking about his experience. 

Mongolian adventures. Igor Sobolev
With the Mongolian pimp (in the left). On our way to Choybalsan.

Of course, I was not going to look for a girl for sex that evening (at that time I had a girlfriend, and I’m a faithful guy, to be honest). But I went with my driver to a night club for the company.

The whole evening turned into a real comedy. Mongolian pimp, getting drunk from two bottles of beer, molested all the girls, and they all told him to go and f*ck himself.

In the end, he called a prostitute (not already for me, but for himself), and she also refused him (he was rather old and ugly). Funny, but this “money-girl” actually liked me. She said she would spend the whole night with me for $30. I smiled and replied, “Maybe another time, dear”.

Article about Mongolian girls you can read here.

4. 1500km with my namesake in UAZ in Siberia

Siberia. Hitch-hiking. Igor Sobolev
With Igor Vladimirovich

I was traveling from Siberia to the Far East. A driver stopped, his name was Igor Vladimirovich, my namesake (Same first and middle name). He was about 60 years old. A real Siberian man: kind, no show-off. Caring man who was glad to have a guest in his car.

Together we traveled more than 1,500 km, in the evening we had a good dinner in open air right in the forest by the river. Our path was full of interesting stories, laughter and fun. We had a nap at his UAZ and then continued our trip.

After a month and a half I sent him a message saying that I was going by train from Vladivostok to Moscow. He found out my train number and early in the morning came to the train station in Chita, missing his work just to see me again!

“F*ck these bosses and job routine, I just want to see my friend namesake again,” he said. “Yes, he is a real Siberian man!”, I thought then.

Igor Vladimirovich brought me then a whole package of treats. We are still in touch. He often sends me photos from his fishing and hunting trips. Friendship for the rest of our lives!

Igor Vladimirovich
Igor Vladimirovich bringing me snacks to the train station.

5. Kind Armenian old man on the Russian-Georgian border 

Border between Russia and Georgia is the most marvelous I have ever seen. You will hardly find any border with better views. There we were stuck. Everyone asked us for money to bring across the border.

An Armenian old man came to help us, he called us into his truck ??. There he gave us real Armenian coffee, fed us while standing in line from the cars.

At the border, me and my friend were interviewed for more than two hours (it is always difficult to leave Russia), and all this time the Armenian truck driver was waiting for us. Because of this, he no longer fit in time, but this did not bother him at all:

“So what? I will never leave my friends alone! We never do that in Armenia”.

Having learned that I collect coins from different countries, he gave us a whole handful of Armenian money. And all this happened on the way to Tbilisi, in the midst of the majestic mountains of the Caucasus! The views from the window was breathtaking.

Russian-Georgian border.

6. Shawn’s family in Tuva

More than ten times… More than ten times me and my American friend Frank were told about Shawn Quirk in Tuva ― about an American who moved to live in Tuva from USA and found Tuvan wife.

Frank found it humorously annoying – he thought he would be a rare site – an American in Tuva – but Shawn had beaten him here years ago and seized all the glory.

We were really fed up of stories about him for only 2 days in this republic. But we could never expect to meet his family while hitchhiking to the border of Repubic of Khakassia!

A van stopped with a big family inside, 3 generations. Among them was a young girl with an amazing appearance and very bright eyes. We learned that she was, in fact, Shawn’s daughter, half-American-half-Tuvan!

What were the chances to meet them traveling by buses/cars? Almost zero! This could happen only one time in life. A story that I will never forget.

Tuva. Shawn Quirk. Шон Куирк, Тува
Family of Shawn Quirk. An American who moved to live in Tuva and find local wife.
Me and Frank in the back of the van with the Tuvan family. 11 people, 3 generations, 3 nationalities, 1 van!

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Igor Sobolev
Igor was born in one of the dirtiest and most northern towns in the world - Norilsk, Russia. Living there made him hungry for traveling and seeing the true world - how it works and who lives there. "Best way of traveling - Hitchhiking!"

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