HCX Exclusive: Review of RAG's Jailbreak

Ever fancied travelling somewhere for free whilst raising money at the same time? Well, you can! Last weekend, RAG hosted Jailbreak, a hitchhiking challenge where you have 36 hours to get as far away from Exeter as possible.

The winning group managed to get as far as Cyprus, with other groups ending up in Istanbul, Berlin, Ljubljana and Dublin amongst others. HCX caught up with a few of the groups to find out the highs and lows of their weekend adventure…

First up was First Year English student and HCX Travel Writer Lucy Ronan

Route taken: Hitching with 17 different vehicles from Exeter – Lyme Regis – Dorchester – Poole – Guildford – Folkestone – Calais – Belgium – Amsterdam – Berlin, Germany.

High point of the weekend:

Two guys drove us all the way from Folkestone to Amsterdam (270 miles), covering four countries. Let’s just say this ride was very interesting to say the least and the guys were going to Amsterdam for one reason and one reason only…  

Low point of the weekend:

Being stuck in Dorchester for an hour and a half at the beginning of Jailbreak, where we were kicked out of a service station by a lady who started lecturing us about how dangerous hitchhiking is. We were so desperate for rides at this point that we decided to hop in a car that was going in the direction we came from.

Most memorable anecdote:

Probably jumping into the back of a van and the guys (who were around our age) driving off down the motorway before we even had time to slide the van door closed. Just a little bit scary! Everything (including us) went flying, but thank goodness we managed to close the door before anything really bad happened. There was no light in the back of the van so we were sitting in the pitch black praying for our lives, not only because it was probably illegal but because the guy was a terrible driver. Turns out he was Facetiming down the motorway…

Would you do it again?

This is such a difficult question. It was one of the best and most exhilarating experiences of my life by far and I could not recommend it enough, but because this year was so good I don’t know whether doing it again would take away the magic of our experience! We’ll see…


Next up is fellow HCX Travel Writer and First Year Business Management Student, Abigail Leone

Route taken: Exeter- Birmingham- London- Stansted- Ljubljana, Slovenia

High point of the weekend:

On our return flight, the cabin crew made an announcement about our trip and we got a round of applause from the plane! It felt like we’d actually achieved something worthwhile and we managed to collect some more donations directly for the charity.

Low point of the weekend:

Thankfully, we didn’t have any massive lows and avoided team arguments (despite being sleep deprived). However, in the early hours of Saturday morning we stopped to get some sleep at a friend’s flat in London. My teammate Alicia fell asleep straight away but I just lay awake for 3 hours, which was so frustrating because we didn’t know when we’d next get the opportunity. Once we got to the hostel in Slovenia I slept for a good 10 hours straight, which felt amazing after being over tired for 2 days.

Most memorable anecdote:

When we landed in Slovenia it was snowing and 0 degrees. We quickly realised that we were going to be freezing since we hadn’t packed coats or prepared for that kind of weather. There were several times when we were both genuinely surprised by strangers’ generosity. Two people gave us £20 notes, which was such a great feeling after being ignored by passer byers most of the time.

Would you do it again?

Definitely! I think a second time around we’d be more aware. (For example, skipping out going to Birmingham airport) I would plan more next time too, we made no prior plans this year apart from packing the basic Jailbreak essentials like adapters, collection buckets and our white board for hitchhiking. 



Photo Credits:

Lucy Ronan

Abigail Leone

Exeter RAG