That figure, thumb outstretched, destination board in hand, has become a rare sight on the roads of Europe.
Once, for young people particularly, it was the only way to travel.
It was cheap.
It was exciting.
It was romantic.
You never knew who you'd end up travelling with or, very often, where you'd end up.
But today a number of factors are driving the hitchhiker towards extinction: there's more money around, more people own their own cars.
Plane fares are cheaper than ever; who wants to spend hours, possibly days, exploring the slip-roads of motorways when a budget airline will drop you at your destination efficiently and cheaply.
Fears for personal safety also play a part.
In The Last Hitchhiker, Kevin Connolly, veteran of Radio 4 talks over the years including Tides Of History, Going South and Bon Appetit, sets out from Calais to see who will stop to give him a lift, how far he will get in the course of a week and what the journey will tell us about modern Europe and the way we travel in the 21st century.
Programme One: Kevin Connolly has to cope with the romantic advances of a large dog as he attempts to hitchhike across Europe.