Uruguay president gives hitchhiker a ride

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2015 03:36 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2015 11:37 AM

Uruguay President Jose Mujica. Photo by Pablo Porciuncula, Agence France-Presse

The person who stopped for hitchhiker Gerhald Acosta offered to give him a ride, but only as far as the presidential palace.

It soon became clear why: The good Samaritan was himself the president, Jose Mujica.

At least, that's the story Acosta told the daily El Observador newspaper, as he described a ride he said he got from Mujica on January 5.

Acosta told the daily that dozens of cars had passed him by as he stood with his thumb out along a stretch of road in southwest Uruguay.

He didn't immediately recognize the occupants of the car that finally pulled over and picked him up, but something about the woman inside seemed vaguely familiar.

"After I climbed into the car, I was saying to myself, I know this woman from somewhere," Acosta said, referring to the president's wife, First Lady Lucia Topolansky.

Eventually, as the ride went along, he put two and two together.

"I couldn't believe that the president was giving me a ride!" said, recounting the story to the El Observador.

Acosta shared his tale on Facebook and for good measure, posted a couple of cellphone pictures showing two people bearing a strong resemblance to Uruguay's first couple.