Lyndar the Merciless

a personal beauty + lifestyle blog

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Morocco

Monday, April 10, 2006   |   0 comments


I hope you were all keeping Lucy company last week as I left her home alone and took myself and Himself off to Morocco [fanceee!] for some sunshine and chillaxin'. And our first proper holiday in 3 years. [Chicago was a J1 working holiday so it doesn't really count. It doesn't, ok?!]

Of course I am now in the thralls of some serious Post-Holiday Flumps: I don't want to be in work, I don't want to be in Ireland and I certainly don't want to have to be outside in this disgusting below 30ºC weather. Last Monday, I spent the day browning nicely in 42º baking heat and all-day sunshine; today, I nearly stuck to the ground with the cold when I stepped outside the front door. I think I can see my tan fading before my very eyes [and I'm fairly sure I can hear it hissing "Oi! You brought me back to this?!"] What a difference a week makes... blub.

So, in order to (a.) distract myself from the fact that I'm home; (b.) try to prolong the just-been-on-holidays happy vibe; (c.) appear busy busy busy; (d.) pretend that I just can't hear what my tan is saying to me [la la laaa...], I think I'll share with you some *exclusive* details of Our Trip To Morocco in a day-by-day, blow-by-blow format! Oh yeh!


DAY 1: SATURDAY 01st APRIL
Despite arriving a bit late to Dublin Airport, we were in plenty of time as our flight was delayed. By 1 hour 50 minutes. So we didn't get the "Have a Nice Feed For Free" vouchers they're obliged to hand our if the delay is greater than 2 hours. Seemed a bit of a swizz to me, particularly when we [well, I] had to then fork out the princely sum of €23 for lunch for two. That was €23 for a toasted ham and cheese sangwidge [maybe the cheese was gold-plated..?], an omlette and two smoothies. In the airport serve-yourself restaurant. Not L'Ecrivain or Shanahan's On The Green or somewhere of that ilk. It seems to be becoming my word du jour, but what a swizz!!!!

On to Duty Free and a gawp at the ginormous Creme de la Mer fishtank [seahorses are so pur-dy!] before buying up some YSL Touche Éclat and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation on the cheap, oh yeh.

More purchasing when we got through to the departure gate as we hung around waiting to board. We decided to get some holiday reading material organised [Heat, Now, Star & Cosmo magazines por moi vs. New Scientist & National Geographic for Himself, go figure..!] and then had a snack in a café that I think has aspirations to be a 'Corner Bakery' when it grows up [right down to calling itself 'Corner Café' in a font that looked to me very reminiscent of that employed by the former on their signs in the US of A. Hmm.]

Our plane looked so cute from the outside [all rainbow-coloured stripes and "I-would-never-crash-I'm-too-lovely!"-ness] but inside - oh sweet merciful hour, what a disaster. Every single seat on the plane was broken, with the result that everyone on the plane had to endure a flight where the seatback in front of them was right in their face and risked serious facial injury if the person in the seat in front of them might inadvertantly cause their seat to recline even further by, say, breathing. And the couple sitting in front of Himself and I were total jerks: while other people were sitting bolt upright in their seats in an attempt to avoid breaking the nose of the guy behind them [and apologising for the fact that they couldn't get the seatback to stay up], our pals seemed to think that the seats were in fact rocking chairs.

I'm still looking for one of my kneecaps as a result.

To add insult to injury, the plane was almost intolerably hot and really stuffy [which I thought was completely bizarr-o as on every other flight I've ever been on I've turned to a lump of ice and had to be gently thawed out afterwards] and turning on the "fresh air vents in the panel above your seat" that they're so enamoured with in the pre-flight safety speil just had the effect of moving the warm air around. AAAAND the air hostesses/stewards/people [no doubt it's un-PC to call someone a hostie now] were shockingly abrupt [to the point of rudeness] and very inefficient. Took them forever to get through the [small] cabin with the overpriced snacks trolley.

And I thought I'd seen it all with Ryanair!!!

When we eventually landed in Agadir after our nearly 4 hour flight, there was some form-filling & passport control stuff to deal with [took aaaaaaages, but at least we have nooo stamps on our passportos to show for it, yay!] before we encountered Our First Hustlers. Very exciting stuff, until Himself fell for it the scheme. A gang of lads all dressed in navy-ish suits with yellow shirts/polo shirts/t-shirts and name tags and acting as unofficial baggage handlers descended on the New Arrivals and proceeded to "help" us get our luggage to the waiting buses. As we only had one small case each and I could forsee that there would be hands out for tips in return for wheeling bags the, oooh, 25 metres at least to the coaches, I told Himself to "hold on to your bag".

So, of course, he gamely handed it over to the first luggage bloke that came along [as you can imagine, Himself argues that the handle was "grabbed" out of his hand but sure that seems very unlikely. And anyways, I like my version better] and voila, our first Moroccan swizz.

Don't think our "helper" was too overjoyed about getting his tip in Euro; maybe the lads need to refine their M.O. a wee bit and keep an eye out for people who use the Bureau de Change before heading out to the buses.

Got to our hotel at about 9.30pm local time [although we were told a number of times on the flight and on the bus from the airport that there's no time difference between Morocco and Ireland, there is: they don't have Daylight Savings Time, so when our clocks go forward an hour in the springtime they are effectively an hour behind us. Confusing!] and were advised by reception to head into the restaurant for a feed before checking in. I had potato and lentil tajines [traditional Moroccan stew-type things that apparently take hours to cook] which were lovely, and I tried couscous because it's another Moroccan dish and one that some of the girls I work with go mad for. Have to say, I wasn't that impressed: found it a bit chaw-y and dry.

As usual when checking into accomodation, I was a bit apprehensive about what our room would be like, but it was lovely: clean, spacious, well equipped, and far enough away from the hotel lobby/bar/restaurant to be quiet and to afford us a great view of the [very nice] pool area and the sea. Typically, the room wasn't a double but a twin, but at least they were pushed together and shared the same headboard. On our last holiday to Corfu, the twin beds had chunky wooden frames which meant that we couldn't push them together properly at all, there was always a chasm between the two matresses. Rosemantic!

And speaking of roses... upon inspecting the bathroom [complete with foot washer, ahem...], we discovered that the chambermaid had left red rose petals on our towels - and in the loo! Mental, but pretty and very thoughtful.


DAY 2: SUNDAY APRIL 02ND
Slept really badly last night and woke up crying. Hate the way that always seems to happen on hols! Himself's theory is based around your body, like, totally freaking out because now it has to cope with all this mental heat whereas yesterday it was struggling to keep warm in Dublin even with thermal underwear and gloves on. Or something. And all this before breakfast aaand before New Scientist was cracked open! Impressivo, no?

After selecting my best posing-by-the-pool bikini, sunglasses, and hair bobbin [well, you don't want to ruin your pool chic with a grotty scrunchie!] and getting all the suncream on, I realised I'd forgotted to bring a beach bag. Bugger! Lugged my work bag around as a substitute for the day and then decided that I'd just have to go without a bag [a horrific thought I know, but everytime I moved I had to cart it with me for fear some unscrupulous so-and-so would swipe it. And I was afraid it'd get discoloured from the sun or from suncream].

Although it was fairly early by the time we moseyed down to the pool, every sun parasol in the place had been claimed. Obviously, most of them weren't actually in use but they had t-shirts and things tied around them to make it abundantly clear that umbrellas were only for the worthy: sure, they mightn't be pressed into action all day long but God forbid that someone who didn't get up at 7am to stake out their territory should be allowed to keep themselves from frying to a crisp beneath one. Fearful of melting in the blazing 42º heat, we went for a walk on the beach to try and cool down and of course the first thing Himself had to do was have a chat with some punter promising us "good price!" on camel riding [leaving me to deal with the fellas selling kaftans and bits of rock with quartz in them]. Although busy with tourists and locals out for a paddle, the beach didn't feel too crowded: it was really long and wide, stretching from sand dunes in the south about 4km up almost to the port and providing a great view of the old kasbah and the hill it stands on, on which is emblazoned with the words "God, King and Country" in Arabic. There didn't seem to be too much concern about littering, though; there were plenty of drinks cans, crisp bags, random plastic bags and even bits of glass around on the part of the beach closest to the town. Also, there were fairly sizeable pipes running along the sand and then rising vertically off the beach in the water which looked like they would cause problems if the tide came in far enough to cover them [maybe it never comes in that far but they weren't the prettiest beach decorations I've ever seen]. Although there was a bit of a breeze from the sea and the water was cooling, almost as soon as we came up off the main beach to the hotel surrounds the dead heat hit us again: I was absolutely convinced that, come lunchtime, we were going to look like something Dali would be proud of.

As it happened, the only things that went into meltdown at lunchtime were our wallets. Since we were staying half-board in the hotel, our lunch wasn't included. No big deal, only we hadn't realise until we got to the hotel that the nearest shop or restaurant was a 20 minute walk away [and not really do-able in your bikini and sarong in a Muslim country!] So, we ended up having to fork out €11 each plus a seperate bill for drinks for a very mediocre outdoor poolside buffet. Pah.

At some point during the day, I think Himself managed to procure a parasol which was an absolute relief. I can't be sure though: it may be that too much sun addled my brain and I just imagined it. I do know that the pools were gorgeous and perfect for lepping into at intervals to help stave off spontaneous combustion. [That said, they could have been improved by having a pool buddy who actually lives up to his word and keeps an eye on you and reapplies your suncream to the bits you can't reach yourself so you don't get burned. I was unlucky in this, it appears: I had Himself so my back got roasted in two spots.]

Decided to walk down into the centre of Agadir after dinner - further away than anticipated, took about 20 minutes. The promenade was absolutely packed; not all that much to do so after we'd walked from one end of the resort to the other we retreated to a café/restaurant and sat outside for some people-watching. Vay chillaxing and a nice rest for the poor feet before the trek back to the hotel.


DAYS 3 + 4: MONDAY APRIL 03RD + TUESDAY APRIL 04TH
Basically pool days - Himself's feet are in bits and it's been decided that the best course of action is to rest them as much as possible before we head off on our trip to Marrakech. He is a bit of a disaster zone on holidays. Of course, most people are prone to getting a bit too much sun or overdoing the vino when they're away, Himself is inclined towards more ailments which are rather more dramatic [and, if possible, inherently disruptive!] in nature: sore feet, chronic back pain, things of that ilk. Courtesy of this holiday, there was also what I will euphemistically term "raging diarrhoea" to add to the repertoire. Niiiiiiiice.

Lunch was, ehem, "free" on Monday thanks to a lack of anyone approaching us with a bill after the meal. We sat there for a good 15 minutes and still no sign of anyone to demand money so we breezed back to the pool... well, they could have found us if they really wanted to!

Got a taxi down into Agadir one of the nights and sampled some ice cream from the Eis Pub - more eis [har har] than cream but at least it was cold.


DAY 5: WEDNESDAY APRIL 05TH
[or, as I affectionately call it, "The Day We Were Nearly F*cking Killed Several Times Over By A Bloodthirsty Road And Maniac Drivers"]

Suffice to say, the drive to Marrakech across the foothills of the High Atlas mountains was not quite as relaxing as you might be inclined to think. The roads themselves were in good physical condition: single lane traffic with a very even road surface, definitely not as craggy or as full of enormous, crater-like potholes as our Sunway rep. had [mis]led us to believe. If she thought the Moroccan roads were in a bad way, all I can say is she must never have tried driving around the back-arse of Wexford. However, Moroccan drivers are mental. Mental! They overtake on corners, on the brows of hills, on stretches of road where there are huge "No Overtaking" signs - irrespective of whether there is any traffic approaching in the other lane. In fact, I think that the only place I didn't see them playing vehicular leap-frog was on a straight road with plenty of visibility and nothing coming towards them. Apparently, the rule of thumb is that whoever is driving the bigger vehicle has right of way [i.e. is less likely to get squished in what is essentialy a game of chicken], so if you're in a Mini and the oncoming bloke swerving out into your lane is in an 18-wheeler truck, you gotsta move. And bear in mind that there will very likely be a string of traffic following it, overtaking whatever slow-poke vehicle happens to be hindering their journey completely blind.

And as if all that hair-raising, heart-in-mouth, stomach-churning scariness wasn't enough, it turns out that the drive from Agadir to Morocco involves climbing into the "foothills" ["footenormousmountains", more like] of the High Atlas on a road with a consistant 45º incline and hairpin bends which all seemed to be clinging to the side of a mountain for dear life and featured a plummet into nothingness on their other edge. Typical of my luck, the "other edge" was more often than not right beside the passenger side of the car.

Eventually [about 4 hours after we departed Agadir] we arrived in Marrakech in one piece. Well, two pieces really; I mean, it's not as though we homogenised on the way there! And although 4 hours is a looooong time to spend in a car while nearly falling off cliff roads and getting flattened by out-of-nowhere overtaking, it was way better than being stuck in a bus with 50 random people who would no doubt have had whingey kids or grumpy old people amongst their number. Also, it afforded me time to take up a pair of linen trousers that I hadn't had the chance to alter before we left Ireland :) Thanks to my superior navigation skills [modest, ain't I?], we nabbed a parking spot in a 24-hour supervised lot between the Koutoubia Mosque and Djemma el Fna. Talk about central. Yay me!

Djemma el Fna was full of horses and carriages, donkeys and carts, snake charmers, performing monkeys, and old henna-wielding women lurking under sun parasols. There was a group of blokes trying to haul a Pepsi fridge up onto a first floor outdoor terrace with ropes while another crew of lads on the ground outside used sticks and pipes to push it up. None of these guys seemed to be affiliated with Pepsi or even the café, just helpful randomers! Eventually, when the fridge had been raised up sufficiently, the Pepsi lads reversed their van in under the fridge to support it. I can only presume they got it sorted because at that stage we made a beeline for a phone, called the riad that we'd booked our accomodation with and met up with a lad from the riad [I am such a poet!] who guided us through a maze of alleys formed by the walls of adjacant riads. Our room was really cute, the stairs were really steep, but we didn't hang around appreciating the quirks of the gaff too long: we headed out almost immediately to have a go of the souks.

The souks were completely, totally, utterly mental - apart from the fact that they basically consist of a maze of narrow alleys lined with stalls and shop entrances and partly covered with wooden slats, you couldn't go two steps without somebody trying to herd you into their store! Most were super persistant! Favourite lines [delivered very politely for the most part, it must be said] included "It is free to look!" and "I give you very good price!" and "Please look in my shop?" Some traders backed off immediately if you just gave a big smile and said something along the lines of "no thank you"/"non merci"/"la shukran"; however, every last one of them went into hard-sell mode if you stopped for even a fraction of a split second for a closer look at anything.

Himself started complaining about not feeling too great, so we stopped for a drink and something to eat. I had no sooner passed back his order to him when he sank down onto a chair beside the food stand, head in hands, and asked for some water. Being the linguist that I am [i.e. am not!], it took several attempts of "Water? Wasser? Flip! Emmm, Agua..? Eau?" for the Moroccan bloke behind the counter to get what in the heck I was on about. I turned sideways to give the nice cold bottle of eau minerale to Himself. Only he wasn't there. While my heart stopped I whipped around... and he was in one of the shops. Sitting on the floor. Looking really pasty. When I got over with the water he took a sip, mumbled incoherently, and then part-lay down, part-crashed down on the tiled floor [sending a previously procured glass of orange juice flying in the process, so there were shards of glass and sticky orange liquid all over the, well, shop.]

So Himself is inert on the floor of this tiny shop in the souk beside a pool of orange juice and glass, pumping sweat, and I quite simply didn't know what was happening or what the f*ck I should do. I have no handle on First Aid but I think I would have had a better idea of how to help if he had lopped off a finger. As it was, I had to kneel beside him and say "Are you ok?" [eh, hello!] over and over again like a flaming idiot, trying to get him to drink some water, while the shopkeeper kept asking if this had happened before, what was wrong with him, was he a diabetic, etc etc etc. I think the not-so-subtle subtext was "You are not looking after your man, that is your job as a woman and you have failed him blah blah blah", as if I wasn't feeling worried sick and useless enough already. The shopkeeper dashes off, comes back with a glass quarter full of sugar, tops it up with water and passes it to Himself to drink. Which he obediently does. [I'm not quite sure what the hell was wrong with the water I was trying to give him before that.] The shopkeeper then runs off and returns with a little bottle of Calvin Klein or something and sprays it under Himself's nose.

In the heel of the reel, Himself [eventually] hauls himself up off the floor and seats himself on the chair proffered by the shopkeeper [much to the dissapointment of the large crowd of locals and tourists that had crowded around to have a good gawk at the episode]. Meanwhile, I try to clean up the orange juice/glass mess with some spectacularly unabsorbant paper towels. One protracted chat later [lecture from the shopkeeper on "How To Look After Your Man", more like], and we were off to find somewhere to eat - the consensus was that the near-fainting episode was brought on by a combination of heat, not having eaten since breakfast, and Himself's unpleasant "digestive discomfort".

I spied a nice looking café as we were attempting to head for Djemma el Fna [the hallway was hot pink, it was fairly obvious that it'd be nice!] and we ducked in for some sustenance. There were lickle wrought iron tables and chairs in a very pretty open courtyard that had a wall covered in an riot of hot pink bouganville flowers - actually, it might have been called "Café Bouganville" or similar [although a quick Google has failed to confirm this]. Had our first glass of mint tea here - it was fab but so sugary that I swear I think I could hear my teeth rotting in my head as I sipped!

Dipped my toe in a spot of haggling and came away with a lovely pair of flat purple Moroccan slippers all a-sparkle with sequins and with a fancy red leather sole [vay Christian Louboutin!] for 180Dh [down from 250.] Although I was vay pleased with the purchase, I was quite surprised that I wasn't laden down with stuff by the time we left the souks; I think I had envisaged the souks as more of a bairgainous-ly priced designer handbag/shoe/jean mecca and was expecting that I'd have to make Himself sell his body to cover the cost of my baggage excess on the flight home. Unfortunately, there wasn't a single pair of Choos or Seven For All Mankinds to be had, for either cut or regular price.

I was gutted!

After fighting our way through the food stalls/al fresco restaurants that spring up in the Djemma el Fna after dusk [all the edibles hustlers thought we were English so there was a frenzy of "I am Moroccan Jamie Oliver!"], we perched ourselves on a 2nd floor terrace with panoramic views over the square to take some, er, panoramic photos and peoplewatch. We didn't last there too long because the sweltering heat of the day was soon replaced with a very matter-of-fact breezy coolness, so we repaired to our room at the riad for some R&R [rrrrraaaaaoooooooorrrrrrrrrr!].


DAY 5: THURSDAY APRIL 06TH
Had a breakfast par excellance in the courtyard of our riad today which was lovely, all leafyness and sunshine and lickle birdies and ladybirds [pictures to follow. Yes, seriously.] Time for some more souk-iness after breakfast. Well, I could have missed a teeny shop on a corner in the slipper souk selling Manolo 'Mary Janes' or the like for 500Dh... Oh alright, I hadn't. But I did manage to retrace my steps to an out of the way place selling very pretty mirrors which we purchased two of [one por moi, one as a gift for Himself's mam] after some determined haggling.

Saw some really cute winter white/silver sequin shoes en route to the mirror shop which were being offered to me for 50Dh [about a fiver!] when we walked past; naturally, Murphy's Law dictated that I could not for the life of me locate it on the return journey. Luckily [she thought foolishly], we came across another shop selling the same shoes - I was natually delighted at the prospect of such bargainous footwear and tried them on, mentally pairing them with coordinating outfits as I walked around the tiled floor of the shop and Himself feigned interest from a seat in the corner. I had earlier discovered that vendors got seriously ticked off if you tried shoes on outside the shop; although I could see the logic in (a.) wanting to keep the shoes in sight and (b.) preserving their soles, I still can't quite fathom why they insist on tempting fate by displaying hundreds of pairs on racks outside the shop without a single "Display Only"-type sign in sight!! I checked out different colours and different styles, reasoning that it would be sinful to buy only one pair for the half-nothing price of 50Dh. So you can appreciate the force with when my jaw smacked off the floor when the shoe bloke [having assured me of a "good price", of course] quoted me ... per pair. I rallied by saying something along the lines of "Wow - that's a lot more expensive than I was expecting - emmm..." [super comeback, no?] to which he responded "Ok. How much would you pay for them?" "Well, more like 50Dh" said I, and Shoe Bloke laughed. "50Dh? No, no. You would not get any sort of shoes for that price, especially ones with such detail as these."

I found this a bit rich: did he think I was a fella or something? That I wouldn't have bothered trawling through the other shops to do some serious research into the average price and quality of shoes of various designs? That I wouldn't know what sort of price these particular shoes could generally command? Well, I decided he'd was about to find out that he'd picked the wrong bird to mess with.

"Well, there's a man in another part of the souk who has offered them to me for 50Dh" I said. "Really?" he sneered. "So why did you not buy those shoes?" "Because we couldn't find his shop again!" I offered, by way of explaination.

Now, you would imagine that traders like Mister Shoe Bloke would be well accustomed to visitors getting lost around the souks, given their maze-like qualities and not inconsiderable size. You'd think they would be inclined to understand how a tourist [yes, even an über-navigator such as myself!] could lose their bearings and have difficulty retracing their steps.

You would be Oh. So. Wrong.

He turned seriously nasty, accused me of lying [don't hold back, pal] and said something along the lines of "Oh, that is not how we do business, why are you lying, blah-de-blah-de-blah". I don't really remember what happened next; I have a feeling that I probably stood rooted to the spot with my mouth open while failing completely to articulate the outrage I was feeling [might have managed to breathe a few noises along the lines of "Wha..!", "Bu..!", "Eh...", "Ah..."]. Himself then came in with "Hey, don't speak to her like that! We did see those shoes! etc etc". In response, Shoe Bloke [looking a bit wild around the eyes] reefed open a drawer - I was fairly sure he was going for a sword or gun or machete so, obviously, I stayed stuck to the ground while thinking "oh f*ck oh f*ck oh f*ck oh f*ck!" - and pulled out a wad of Dirham. He pulled off a couple of notes and brandished them at me. "Here - I want you to go back and get the shoes. There is enough money here for two pairs. If you can get two pairs of these shoes," he sneered, holding up the offending items, "and bring them back to me, I will let you have this pair also."

Immediately, I thought:
(a) You moron, I already told you we can't find the place!!!!
(b) Eh, not even I need three pairs of the same shoes. Unless the shoes in question are bargainous €18 gold ballet pumps; I obviously needed 3 pairs of those. Definitely don't need three pairs of a cream bejewelled shoe that I will probably not like when not in 'holiday shopping' mode.

So, in my very best 'you have gravely offended me and brought shame upon yourself, my friend' voice, I said "Eh, I don't think so!" He frowned, looking puzzled and vexed at the same time, and said "Why not? You would have three pairs of free shoes!" which I countered with Thought (b) above.

Then we promptly ran away from the scary man :)

Decided to mosey the hell away from the souks and headed out into Djemma el Fna for a mooch around the square. Saw one of the square's water seller chaps all dressed up in this ginormous sombrero-eque hat [so huge that not even the world's most HRT-ful mother-of-the-bride would wear it] and fancy outfit with colored tassels and pom-poms and things on it. Had seen one of his colleagues in my Lonely Planet: Morocco guidebook so, sadly, thought this was vay exciting. Not "exciting" on a par with espying Jennifer Aniston or Audrey Tautou, you understand, but when life gives you lemons... squeeze the juice from them into your hair and go sit in the sunshine for some homemade highlights. Like, duh!

After picking up our gear from the riad, we had lunch and did some more people/donkeywatching on a restaurant terrace on the edge of Djemma el Fna [lookit, there were a lot of donkey-and-carts around.] On the way back to the car, we were accosted by some small boys hawking tired-looking single roses in cellophane... I guess there are no "nite"clubs where they can press their wares on half-cut, newly-formed couples :) They soon abandoned us in favour of fresh meat [is that a gang of tourists on a guided tour? After them, fellows!], we were able to get a good look at the gorgeous Koutoubia Mosque [I'd been too excited about making it to Marrakesh in one piece to really take it in properly the day before.] Once we'd had a good gawk and ooh-ed and aah-ed to our lickle hearts' contents, we headed for the car park, where our rental had transmogrified into an automobile-shaped furnace. When we opened the doors, the great rush of steamy heat that whooshed out was so, well, liver-meltingly hot that I thought for sure we'd look like two escapees from some Dali painting. Shockingly enough, our skin didn't actually drip off our bodies [phew!] and we continued on our merry way with a full compliment of epidermal cells.

We decided to take the coast road back to Agadir, stopping off at Essaouria en route, thinking it'd be a nice, scenic drive [and of course I was only delighted that we'd be avoiding the horrific through-the-middle of the mountains road.]

Well.

I'd thought the drive to Marrakesh had been terrifying, but the drive back left it in the ha'penny place. Seems there's no such thing in Morocco as a road journey that won't frighten the shi bejaysus out of you a few hundred times along the way. Sure, the Marrakesh-Essaouria leg of the drive back was fairly pleasant: mostly picturesque [and surprisingly green] countryside with the occassional camel having a gawk at the road and a couple of villages along the way. The majorly steep decline into Essaouria town itself seemed to come out of nowhere, and it was only a taster of what was to come. Not only was the "coast" road from Essaouria on to Agadir decidedly un-coastal [seriously, I think we glimpsed the sea once!], it was horrifically windy in a fashion last seen in Wacky Races and featured even more steep climbs and sharp drops than the blimmin’ road to Marrakesh!!! There were endless hairpin bends with corners sharper than Joan Rivers’ tongue [all of them, needless to say, bordering some sheer ravine or other] and, as the evening wore on, it was getting darker by the second.

All told, I think it took something insane like 7 hours to get back to Agadir. Next time, methinks I’ll just take the jet, dahling.


DAY 6: FRIDAY APRIL 07TH
Today, we mostly chillaxed by the pool. Except for the afternoon, when we did a spot of camel trekking (what ho!) out to see some flamingos.

Took a jomaxi into town for a little walkabout in the evening to tease the local shopkeepers, didn’t buy anything mwah hah hahhhh…


DAY 7: SATURDAY APRIL 08TH
Started packing all our gear up to head home :( squeezed in about an hour of sunning ourselves, had showers, did more packing. Decided to spend our last few hours moseying about Agadir – took the tourist train, arsed around, had lunch in a fancy restaurant where Himself ate some raw meat yoke [no, not by accident, he ordered it, ewww ewww ewwwwww!] and then we had a row. As you do, in the final hours of your hols.

When we eventually got to the airport, the heat was mondo oppressive [d’you know what air con is for, lads? It’s for being switched on in this kind of shaggin’ heat!!!!] and the queue to check in was *un-buh-lievable* and of course loads of aul wans kept trying to skip ahead, so bloody rude! And they have the nerve to give out about a lack of manners and decorum and etiquette among young people! Pots and kettles etc.

Got checked in eventually without anyone cutting in ahead of us [damn straight], flight fairly unremarkable, got to Dublin, reclaimed our baggage and took the bus out to the car park, got off the bus… and then discovered that actually, we had no idea where we were parked. Which I was very upset about as I was shagging freezing; who’d have thunk a silk kaftan wasn’t the most appropriate choice of clothing for Dublin on a night in early April???? So I basically stuck to the ground with cold while Himself raced around with the remote central locking delocker listening for a nice “beeeeep” sound… and boy did it sound good when it [eventually!] went off. Oooh yeh...

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