Marrakesh Onwards

Couple of nights in Marrakesh before a whistle stop tour of Morroco. Have fallen in taste love with vegetarian tajin. Served hot and infused with ginger, all on a rooftop terrace. Great. We usually have a sense of direction, but the large souk has had us back and forth a few times. But the exercise is appreciated 🙂

So far I’ve had only 11 references to my, as they put it, Ali Baba beard! The central square, Jamal el Fna, is seemingly unchanged for hundreds of years. Sleepy snakes slither, cheeky monkeys pull at chains and peacocks regally ignore everyone. Their is a hub bub to buy, imbibe and try all and sundry.

Now laying in a hotel in Essouria. Only three hours drive by coach from Marrakesh. The local mosque and the seagulls vie for our attention from our open bedroom. Is it me, or are the seagulls trying to say something? The town, thus far, is a delight. Certainly less costly than Marrakesh. The buildings are resplendent in white, with blue doors, window frames and blinds. Their is the usual tourist mess. However the old town walks along the coast are great as are the views of the rocky coast from the battlements. The small boutique hotel is super. An inner courtyard has palm trees that stand up and above the rest of the structure. All set against a perfect blue sky.S

Boarding Rows pushy & selfish.

I’m looking forward to my trip to Morocco. Backpack on, meandering through the land on my own path. But first McDuff, the flight, or more precisely the queuing and embarkation.

Raspy voice on a metallic speaker.

“We are now boarding rows pushy through shovey and then we will board selfish, self-centred and bloody minded”

Yes, boarding! Everyone has a ticket. A seat no less. But up they queue shuffling, and then through the gate there off!!

Stand in the way, block the aisle. Gently swing laden cases past soft ears, unfortunate shoulders and sides of heads. For the bag is king, a jewel among swine, my bag, my bag, my bag. Me.

I love the process, truly I do and I can’t wait;-)

Southern Engaland

Arundel was its usual charming self. The most dangerous threat, the calorie laden cream and sweet jam on the scones we devoured. All under the lee of the impressive castle and surrounding walls. A stroll around the canal to work off the surfeit of sugar and onwards.

We travelled on and then north of Chichester to Kingley Vale. Ancient Yew trees dating back centuries entwined us in their branches. Imagining a coven of witches, or a Druid working their spells beneath these very trees, was easy. Some say that within this gnarled kingdom, there grow some of the oldest things in Britain. As if not enough, you can climb up the Vale, still working off the scones, and look across the Vale and forest South.

Spice Islands

Travels and Things

Eastwards Ho! Equipment purchased, 10 flights booked and off we toddled to Indonesia. We stayed overnight in Warsaw before our flight to Istanbul in a super little hostel in the new old town of Warsaw. Bunk-beds with all the ensuing claims to sleep up or downstairs. The Cannon was perfect for us.

Flight number one. We flew Turkish Airlines to Istanbul where we had a seven hour lay over. I determined to reduce DVT by walking every part of it, and I can attest to the fact that it is big! Very big!! Then we had an 11 hour flight to Jakarta. The flight was great and the service excellent. Never have so few lavatories been serviced so often, by so few, for so many.

Jakarta. Tired and hung down like overdecorated Christmas trees we trundled into full view of the cab touts. Shouts of Hey Mister, Hey Boss and…

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Old Delhi Market

We want to walk we said. So we were dropped off a short distance from our destination, the market in this photograph.

Assailed by offers of rickshaws, we ploughed on. A very busy road separated us from the market. No problem, there’s a crossing with lights. Mistake. The drivers took about as much notice of the lights as when slapping a fly on their arms!

Jump, no dithering, dash, sidestep, sprint and across. Into the market we ploughed. The cacophony of the racetrack was replaced by the buying and selling of just about anything you want. Stalk after stall with people heaving in between. The sounds of music caught on the air and the ring ring of a rickshaw seeking a path through. From the top of steps, also used for selling, we looked out on a veritable sea of people. Behind us, at the tops of some steps, a large mosque added it’s own sounds to the mixture. No all inclusive hotel here! Munching on some deep fried snacks we snaked through this market mayhem up further to look out on everything from outside the mosque. A memorable assault on one’s senses!

Come live with me and be my love

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies.

Christopher Marlowe The Passionate Shepherd to His Love IMG_2724

Amer Fort

Why do people do it? They plonk their lazy western backsides on elephants, such as those at the Amer Fort. Walk up, enjoy being continually harassed by over zealous vendors. Get some exercise, but don’t use the elephants. They are trained harshly. Then they trudge all day up and down with lazy tourists.

The exertion is worth it. The Fort magnificent in the soft Indian light. Just lay off the elephants.