citrineblue

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

What can I say, I’m 50 and feel much younger. I love photography although not obsessed, and I try to take life not too seriously : )

Journal

Part 12 - Rest

Dark, gleaming and polished like a freshly hatched conker; adorned like a Faberge jewel with solid but stunning metal work – the door opened. White clean light drenched and blinded us. We enter literally another world. I am tired so all feelings now are of extremes.…

Although stoic until now I realise truly we have arrived. My limbs grow lead like – movement hurts, my eyes squinting in the brightness brings a return of a blinding headache, thirst stretches my throat feeling each swallow and yet amongst all this I feel rich; the task is done. People have Olympics, medals, and awards but to me this is incredible. On my own this would not have mattered but my love and sole responsibility for my son meant I had to do this and do it well.

Drips adorn the outside of my trophy. A chilled glass fi

Part 11 - Authentic madness

To fight against this flow would have been impossible; we swept along the raging torrent of aggressive tired and all knowledgeable Friday evening Marrakech traffic. Our car the focus of aggression and yet our saviour protecting us from the manic panic outside. We swirled around a central island like those visiting Mecca and the Masjid al-Haram. Like a pebble trapped in a whirlpool we started again on our circuit until aggressively I escaped to the bus lane parking and shut down everything. Taking stock we found our information and looked helpless until we captured a speeding local pedestrian and found our route was off by 180 degrees and a kilometer away leading into the Old Town. Having so many new experiences planned I had completely forgotten that our Marrakech Riad was to be an authen…

Part 10 - Er foud to Marrakech (600km, and over the High Atlas again!)

After the highs of Erg Chebbi, dread filled my stomach. I forced down what was yesterday a delightful breakfast and contemplated at least the next twelve hours.…

Er Foud behind us we travelled on. The sun, which we had so recently see disappear the day before which such beauty, exploded over the horizon adding to our perceived worries about such a journey. Eyes, now narrow slits, raise my cheeks up giving me a permanent grimace as I try to reduce the intense searing light entering the car as we drive along.

Journeys through the villages become a parade as we are watched by everyone waiting patiently for buses or a distraction in a market. The speed limit is not on our side creeping along a snail possibly going faster. I feel that I represent so much, I am a woman driving, no husband appare

Part 9 - An ocean of burnt dunes

Beauty ………. No one could be looking at what was advancing towards me without emotion.…

Orange waves of velvet contrasted strongly against the intense deepening blue of a clear post stormy sky. The dunes of Erg Chebbi welcomed us although not easily as our time was shortening, the sun dropped ever more quickly towards the horizon and our driver realised his mistake with timing. The 4×4 shot over the hardened rippled land which shattered our image of beauty and our fillings within our teeth. The tortuous journey went on for only minutes but my arms ached with bruises and holding tightly to anything and we were relieved but laughing when we finally saw a group of saddled long lashed, and I have to say, good looking camels. The light was intensifying, the dunes no longer the light orange of a

Part 8 - A good son

Suddenly there was no noise, well I couldn’t say that to start with I just knew I had woken up for a reason. The air conditioning wafting a pleasant stroke against me had stopped and it was silent. A walk to the darkened bathroom revealed that the lights did not work either. It was morning so I was not that worried and as we had to meet our 4×4 driver soon we arose from the thin traditional coverlet and headed off for breakfast.
The room was large, it was obvious from photos on the wall that they do get huge groups coming here on motorbike pilgrimages, testing their machines and themselves, however today it was us, us alone. The lonely jug of juice signalled where we were to sit. However then we were in for a treat. The loveliest of paratha styled bread was delivered to which we could add …

Part 7 - First desert storm

Romans knew a thing or two about roads, they built them straight and long, now whether this was Roman I do not know but I do know it goes on and on and on.…

The town of Er Foud suddenly peeps over the horizon, not a traditional town but a modern busy grey sprawl of a hub of activity. My instructions both from the accommodation and Trip Advisor are hazy to say the least, work through the market square and go on 2km. We turn left only to head out of the town, turning again we enter even further into the spaghetti of their road network, we slow looking puzzled and our quandary brings attention. A 4×4 stops, a man comes and tells us to follow, a policeman then arrives with no English and then a young man on a bike. The young man looks edgy, obviously not liking the 4×4 man he signals not to tr

Part 6 - Bartering should be banned

My card slides into the jaws of the card reader at the hotel and I await my fate, will it work. NO problem at all, this leaves me stumped with regards to the issue of money withdrawal the day before but I leave feeling light hearted that my card does indeed work. Leaving Ouarzazate we go via the ATMs only to find these machines have their own minds, we try one then another, in my mind still worried that we only have three tries I try a bureau de change only to find the ATMs have usurped their card withdrawal ability and we had to try once more, BMCE my saviour. The only bank that seems to communicate with ours. No problems, money, money ,money. I could at last relax fully, at least for now.…

The longest part of our trip so far awaits us. We head out of the busy bustle of this town and wi

Part 5 - Kasbah and Souks, my confusion!

Kasbah, a market in my mind, but no, today I find it is a village. We agree to meet over the river at 10.00. The Kasbah is a group of old mud ruins which are topped with vast bleached white stick nests of Stork families, their presence having given the terracotta coloured mud an icing finish. We creep around what were homes, past tiles and patterns, up cracking stairs and sliding around holes in what is the ceiling below; health and safety does not exist. The whole experience is fascinating as we look through arches and through decaying walls exposing their secrets of their construction.
With a compulsory stop at a shop to try and sell us things we headed back to the Oasis with Rachid, no easy ride this time though. As we arrive at the village the spring water which crossed our path is now…

Part 4 - The delights of Mint tea and Couscous

The sheer drop was slightly disconcerting however at the vast speed of slow meant we bounced, twisted and dipped towards the green palms and flowing river of Oasis Fint.…

“Stop, STOP” a face explodes towards me from the drivers side window, I know I looked alarmed and continued to drive. Here I am down a steep track, what do I do? The man continues to knock and eventually, maybe foolishly I open the window. The young man in blue robes introduces himself as the son of the head of the village. We are adopted.

The car is parked in the shade, always you feel as if you have left the car to chance! The day has begun to heat up, no breeze and we leave the air conditioned pleasantness of our haven, the car. Down some dusty paths, we move in the shade between the houses and come to a door which ope

Part 3 - Signposts, a useful concept

Red posts studded our way across the High Atlas showing us that we would be in the snowline during winter, our ears popped and after each turn in the road we would nearly run over a man running out with gems and minerals to buy.
Ouarzazate, famous for its film industry and Kasbah, was a welcome sight; banks and hotels either side of its wide new streets and our hotel an easy find as was its swimming pool for a teenager.
The breakfast the next day was a typical continental buffet, filling but unoriginal. The receptionist became our friend and under her guidance we chose not to visit the large Kasbah back up the road we had arrived on but to try “Oasis Fint”, Ouarzazate showed similarities to Marrakech, a severe lack of clear signposts but our first task was money. Close by the hotel we tried…

Part 2 - Warning - Woman driver (Arriving at Marrakech and over the Atlas)

Two weeks, just two weeks before this break in became very clear that my husbands new contract would start dead in the middle of the break; no argument, there it was a fait du complet. A bear with a sore head would be better company than a man cut away from his desert birds. The choices was cancel or take an alternative. Three children to choose from; the youngest was the candidate, not through favouritism you understand he was the only one free!! Tickets and vouchers were all altered, clearly stating he was my son however, in Moroccan eyes, he suddenly became the lead traveller.
There standing in front of us was the welcome to Morocco, a structure of metal in which we had to stand. Apparently we passed the “Swine flu” temperature test, the rest of the torture was just passport, luggage a…

Someone here suggested I should write something - So here goes, a journal of my last holiday.

His shadow encloses around me then his arms, “Mum move it’s our turn”, I dumped our hastily packed seam exploding luggage at the check in desk.…

This is the start to our romantic holiday to Morocco; not the holiday I was expecting. Back in June my husband says “Morocco, what do you think? What about a long weekend just the two of us. Marrakech was lovely last time”. I remembered last time how, as a family, we had all really enjoyed the smells and tastes of this amazingly exotic country, a country so different in culture to even its nearest European cousin Spain.

From these first romantic beginnings the break morphed into a week long holiday without the children (good), two nights in Marrakech (good) with two other stops (possibly not so good). Here I have to confess that my husband is a b

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