When does a holiday become not-a-holiday?
I have been receiving messages from my fans about maybe writing part two of my Surf Holiday blog 2018 and have been inundated with PMs asking me what happened to puppy Linda… So here it is! Part Deux.
I would just like to say one thing about the flight on Arabica Air. You start off your journey with a televised prayer, which I quite enjoyed however, the voice of the prayer came across as quite sinister, the type of voice that would be in the intro to a film about a plane crash… #justsayin.
After hugging and kissing everyone on my arrival to Taghazout thanking the Lord Jesus for this interesting and diverse cultural hot spot, I couldn’t wait for my surf adventure to begin.
Day two: The married men folk surfed ‘Mysteries’ (the beach round the corner from the house where we stayed) and they went out first thing in the morning. The house where we resided for the week was on Anchor Point peninsula. I was told when the tide was high the water came right up to the front step and the only way out was to go over the neighbour’s side wall! I was saving myself for the afternoon surf. We loaded all the boards up on two motors and went up the coast looking for waves. Where we were staying was surrounded by amazing surf beaches. We passed ‘Killers’ (a Surf point where Killer Whales come to mate) and then went on to Budha beach. We stopped at the top of the beach to look at the amazing/not amazing waves. Decided to surf anyways…got dragged, rolled and washed down the beach.
Got out before anyone else and met a man selling Morocco mint tea sweetened with loads of white sugar. He stopped to chat to me.
“Do you have child?”
“No.” says I.
“Next time” says he, smiling. “Are you married?” He goes.
“No.” says I.
“Next time” grins he.
I was thinking ‘next time’ I would be trying to surf better for longer, be with Henry the XIII and have my own baby camel, rather than being married or getting ‘up the cream puff’.
The lads finally came out of the water. I had dried myself off with my huge T-towel (which I used all week!) Yes I know, I am SUCH high maintenance) and got changed. That evening one of the surfing ladies who I was sharing a room with got sick and was in bed all the next day, the following day the other lady in the room got sick and took to her bed too. The married menfolk in the next room jested at me for sleeping in the hospital room and said I would be the next to become ill. I never get ill and there is no way I would become sick, no drugs, no insurance, I am invincible!!
But then…That night I woke with stomach cramps at about 2 in the morning, and then proceeded to throw up 5 times in a row. Excellent. One bathroom, five people, and three of them sick as dogs! And the lady who looked after the house told us to mind our usage of water as when the tank ran out we would have to wait for the truck to come into the village to fill it up.
“When will that be??” I asked. She just shrugged her shoulders, laughed, smiled threw her arms in the air and shook her head! Insert shocked emoji here…
Next day I woke up (thank God). My face was full of fluid under my skin and I wasn’t able to open my eyes properly because of my swollen eyelids. I then threw up again. Nice.
A storm was coming in and all the guys went out to surf. I got up and showered, ‘mind over matter’ I thought to myself and read my book. The water from the high tide and storm started to lap around the house steps and continued to rise. At the same time it was raining and the roof started to leak. Rain was coming in through the ceiling and rising up towards the front door…
I started to feel sick and scared at the same time. Then I thought to myself, if I started to clean, everything would be okay! As cleaning is calming. After a while, I started to feel even worse so decided that I wasn’t bovvered. If I wasn’t drowned or got barricaded in by the rising water I was just going to go to bed. So I trudged up the water-soaked and soggy landing to bed.
Spent the next few days being obsessed with the open sewage system that was Taghazout and Anchor Point. Where we live we had to go through an alleyway in between houses to get to the cars. The alleyway always smelt of raw sewage and made me gag. I am so not hard. I looked up and tried to work out the plumbing system of the three storey buildings in the stench of the morning light. I am not a plumber but I could clearly see what looked like the plumbing from the toilets being linked up to a downpipe which stopped at the pavement to flow into the alleyway which ran into the sea. Insert green gag emoji here.
The beaches around Anchor Point had amazing, fun and exotic names. Paradise Beach was one that stood out. For its idealistic name however, when we got there it was a swirling mess of rock, sand, glass, plastic and shite. With dilapidated buildings adjacent to it and no sick peeps facilities. The surf was big and messy. It was all too much for my stomach I had to go home and lay down whilst the others surfed.
Evening meals (when everyone was well) was an experience in itself. You would sit on tables on the main street in the balmy, dusky evening. The road and paths had been dug up in Taghazout to allow pipes to be laid but they hadn’t got round to put the tarmac back so the street was made of sand, dust, rubble, and pipes. Insurance companies ‘where there’s a blame there’s a claim’ would have had a field day here. Always eat hot food, no salads, no ice. The food was actually very tasty (my stomach is churning just thinking about it and writing it). Tagines were the main dishes, which were super hot and came with no germs or alcohol FYI. Or alternatively, you could sit by the water’s edge and watch the waves. Hash Point was a stunning location to watch the sun set and to see amazing surfers wading out through raw sewage outlets…
“Every now and then a waft of ploppsies would rise up from the sea and lodge in one’s nostril hair.”
You would sit there mesmerised by the surf, the waves and the skill of the surfers whilst ordering food and every now and then a waft of ploppsies would rise up from the sea and lodge in one’s nostril hair (of which I don’t have). The smell would get too much and one would have to retract to an inside location to eat one’s food. Which by now consisted of anything which had been burnt to f*ck or in a sealed jar. All served to you and prepared by men.
Where are the women? Ummmm…not sure how I am feeling about this diverse culture.
Last day of ‘holiday’ whhhhhoopooopppppiiiieeeee…
The last night the ‘duirty’ ladies myself included decided to go to a Hamman this was situated in Banana village along from Banana Beach, where they sold bananas near a beach which also was covered in shite, plastic, glass and more human waste as the river had been high the night before. The Hammam was an amazing OCD, clean, cleaning dream! Take all your clothes off apart from you bikini bottoms, and you are given a big bucket and inside that is a small bucket.
I asked the sensible, normal, factual question.
‘Will my contact lenses steam up?’
You go through a door and end up in two big, white tiled, hot steamy rooms filled with ladies laying about, sitting down and washing. You can purchase a mitten and exfoliation products along with what only can be described as fabric softener for the skin. All the ladies washed themselves, each other and small children. There was also a massive squidgy to clean your area (I mean where you sat down not the lady garden). I was in cleanliness heaven. Why didn’t we go here at the beginning of the holiday and every night? The entrance fee was only 12 dirham €1.2. We came out smelling and looking amazing like clean, soft, slightly paler (scrubbed off some of my tan/dirt) ladies.
Went to bed happy then had to be up at 2 am to (hopefully) get flight back home. Thank Alluh Akbar flight was the first flight into Dubbers after a massive snow storm. And another thing!! I so want the call to prayer as a ringtone for my phone.
The lessons to be learned from this experience are:
Don’t try and self-cure with Diet Coke.
Sometimes you need to get over a ‘holiday’ by booking another holiday.
That I am truly grateful for covered sewage systems.
My stomach is still gurgling but every drink, yoghurt and live good bacteria tablet is now my new bestie. Back to teaching yoga…sitting in swatstikasana (cross leg) and jumping back into (chaturanga) plank; you trying doing that with diarrhoea
NB Linda the puppy was fine she didn’t get left on the shelf and her owner appeared to be minding her well.