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Morocco, The Journey To The Desert
So my brave exciting adventure had begun. I was on a CTM bus in Morocco, travelling at what felt like 60mph through little towns hitched up upon the Atlas Mountains...
12 March 2018
The Sweet Life On Deck
After sleeping for the first time in a hammock (yes it was uncomfortable), I woke up feeling excited for the day ahead. We were still docked up in the Thames but it didn't seem to matter, as this was now my home...
22 Oct 2017
Part Two of the Swiss Adventure- Up the Mountains and in for a potentially FATAL Swim
I woke up feeling positive and ready to take on the mountains.
20 Nov 2017
BERLIN - DAY 1/3
This particular adventure began months before the actual trip, when I came across very cheap return flights to Berlin for various weekends in January. Of course, it made sense as Germany would be exiting its peak time,
19 Mar 2016

12 Sep 2018

IBIZA

Capres Willow








I went to Ibiza with my two best friends on the 9th July 2017, for one week. It was an experience I won't forget and I know they won't either.

Arrival
Flying in was no hassle, it was the coach journey to our hotel that turned out to be the bummer. 7am and three young lads are blasting techno rave music, then grime, then more techno at the top of their speakers. It was ridiculous and of course due to the lack on seating on the coach, I ended up squashed up next to them. We eventually arrived at a decent looking hotel and we couldn't complain due to the amazong deal Billie had found; 400GBP per person for an all inclusive week! I usually am not the biggest fan of all inclusive as I feel it tends to mean you feel obliged to stay locked up at the resort but in Ibiza, believe me, we needed to save every last penny we could.


Those Lads
So those lads were a nuisance and for the days coming they continued to be, so much so that they even got their own section on this piece. They would walk around ignorantly blasting music through those silly speakers completely disregarding the fact that majority of the lyrics were swear words and the majority of the people around were families with their 5 year old children. When asked to turn the volume down they would simply yell back, 'but we're in Ibiza!' I'm moaning about these lads but in all honesty, over the course of the week we actually became rather well acquainted with them. Considering they were the ONLY other people our age at the hotel we kind of had little choice in the friendship that developed over the coming week. It had resulted in the guys lending or leaving us their devil speaker (I can't quite remember which one) so we had connected to it and been having our jam session alone whilst relaxing/getting ready etc. When they asked for it back, it wasn't long till they were causing problems down by the poolside again and lucky for us, our balcony overlooked the whole pool area. I decided to reconnect to their speaker whilst they blasted their songs and pissed everyone off, but instead, surprise the unsuspecting dummies with some embarrassing tunes to fuel the party. In the mix was Barbie Girl, Crazy Frog, Twinkle Twinkle and so on... As childish as it may seem it was absolutely hilarious and whilst Billie, Olivia and I hid behind our balcony laughing our heads off switching from song to song they looked at each other all wide-eyed and confused trying to gage an understanding of WTF was going on. Of course, they eventually figured it out it was us and did not find it as hilarious as we did, but we were still invited for pre-drinks later on.


The Smoke Up
I distinctly remember the night we decided to go smoke up with these lads from the hotel. That's because I felt like I was dying... They bought some green off a random 'Looki Looki Man' on the side of the road and I had a feeling it could be bad news, but I wanted at least one druggy story to come home and tell the kids about so I ignored my woes. Not too long after rolling, smoking and panicking I was sat in a chair on the lads balcony with my eyes rolled back and my mind wilding out. I caught my breath a moment later to find everyone circled around me, staring with fear in their eyes. That stuff must have been laced with something or other as never had I felt like that from a few puffs of a J. The guys were all high as anything and lucky Billie and Olivia didn't know how to smoke properly- their innocence meant they didn't get high and could look after me. I remember laying down in Olivia's arms whilst she stroked my skin gently calming me down. I was demanding I listened to soft Jazz music and had the lights on so I could see everything going on around me. Billie was also pandering to my demands of cold water and cuddles. I eventually calmed down and we walked back to our apartment, just above theirs. That night I slept and woke up the next day feeling fine again, just a little off key- I couldn't thank my lovely best friends enough and I knew that night had been a testament to our friendship.


The Clubs
The clubs in Ibiza, shit. Where do I begin? There are completely out of this world. Well in comparison to anything I've ever been to. The club strip itself is a little crappy and it's only until you venture to Playa d'en Bossa and the surrounding areas. That is where you will lose your mind, quite literally. Ibizan clubs are called super clubs for a reason. They are huge- say 4x the size of a fairly large club in the UK and the sound systems are immense. Most of the big clubs in Ibiza have insane decor, matched seamlessly with the trippy strobe lighting and the incredible dancers- as I type this I can't help but get taken back to our time spent at HI, the newest superclub on the scene (previously Space) that stole my heart and not just because of the DJ responsible for spinning tracks while I took a piss. Yes, that's right, they have DJs actually in the toilets. All I can say is the superclubs in Ibiza are an experience that can only be lived- there is truly no point describing it in great detail because they are a wonderland of ecstasy, each fantastic in their own way. And no, you don't need to be off your nut on d r u g s to have the time of your life (no pills entered my mouth) but it is recommended ;). We didn't visit every club on the island because well, that shit is expensive AF but I would love to go back (with my entire student loan lol) and go everywhere we didn't. Oh and be prepared for a shock 3 single shots of anything WILL cost you 30EUR on average (prewarning as a favour because I could of done with one before I offered to get a round).
BTW- Out of the well-known places we visited, Ocean Beach actually turned out to be the cheaper of the lot (don't get me wrong, it still was not 'cheap' per say), possibly because it was a beach club? Who knows. All I'm saying is give it a chance, it is not as pretentious as it seems.



The Beach
So we did manage to fit in some much needed beach time whilst in Ibiza, however, the beach we visited (which was a short walk from our hotel) was not one of the prettiest on the island. It was busy with tourists and the water was not as clear as other beaches on the island. Nevertheless, we made a point to visit a few times as what's a holiday to the Balearic Islands without a dip in the sea? We decided to take part in some water sports which I'm sure everyone will agree is always a load of fun, especially when the guys working there are hot Spaniards with sunkissed skin and a cheeky sense of humour. The three of us hopped onto the float thing that drags you around while attached to a speedboat and went for the ride of our lives. Till this day I've never been dragged (yes dragged) around the Mediterranean, or any sea for that matter at such a speed. We were practically flying, with our fists tightly clenched to the tiny handles that were supposed to keep us onboard. After all three of us had a turn at being thrown completely off the float we headed back at full speed. I couldn't help but notice the cute guy with the dark sun-drenched skin and friendly smile. He was working alongside the others and I figured I had a fair chance. I started asking questions about what it's like to work in Ibiza as I had loved my time on the island. They, of course, suggested as I was English I should use my language skills to be a club or bar promoter but instead I was curious to the requirements necessary to actually help out at the watersports stand. More specifically THEIR watersports stand. Haha. I got my phone out and up came google translate in an attempt to translate to the cute guy that I wanted his number. Instead, I chickened out last minute and typed in some shitty question about work. He responded as best he could and we said our thank yous and left. For the remainder of the day I spent my time laying on a somewhat sharp rock, in plain sight of the stand. Whilst trying to look like a mermaid I struck my best sexy-sunbather-who-is-not-bothered-if-you're-watching pose and allowed my skin to soak up the D. Vitamin D. The good news: He completely took notice of me (I think). He was glancing my way every 5-10 minutes, diving in the water, showing off all whilst I lay there being a beached whale. Eventually, after around 2 hours (I knowww) Billie and Olivia were ready to head back to the hotel. Certain that he was going to swim over after his shift and ask for my number, I stayed put. FIVE minutes PLEASE I mouthed over. Of course I meant at least fifteen. Sadly, he did not swim over, nor did he even attempt to hand signal me his digits but I did manage to get a goodbye wave as I clambered down the rocks and back to the sand section. We headed back but my dreams were not shattered. The next day came round quickly and whilst Olivia and Billie headed to do some shopping, I decided to spend my final chance visiting my boo. Except this time was all very different. He was there again, working hard as usual and I found a small spot- on the sand this time- in plain sight. He definitely noticed me in my bright pink bikini and we had a... a moment. Not long before the second had passed a prettyish Spanish woman came over, in her early thirties and dressed in a massage uniform. She worked at the beach bar that also happened to have a massage table (random) so I assumed she was going to offer me a massage. Boy do I wish that was what came out her mouth but nope, her business with me was just beginning. She opened up the conversation with 'chit chat' about her son. He was a beautiful little boy, around 4 or 5 years old, running and splashing in the shallow waters of the sea. She quickly moved on to showing me pictures of her cutie pie son and though he was sweet, I couldn't help but think, 'surely you have work to be getting on with because I know I do.' She must have read my mind as less than a minute later she mentioned her boyfriend. Yes, boyyyyyfriend. Now I'm sure you can guess where this story is heading so I will make it short and sweet. Turns out that particular beach was the place in which her whole 'family' spent the day, every day. While her son played, she worked and so did her boyfriend... the watersports guy. She flicked through family photo after family photo of the three of them at the mall, or the three of them eating ice cream or a whole bunch of kids climbing all over him. Him. My potential bae. May I mention I had no idea (obviously) that he had a girlfriend let alone a kid (joke, the kid was not his but still) and may I also mention he was definitely at least 6/7 years younger than her. Hey, I am not one to judge however he was a potential bae! I knew if I really did want to do some homewrecking and be selfish I could have tried to work my magic but I figured it's really not me. Plus, God punishes those who sin and so does anxiety so there you go. I patiently (and politely) sat through her boycotting of my (not so) sinister plan to steal her sexy boyfriend and the conversation ended with an exchange in Facebooks. Brilliant. I knew it was time to throw in the towel. Ibiza had done me good. Good and proper. And our flight was awaiting us the next day.


Peace & Love,
Willow

23 Jun 2018

Morocco, Anxiety

Capres Willow


The first night was tough. I had fallen into a pit of extreme anxiety that drove me close to the brink of leaving. I wanted to get on that 6am bus, back to Marrakech and on the first flight home. Why was I so afraid? I didn't know. I understood the nerves to a certain extent but the feeling of complete trauma was inexplicable. What was I SO afraid of?????

The thing was, I had been dropped into a place that I was only just realising was out of my comfort zone completely. Ok, being on the back of a random man's motorcycle and riding off into the pitch black desert didn't help but... let me explain.

So, I signed up for a workaway project on the website workaway.info. It is a pretty reputable website and in all honesty, the man I agreed to help out had around 50/60 reviews all 4-5 star. I had no reason not to trust the experience apart from the fact that I met him online, but come on, when I put it like that it sounds way worse than it is... plus all good things happen online now (apparently). I was told I would have to travel very far south- 10 hours to be exact, from Marrakech on a CTM bus. Not once did it cross my mind that I will actually be abandoning all of civilisation and putting myself into a very remote area- and possibly a dangerous situation. Once I would arrive it would be night time and the man who was hosting me, M, would come and collect me in a Jeep. We would then drive a further 30 minutes into the desert where I would lay my eyes on my first ever Berber camp, and I could finally relax.

In reality what actually happened was not totally different. I mean I caught the bus from Marrakech and it was one hell of a journey. Every time I imagined 'we must be close' I asked a fellow passenger I had exchanged a few words with and of course I got a slight laugh and a 'yes, about 4 more hours'. Certainly not something I would rush to do again. I remember the sun setting and it was ever so beautiful against the barren Moroccan backdrop, yet as the realisation that night was upon us finally set in (I'd say the last 2 hours of the journey), I was absolutely shitting it. I was never a fan of the dark. Sad but true, from a young age I always slept with a nightlight. When I finally overcame that fear in my mid-teens a strange encounter happened around 18 years old (that involved taking a strong psychedelic drug) that pushed me back into nyctophobia and often meant I would force myself to stay awake till around 5:30am- sunrise. By the time I took this trip I had managed to heal a little and though the fear was not as severe, I still much preferred a nightlight by my side. When finally arriving 10 hours later, at the very last stop in the small town called M'hamid El Ghizlane a man was indeed awaiting my arrival. I was greeted with a warm handshake, a big smile and... a motorbike. It doesn't seem like a big deal as it was a mode of transport to take me from the coach stop to my final destination, but when you are a 20 year old woman with little experience of travelling the world, its nice for things to go as planned and a motorbike ride into the night most certainly was not on the itinerary. We had arranged a jeep pick up however I didn't have much choice as I was surrounded by men in this small sleepy desert town- women did not tend to venture out after dark and I knew nobody in the town, let alone Morocco, except M who had already strapped down my backpack and was prompting me to hop on the back so we could get 'home'. I couldn't see any other sensible choice and so I reminded myself why I had taken this trip- to step out of my safety net and experience the world (although I knew my Dad was no Liam Neeson). I got on the bike, held onto this strange man and looked up to the starry night sky. The engine revved and off we flew.
In all honesty, once I was on the bike I quite enjoyed the journey to the camp. My anxiety subdued and was overtaken with excitement and adrenaline. I was a vigilante outlaw on the run through the Sahara and had hitched a ride with a stranger, the world was my oyster and there was no stopping me. M clearly knew his surroundings, I mean he had grown up in this desert town. I felt I had little reason to question his navigation expertise even though there was, of course, no signage and no roads and yes, just basically sand everywhere. We rode for about 25 minutes up and over the dunes, down smooth sand runways and struggled through some slippery loose sand terrains. I allowed myself to let go a little (mentally not physically ha) reminding myself to look up at the stars and pray to my mother, asking her to keep me safe. She was all I had right now and I knew it. We eventually drew closer to the camp and I could make out a figure with light shining onto him breaking the pitch black night. He wore a traditional cloak I like to refer to as the warlord cloak, as it reminded me of something a warlord would wear, and in all honesty, added to my concern. I said hello and was introduced to R, the helper around the camp.
By this time I was extremely hungry and as I entered the 'living space' of the camp I saw two women sat wrapped in blankets and awaiting my arrival in order to begin eating. There was an extremely large pot of soup and lots of bread to munch on. I have to admit, I didn't think it tasted too great however I was really hungry at this point so anything would have done. We sat and ate as I introduced myself to N and A. My nerves had calmed and I began to feel safe again. I was especially thankful that I was not the only female residing at the camp for the night.
Once ready for bed, we all went our separate ways and I followed N to where my bed had been set up. I was sharing a large tent with her and I was again, rather thankful as I did not really want to be alone. We said our goodnights and I closed my eyes. Sleep Capres. Nothing. I opened my eyes and I couldn't see a thing. That's when the anxiety really hit me. Those of you who have experienced Africa or any remote area at night time know that the lack of light pollution creates what feels like a tunnel darkness. Unless you've grown up in this environment or you have had time to adjust, it is really something quite shocking. Total blackness (but also total beauty as I eventually realised).


I find it hard to put my finger on exactly what it was that I was afraid of, I mean I am sure it was not just a singular factor. I was in a new environment. I was extremely tired from the long day's journey. I was very disorientated as I did not yet have the bearings of my surroundings and in actual fact I hadn't seen where I was as it was just too dark. Though looking back now it is clear for me that I had challenged myself completely...

The night was spent awake- eyes wide open, texting home to calm my nerves. I had bought a sim card with data that worked in the desert and this was the single thread that helped me make it through the first night. I was beyond exhausted by morning, but I was glad to see the rays of sunshine in through the sheets that made up our 'walls'. It was going to be a long 4 days.

My anxiety at night does still hit me now and then. I want it to go away and I'm not certain about the best route to tackle it. Fear is completely irrational. What I do know is I will continue to push myself over my edge and out of my comfort zone as this is the only way I will grow. It won't defeat me.

Peace&Love,
Willow

The Vienna Diaries~The Deep End

Capres Willow


I write this post, watching my sparkily nails type away at the keyboard. Am I still high? My eyes zone into the glistening technicolour dream as the light hits the varnish. Last night I threw myself in the deep end. I managed to swim out eventually but only with the help of some people I know and trust. I love them for that. I'm in Vienna at the moment on my study abroad exchange. It is a hell of a lot of fun, the whole experience and it goes without saying that I'm learning a lot about myself. I like to see myself as daring and willing to push the boat out. Usually, when I'm having a 'new' experience I try to make it memorable as possible. [My first concert was Tyler the Creator aged 15 where 2 hours in I found myself mosh pit deep with a fellow fan's blood smeared on my top.] It's clear I enjoy the thrill.

I took 1/4 of a pill that night, the night I began this entry. I'm completely sober now and it's kinda funny because I don't know what next to type. I mean I could describe how around 30 minutes later I blacked out and then awoke to the stone cold concrete of the Grelle Forelle back room but it's not all that interesting. What's more interesting is the high itself. Why did I want to get high?
We've all heard the euphoria that the E pill brings on. It was so popular in the 70s, they even called it the Love Drug. I didn't feel love that night, that's for sure... though I'm pretty convinced it was due to my mindset. I was nervous about taking it. I was scared almost, but I had told myself I was going to do it and nothing was going to stop me- that was the only reason I probably ended up swallowing it when it did finally come down to it.

I know myself though and I wanted to feel good, to feel fantastic, to feel this euphoria everyone talks about when they take pills.
So many people, young and old do it and therefore what was there to be afraid of? Addiction? Oh come on haha. I was afraid of everything I had ever heard about d r u g s. Yet I pop an aspirin without a second thought.

I'm going to round up this entry with a quote I find quite fitting...

'Men die in despair, while spirits die in ecstasy...'

-Honore De Balzac
French Novelist, 1799-1850


Peace&Love,
Willow

16 Apr 2018

The Vienna Diaries~ Kelsie Visits

Capres Willow








Yesterday was my gorgeous twinny cousin Kelsie's 22nd birthday. Oops, I almost wrote 16th there haha but she is definitely 22 (don't judge by height hehe). We were pretty much like sisters growing up and then she moved all the way north of England, to Scotland while I stayed down south in London.
It was so lovely to see her and I couldn't believe she was making the effort to come all this way to see me and my new city. We hadn't spoken for a year or so and we hadn't seen each other for about 5 years. I hadn't actually realised it had been that long, so it was really special having her with me.

Kelsie flew into Bratislava airport as there were no direct flights available into Vienna on the weekend she had planned to visit. I was supposed to meet her at the airport but in my true style, I was running late and missed my coach across the border. Poor Kelsie had a super low battery and managed to catch a train from the airport to Wien Hauptbahnhof where I met her and we made our way to my student halls.

The next day involved lots of sightseeing, which we all know means a load of walking.







It was a good idea until...

Ouch...


By the late afternoon, we were exhausted so we decided to head inside for some food and get ready for the Friday night fun to follow...


I had been told about a nice hip-hop event some friends were DJing at and so we headed to Praterstern where the event was taking place. The music was so so good but sadly the venue was a lot like a shed. We just thanked the bottle of Gin we had finished earlier and boogied the night away.

Saturday was a sunny but chilly day. We had a slow morning and then took a drive up to Cobenzl, 2/3rds up the mountain that overlooks Vienna. We brought some drinks, some music and a ball to wack about. It turned out to be extremely cold once up there but we made the best of it, as with good company always comes good vibes.






 


That night was a bit less shed like and a bit more messy drunk-extremely sober. Sadly we were the extremely sober ones... We headed to another DJ event to have some drinks and meet some friends and from there went to Pasage, one of the more 'boujee' clubs in Vienna. Maybe we weren't drunk enough but my gosh was it far from 'boujee'. More like messy drunk 17 year olds falling about the place to semi decent music. Kelsie wasn't impressed and to be honest neither was I. We tried to make the best of an awkward situation, especially as we had paid entry but after an hour or so, we left.
As we had left so late to head out we ended up getting in around 5am. Kelsie was leaving the next day and we hadn't organised her transport back to Bratislava, while Kelsie slept the little she could before the exhausting trek back home, I sat up trying to find a coach or train that wasn't completely booked up, back to Bratislava. Turns out none of the available trains would get her there on time for her flight, as so the only option was the 8am bus from the Hauptbahnhof. She managed to get an hour or two sleep and by 7:10am we were running for trains to reach the correct bus stop.

It all happened so fast and before I knew it, we were waving goodbye.

Thank you for making the effort to come and visit me Keke, it really meant a lot. <3



Peace&Love,
Willow

4 Apr 2018

The Vienna Diaries~ Cassie Visits

Capres Willow
A day with Cassie.

I saw this beauty standing in the distance, in blackish jeans and a cute coat, cordry was it? She was waiting by Praterstern station tram stop and looking out into the distance. Vienna. Only thing missing was a pretty setting rather than Praters concreate view. I crept up behind her as I do all those I approach from behind (without sounding creepy haha) and gave her a huge hug. Cassie jumped a little and we both began laughing, I knew our wonderful day had begun.



I went to school with Cassie for 5 and a bit years... ages 11 till 16, untill I dropped out of Sixth Form. We caught the train to and from school everyday together (along with some other wonderful people) for around 4 of those years in which we build a more solid friendship than we had probably anticipated at the time. 



Who knew we would end up sat at Aida in Stephansplatz, Vienna smoking a cigarette and sipping on a Wiener Melange. 



We began the day doing all the cool touristy things. That included walking in and around the 1st district, Stephansplatz and so on, taking a trip to Schönbrunn Palace, strolling through Meidling Shopping Centre (not much to see at all, but sometimes that's nice) and rounding up the day with Hunterwasser's Apartment design. 










The day was fruitfull as we rekindled a spark in our friendship that was longing to be ignited. I heard about her new found love and she sympathised with my usual dramas. I had a great day and it was filled purely with laughter and shitty tour guide skills.

Thank you for visiting me, beautiful lady. May all your dreams come true.
See you in Japan <3



Peace & Love,
Willow

29 Mar 2018

Dr Organic Activated Charcoal Face Mask Review

Capres Willow








I came across this product after intending to buy the Activated Charcoal face scrub before I moved to Vienna. I was worried it may be a hard product to find and it had really helped cleanse and clear my skin over the past few months. I ended up purchasing the face mask rather than the 125ml face scrub from Holland and Barret for £6.99 whilst rushing around making last minute purchases in the days leading up to my move.
When in Vienna and ready to scrub the sh*t out of my nose pores, I realised that the texture was much smoother and less invasive to the skin. I checked the bottle to see if anything was different and there it was. Bioactive Skincare Activated Charcoal Pore Cleansing Face Mask. Face Mask. darn.

I was apprehensive to use it as a face mask as I understand these products all have different strengths and having sensitive skin means that slapping any old mask on can easily result in a break out. This is why I tend to go for organic products that have as many natural ingredients as possible. This, along with some level of trust to the brand has resulted in my skin blossoming over the past 4/5 months.


The mask is very light and the bottle is still rather full since I bought it 2 months ago. I spread a thin layer over my face or just on the problem areas and allow around 15 minutes for the magic to happen.



I have no strict regeme of when I use the mask, however it tends to be on average every 4 days. I also have the Manuka Honey Face Mask from the same brand, Dr Organic, which I use less frequently than I did before as it's results on my skin are different (whilst still positive) to that of the Charcoal product.


Dry on Skin


After washing the mask off I feel that my skin is more cleansed than anything.

Remember to use a clean towel to dry your skin!

 Within 30 minutes of taking off the mask I notice that any pimples that were there before have gone down dramatically and of course without scarring (ensuring there was no prodding at them before hand). I believe this is due to the supposed 'purifying' and 'oil controling' results promoted on the bottle. 
Fresh Face

My face is left feeling fresh and clear with a slightly perfumed aroma. My skin is soft and I am smiling ;).

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments.


Peace & Love,
Willow

27 Mar 2018

The Vienna Diaries~ The Chocolate Museum

Capres Willow






One of my best friends in Vienna, Iyana is from Alabama. She is a glowy, bubbly person with a heart of gold. I had never met such a thoughtful and caring soul... and she had midterms! In the UK at least, midterms don't really seem to exist. Maybe it's the schooling I've come into contact with which has meant I'm lucky and escaped the dreaded midterm exams. Iyana, being from the USA has had to deal with this shit all her life. I wanted to treat her to something really lovely that would help her distress and what better than chocolate...


The first week I met Iyana, she had mentioned a chocolate museum in Vienna that she had wanted to visit and myself being a lover of chocolate (or just food in general) thought it was a great idea. The conversation faded and a month and a bit on I told her to get dressed as we were going out... well, it didn't happen quite like that but Iyana still had no idea what was going on (she claims hahaha). We caught the S-Bahn to Praterstern, only a 3/4 minute ride from our student accommodation and then walked in the brisk wind to Prater, where the museum was located.


All made of chocolate! 

















Even though the chocolate museum felt like an outdated chocolate wonderland that probably had it's high time in 1980's  Iyana and I still had such a lovely time and it felt good knowing I have this wonderful lady in my life... I appreciate you girl! Here for you anytime, anywhere <3

Peace & Love,
Willow


12 Mar 2018

Morocco, The Journey to the Desert

Capres Willow







So my brave, exciting adventure had begun.

Based upon extracts from my travel diary

I was on a CTM bus in Morocco, travelling at what felt like 60mph through little towns hitched up upon the Atlas mountains. The journey began calm and quite gentle but somehow ended up meandering through the whitest snowy mountain tops, high enough to make my ears pop. It was extremely bumpy and this poor girl I'd made friends with called Khadija was throwing her guts up as she suffered from travel sickness. I had felt so so bad for her as she had started being sick like 2 hours into the journey and we still had another 8 hours to go. This bus wasn't a joke either. The bumps and turns were enough to throw you out of your seat! I gave Khadija some of my baby wipes to clean up a little and eventually after around 3/4 hours of driving the bus came to a halt in a cute town. I asked Khadija if this was a rest stop as I had no idea what the driver had said (in French and Arabic very quickly) and she answered yes, so we both got up and made our way off the bus to get some air and stretch our legs. Surprisingly the drive so far hadn't been a complete drag but rather quite enjoyable. I'd seen so many different terrains and rock formations- not that anyone cares- but I can't help compare them to what I see in the UK. I mean I can't compare them, this is Africa!

At the stop off there was a lot of people chilling out and I guess loitering around in the hot sun. Khadija showed me to the toilets and we paid 1DH to use them. After, she wanted to get some food  so she ordered while I sat politely waiting for her. Not long later, her food arrived; chicken kebab skewers, bread, salad and chips. She insisted I ate and of course I struggle to say no when there is food involved- plus it would seem rude! The chicken itself tasted extremely fresh and I could tell it had been killed quite recently. I felt quite privileged to be eating such fresh meat considering the struggle I would go to in order to find the same organic quality in London. Whilst we shared the plate and chatted, I thought about how I had basically made my first ?friend? in Morocco and this country wasn't so bad and scary like it had been made out to me.The food was tasty and the company was good although I couldn't help but think about my new friend who had been throwing up not so long ago into a plastic bag and now here I was sat sharing a plate of food with her eating with our hands. When in Rome ay.

Having been back on the bus and now on the road for the past 6 or 7 hours, the landscape had changed dramatically. The snowy mountainous region was no more and we were left with dry barren sandscapes. The desert was upon us.

I felt at this moment like the trip was really going to be something special. I was so nervous on the journey from London but there was no need. Everyone was so smiley and friendly and I felt so safe. I even left my phone on the bus unattended (and against my better judgement) and it was completely fine. I had nothing to worry about. My only concern was night was falling and I had heard stories from my parents, aunts and uncles about how the night time in Africa is pitch black due to there being no light pollution. I've never really been good with the dark but it seemed like a personal challenge that I soon found out I was not ready to overcome...


Peace&Love,
Willow

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