Archive for April, 2010

Cirque Des Fées Episode 10: The Boarder Run

Before I begin today’s spiffing wee Episode, my dears, let me first apologise for the lack of appropriate pictorials. It was rather unfortunate that in our unlimited kindness we loaned the camera to two slightly odd winged folk (Felicity & Muddlehead indeed!) and on it’s return Oliver and I were greatly perturbed to discover half the Sahara wedged in the lens. When I complained the greenish clad one was extremely uncouth… he turned and lowered his britches before vanishing in a puff of smoke. I was quite, quite shocked, I can tell you. The authorities have informed us we will be camera-less until we find the correct specialist in Barcelona, some many miles distant.

Your dear Aunt in the Sahara, my darlings

Nether-the-less we have been having an unsurpassably good time. The first official visitor to venture this way upon our gallant trip abroad was the honourable Mr Ralf Gey. Perhaps you’ve met? He is a right brick indeed! An octogenarian at present, the good old chap was in his late 70’s when we came across each other, himself just having taken up the positively frightful hobby of breakdancing. A ruffian’s occupation I do say. But it turned out the old codger was rather good. Of course you’ll keep that to yourself? I wouldn’t want there to be any smear on Mr Gey’s impeccable reputation. In any case Mr Gey arrived in our part of the globe in time to help with a difficult contemplation. Should we stay or should we depart? Our visa was to expire requiring us to return to the European mainland. Simple enough without accounting for weather. Spain at 17 degrees was worthy of distain. Mr Gey helped tally our 2 pence:

Morocco – Jolly Positive:
Sweltering Sunlight
Charming Scenery
Quaint Local Customs
A glorious amount of Sand

Morocco – A Tad Rum:
Inhabitants of low moral character – thieves, hustlers and vagabonds
Mid-night yodelling of a foreign religious nature (awakening one each night at 4am)
Basic commodities like fresh drinking water and nose powder vastly over priced
Leering local men with a fondness for ‘female circumcision’, What?
An abhorrent amount of Sand

The venerable Ralf Gey with one of the most charming Moroccan inhabitants I’ve been fortunate enough to meet – though he did try to bite!

Our dear friend Ralf, being a professor of mathematics, was able to point out what ought to have been apparent. “ Four in favour, five against, Kid”. Whatever would we do without him? There was nothing for it, after dropping the right honourable Mr Gey back at the Aerodrome, we began our next adventure. Mr Gey being my elected Chancellor of Vice ( myself Supreme World Empiress of course) I could only follow his parting words of advice “Sun outweighs the lot, Kid”. A visa run was called for – 700 treacherous miles fraught with danger, from slum ridden Marrakech to the loose morals and harlotry of the Spanish coast. All to retrieve a new stampette and return, so darling Oliver and I could partake of those golden rays.
Our first entanglement arose as we departed from a desperate city named Fez. Twas 40 miles hence when the road disappeared beneath bulldozers and a rusty canary coloured digging contraption. The roadway had been swept out by the torrential flood of some weeks past and still had not been reconstructed. We returned to Fez and again tested our luck on different roads three more times… but alas the floods had made each and every one impassable. My Oliver was foaming at the lip, his face beginning to boil with rage. “Buck up old chum” I said. “We’ll just have to drive 120 miles in the wrong direction, then we can take the Motorway directly to Tangier and the awaiting sailing vessels!” Tally-ho my darlings. 120 extra miles South West, not a spot of bother for an Englishmen abroad. We come from good fighting stock, you know. Adventure is in the blood.

Local geographical features and whatnot, my darlings

It was a ghastly time in the evening when we finally made it to the port of Tangier, through the subsequent X-Ray machines, and rows of jolly dull hatless bobbies. The motorvan was lined up nicely for the ramp on the ship when the inspector (a heathen man) pointed out we were missing a departure stamp. The bobbies had been useless as well at hatless! “I say – what?” queried Oliver, “ Blast and Damnation! And what time does the old girl leave port?”
“10 minutes hence” replied the rather seedy inspector.
So with a roaring that sent fumes of rubber into the still evening air I tore back through 5 terminals in the motorvan, skidding to a stop, while Oliver leapt out the side door faster than a pack of hounds. Even so the second hands seemed too fast in their daily progress as many minutes wizzed by before my handsome husband returned and panted “Don’t spare the horses, back to the terminal!” As I was saying we don’t have horses, but instead one of those new fangled automotors and I depressed the accelerator to the floor. After skirting several railway carriages we could see our target, she was still in port though the crew withdrawing her moorings.
“I’m sorry lass, she’s full to the brim now” the inspector grinned through his broken teeth.
“But we must make haste to Spain on this vessel!” I cried.
“Perhaps if you cross my palm with silver… 200 Durhams at least” said the Mongrel.
Oliver rummaged in his pockets producing two Dirhams, the equivalent of sixpence.
“Keep it”, the inspector snarled and motioned us forward. There were only 3 other automobiles on the rusty tub, and it could easily take 200! These African heathens and their backsheesh!

The Moroccan version of motorvans, a rather mishappen bunch of coots

Our troubles it seemed were not over, for the next morning, gallivanting about the Spanish port town of Algeciras a violent crashing sound brought me sharply from my reverie. It was my birthday and dreams of sugared plums and spotted dick had been dancing in my head. I awoke to find three angry looking Spaniards and a Policeman. Oliver had crunched the rear of our beloved motorvan into a rather less substantial auto. While we had lost our tail light coverings (I’ll silicon stick it together again later my darlings) the other vehicle was scratched and dented all down one side, with some mirrored pieces ripped off! Oh Oliver! What have you done? Twas a good thing I hadn’t seen the bill yet, as my birthday would already be without cake and custard. It turns out of course that venturing into Morocco invalidates our van insurance (What claptrap is this, surely European cover is European cover?) and we are now indebted to the crazy Spaniards the unwholesome sum of 845 Euros! Time to cut our losses and head back to the Sahara, I believe.
Gun the Engine Old Boy….. Tallyhoooooo!

And toodle pip to you lot, I’ll write again soon.

Much Much Love
Aunt Deirdre
English Explorer
Of the Heathen Lands

Oliver with his new friend – Jimi Hendrix, a well known resident