In the beginning (19th september 2013)
As I step off the plane and my breath takes in the elixir of sunshine and my skin tingles and feels the warmth of its rays feeding my skin and penetrating every cell of my body. It feels so good. My feelings of joy courage and excitement fill my heart. What a cacophony of emotions now running through my blood as my new adventure begins.
Having spent 6 months wondering where I could find a perfect haven to write my book. I’d just been to southern Spain at the beginning of the year and fallen in love with it I was convinced that is where I would end up, at the same time asking the universe to guide me to the perfect place. So many beautiful places I could choose to stay, so many places popped into my consciousness as the endless possibilities opened up to me………….. And here I am in Moulay Idriss – A holy city in between Fez and Meknes – In the middle of the hills and nowhere.
My adventure didn’t however begin in Moulay. It began at the bus station in Birmingham – In the middle of the night waiting for my connection to London Stanstead AIrport. I was not happy, in fact I felt rather ill from the coach ride from Manchester to Birmingham – (I had thought I’d grown out of the travel sickness and as years ago I had managed a coach journey through Europe– though I later saw it had been a much better coach).
My thoughts and feeling of dread of how I was going to live through the next part of the journey were soon forgotten as across the way I saw a foreign lady watching her children run around playfully as if it was the middle of the afternoon. The younger of the 2 looked about 3 and discovered to her delight that she could open and shut the automatic doors just by simply moving towards and away from the doors, and remained entertained for the next half hour of the wait. This brought smiles to our faces and before long I learnt that the lady was returning home to Morocco for a family wedding. We had not even boarded the plane to Fez and I was already invited. This is how friendly the Moroccans are. My own limitations – screamed at me but the other adventurous side was egging me on “why not”? “are you going to get another chance “? I didn’t want to live in regret so it was set that I was going to turn up the following day. It was only a 15 minute ride out of Moulay and I already had a taxi driver in tow.
How could it get any better than that – If I was going to be free I had to be spontaneous and what better opportunity than this.
It was hot and sticky and I had 3 pieces of luggage and had been warned that it may take a donkey to carry my luggage up to Dar Zerhounne the place that was to be my home for the next few months.
AS we drove up the country roads I was absolutely horrified at the prospect of being driven without seat belts. I was told “Its very safe” hmmm I was not so sure but I knew I was protected and looked after by the universe and when in Rome we do as the Roman do. If I was to embrace the culture I suppose stupid or not that what I was going to do.
I saw the holy city as we drove up exactly as I had seen in the pictures and had been warned of the hundreds of steps. My curiosity wandered if anyone had counted all the steps there – probably not though one day who knows. I arrived in a taxi an old blue merc, (these were called grand taxis and the preferred way of transport.) and Roses’ Taxi driver (Rose being the Lady that Owns Dar Zerhoune and my friend ) let me out onto a dusty street, 3 bags in tow – I thought for some silly reason I would be travelling light but 3 months and probably 3 seasons I was not going to risk it. My western culture was embedded I wasn’t prepared to risk me being cold in December with no central heating – I could bear anything but wasn’t sure about that. So here at last my dream was a reality – I don’t know how I manifested it but living proof I was here with the intention of writing my book in peace and no distraction – or so I thought. The stairs were steep and many thankfully helping hand were there for my luggage – and no donkey – part of me was disappointed, that was until I encountered one on the street – just a bit smelly. But if that’s what it was to be I would have gladly had the experience.
The climb was laborious, I was so out of practice, puffing and panting after only about 30, exercise to that level had not featured in my life for a couple of years with accidents and illness but all I could think of was what an amazing way for me to get fit. No more excuses off being too tired or the best one of not having time. I couldn’t function in this place without climbing or descending stairs what a blessing; I also get an exercise package thrown in for free. This was going to be better than I could have imagined.
The house was beautiful decorated in true Moroccan style/ with a few English comforts – I was greeted by Hajiba the house keeper who thankfully could speak some English and was an absolute gem – I was already feeling happy and at home.
My fears of everything this experience was not was left behind back in England, this was going to be something warts and all – I’m not expecting every day to be blissfully sunny but it will all be perfect for me as it unfolds………………………………..