A Travellerspoint blog

Central Seafood;

In the Medina; Morroco

sunny 30 °C

Theres one place in London where the sun is always shining; above the clouds.

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The cold, damp and depressing Gatwick Airport sitting many thousands of metres below me quickly faded from my mind as I opened the lonely planet guide to Morocco and began to rummage through the pages working out what my plans were going to be when I hopped off the plane in this Arabic / African country on the other side of the world.

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My plans were all thrown out the window when upon leaving the airport; Catherine ( a british girl ) and I shared a taxi to Marrakesh's central medina; "Djemaa el-Fina and she convinced le to spend the night in Marrakesh and enjoy the souqs, snakes and cullinary delights.

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I had my first real Morrocan experience 10 minutes after leaving the airport, when in the heat of an argument over which taxi was going to fit my surfboard and how much it was going to cost, my wallet and sunglasses were all pinched loosing around 400 Dh; $60 (AUS) which was a chap way to learn an important Marrakeshi lesson; watch your stuff.

Hotel CTM was our accomodation of choice qnd for 80 Dh; $11 (AUS) a night we werne't expecting much. The appeal however was not the so called shower or extreme luxury item of a flushing toilet. But the location; with a rooftop balcony over-looking the Djema el-Fina with it's hundreds of food stalls selling seafood, salads, kebabs and cous cous.

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Bongo players, snake charmers, story tellers and fortune tellers it truley is a world of it's own.

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The calamari, tomato salad, olives, bread and dips was my pick washed down with a glass of mint tea will set you back around 30 Dh or $4 (AUS).

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The fashionably poured mint tea is Lorroco's answer to Starbucks and serves as a great way to soak up the heat and laze away the afternoon.

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When you come to Morocco, expect to be hassled, because you will be. For anything from the price of a taxi to a freshly squeezed orange juice, the vibe is fast paced and all about the business. With the sun setting over the medina and the smells of seafood all around I was stoked to be in an arabic country on the other side of the world in th ecolourful and buzzing city that is Marrakesh.

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That night we chilled on our hotel roof terrace soaking in the moment and the craziness of the past 7 hours; whilst staring out on to the lit up food stalls filling up the Medina.

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Garrett in Marrakesh; Morocco.

Posted by clancy_of_ 04:04 Archived in Morocco Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Walkabout Tavern;

Aussie/Kiwi Sanctuary; London

semi-overcast 7 °C

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The Walkabout Tavern is a place where Aussies and Kiwis can come together to enjoy some of the finer things life has to offer;
like pints of Fosters, cricket, rugby and a general aptitude for drinking.

By the time Matt and I had made it there the other NZers were already hard into it; which came as a bit of a surprise seeing it was only the 3rd over and 1:30 in the afternoon. Fosters is on tap everywhere here and I have a hard time trying to explain to Londoners that in Australia people just don't drink it, but here it's cheap and emphasises the point that your Australian, so you do.

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Snakebite; 'snakie' a new drink I was introduced to; is a mixture of cider, lager and grenadine and is harsh, very very very harsh.

NZ destroyed the poms and the afternoon of drinking began to develop into a night of drinking. After leaving the Walkabout we caught the Double Decker Bus home; the novelty of which has yet to wear off. Stopping for a traditional Londoner's meal; chicken kebab. £4 sets you up with a huge kebab served subway style with your own choice of fillings and gets you ready for the night ahead.

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There's only one thing I hate about going out in London, its usually about a 15 minute walk to the club your going out to, and at any time after 6:00pm the outside air temperature could be as low as 3 degrees. Easily solved by wearing a nice big jacket, however once your in the club jammed in the middle of a dancing mosh of 500 people, a nice big jacket is not exactly what you want. Solved again by a cloak check-in room costing a further £1 and involves a 15 minute wait in line.

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On this particular friday night; Fosters were selling at £1 so we managed to set up a pretty good collection of labels at our table;

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Danced the night away until 5am when it was time to make the long COLD walk home; with a quick stop over at the pizza place across the road; where you meet crazy eastern europeans and two guys from Margaret River, it's a crazy place the UK.

When you wake up in London with a hangover and your really desperate for that greasy McDonalds/Hungry Jacks fix; then be prepared;
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....are you man enough to pay $13 for a regular whopper meal?..
Remember, when coming to London, bring money and lots of it.

Garrett in London.

Posted by clancy_of_ 00:15 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Starbucks; The Religion;

and Money Draining London;

sunny 14 °C

The weather is still really good for London with sunny skies and again around 17 degrees; but the money side of things is killing me. So much so that it really isn't worth going out here because you end up spending at least 40 quid; around $100. Where as in a week I will be in Morocco paying $10 a night for accomodation and food for $3 and it will be warm with good surf haha....

I'm currently at Picadilly Circus and just doing the touristy things; by riding the buses, checking out Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

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Went into a Quicksilver surf store today and met a dude from Gisborn in New Zealand who is working in London to save some cash; over the past few days I've begun to crave the ocean and a surf and it was sweet to finally talk to someone who was feeling the same way. Tommorow night he and I are heading to a kiwi/aussie pub which should be sweet fun. Surf gear here is a joke; with boards costing £375 around about $950..Quicksilver shirts around £40 = $100.

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Starbucks in the U.K. is a religion; theres one on every corner and then another one between the corners; the coffee's pretty good and the atmosphere reminds me a lot of Dome and expect to pay around $6 for a flat white.

I finally managed to find something free to do in London; I went to the national art gallery and saw some works by Picasso and Van Gogh which was interesting. The atmosphere outside the gallery was amazing with the sun shining across the thousands of people scattered along the gallery steps.

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I headed down to the London Eye where from the bridge there is also an awesome view of the Thames and Big Ben;

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There were lots of buskers along the banks of the river and even a couple of 'PUNK LONDON ACID TRIPPERS' who were keen to play my digeridoo. One of the girls could actually play really well and when I asked her where she learnt she replied;
'I was in Amsterdam and was on a massive acid trip and my friend had one there so I just started playing for like 5 hours.' After that i cleaned the didgeridoo, very very very very very thoroughly before playing it again; but they gave me a sweet photo;

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The polic presence in London is huge; with policeman on every corner. In front of the Big Ben security was even tighter with most of the police yielding a gun or two, just in case one of the fanatical tourists decides to take one to many photos.

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One thing you notice walking around London is jsut how many people have 4WD's as big as an F250 Ford; and they all look as though the closest they have ever come to 4WD is accidently hitting a curb in the tight London streets; like this one jsut outside Piccadilly Circus;

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After heading back to the Quicksilver store I had to head back to the train station at London Waterloo which was back past the London Eye; there were still a few buskers around and I had my didgeridoo with me so I decided I'd give busking a shot; and sat by the Thames with my aussie flag folded out on the pavement and jammed on the didg for around half an hour; I had a lot of curious people and a group of french girls on holiday gave me a few euros for when I get to France; haha. I ended up making about £5 in half an hour which is around $11 so I was stoked; it paid for my train ticket home but before I headed off I had a jam with 2 guys from amsterdam on acoustic guitars and one guy from London on an electric;

On the whole it's a crazy city with crazy people; and you definatley need a lot of money to live here; I had a sweet third day and am amped to head out tommorow night;
Garrett in London.

Posted by clancy_of_ 03:23 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Overwhelming;

Is the word that best describes the past two days; LONDON.

sunny 16 °C

Two days ago I was sitting on a Fremantle beach looking at my last Australian sunset; deeply wondering what had pushed me to want leave the easiness of Australia with its 30 degree days, blue beaches, consistent surf and friends and family.

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For a city on the otherside of the world in a country i knew no one and a climate that every time it gets over 13 degrees at this time of the year everyone is beaming and sits outside soaking up the scattered sun rays.

The trip was long; with the QANTAS food making me feel like I'd just eating something cooked 4 years earlier. 2 hours in Singapore and some cheap sushi with a girl from the UK on her way to Cairns from Cambodia and I was beggining to realise just how many people you meet travelling alone.

The thing about Singapore is that no matter what the temperature, it is ALWAYS humid, very very very humid. Lucky however they have built a tropical waterfall in the very centre of the airport.

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In an attempt to combat the humidity I headed to the Airport bar on the roof of the airport and in the overwhelming heat had a middy of Tiger and sat with two french girls who were returning home after several weeks on the Gold Coast. After my 2 hour Asiatic experience I boarded my 12 hour flight to Paris.

After being in darkness for over 15 hours you get a real sense of relief when you finally see the sunrise; and luckily for me when I arrived at the Paris airport raced from terminal to terminal in an attempt to not miss my flight I saw this sunrise over the Parisian Airport.

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After flying for over 24 hours, sleeping for 2 hours, eating airline food and making it to the otherside of the world. The last thing you want to hear is;
'I am sorry sir, but your baggage has been left in Paris, but it will be sent to London on the next flight and delivered to your address this evening.' But I did; so I decided to hop on the Underground and make my way to Picadilly Circus to try on some £200 clothing, drink the famous Starbuck's; 'Spicy Chai Tea Latte with Vanilla' and yes ride on a double decker bus;

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I was told to expect to see a lot of people with money in London; and I wasn't dissapointed. The number of BMW 4wd's for a city that barely even has a hill is incredibly; and some Kensington apartements at a lovely £1,250 a week. One thing that left me shocked and broke was London public transport with my first day of buses and trains leavin me $50 poorer.

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All in all the weather has been great since I've been here; blue skies and a supposedly warm 16 degrees. I'm still waiting on my luggage a day later and hopefully it arrives so I can get a change of clothes and see how badly damaged my surfbaord is.

Garrett in London.

Posted by clancy_of_ 22:34 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

5 Days of Margarets...

Margaret River/Dunsborough

sunny 34 °C
View My Gap Years :) on clancy_of_'s travel map.

The trip was falling apart; the other half of the travel group had bailed with only 2 weeks to go and all I could think about was getting to a mates house so we could drive to Fremantle and drink away the stress of the previous few days. The night unfolded as per usual with the $2 middies of Carlton Draught going down a treat. And as the night drew to an end a;
French speaking; Canadian; 22 Year Old; Murdoch University Student appeared at the bar in front of me, and we started talking....

The next morning we were driving towards Margaret River; the small surfing community on Western Australia's south coast. The spontaneity of it all had us both excited as we had no idea of where we were heading that night. With the surfboards; double matress; cooking gear; 2 bottles of Vasse Felix Classic Dry White; pasta and some special cigarettes anything was possible.

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Theres nothing better than leaving Australia on a good note; and castle rock and bombie rock beaches made sure of that;
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Susan even took the plunge;
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The thought of doing a trip like this with someone I had met only 10 hours earlier seemed strange. However this feeling was far outweighed by the excitement that came with it. The beach was surreal, with no wind that water lay glassy and the moon's brightness emphasised. Dinner was pasta with fresh tomato and capsicum [i](green pepper)[i] with the unwaxed surfboard used as a chopping board and cooked over a beach fire; all would have been perfect had I not undercooked the pasta severly making it taste like absolute shit and causing us to only be able to eat half of it; throwing the rest in the bushes. Thank god for Cheese Supreme Doritos.

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3 days later and the trip was developing into somewhat of an adventure for Susan and I;South_Australia_076.jpg

We travelled from beach to beach; surfing, sleeping out of the car and enjoying some food over an open fire; and even scored Margies smoking one morning;
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On the third night we stayed at a french mate's house in Margaret River; the beach house just outside of town housed 2 Brazillians, a Canadian, a French couple and a German who spoke fluent french, english, spanish, german and portugeuse.All of whom were both avid travellers and surfers. With the kangaroo cooking on the bbq and the sun setting; I couldn't believe that it had taken 4 crazy days with and amazing Canadian to make me appreciate how lucky we are as Australians.

5 days gone and Susan heads back to her studies; I start to pack and in 1 week from today I will be on my plane to London and then off to Morocco;
to start my real adventure....

Posted by clancy_of_ 08:58 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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