o u a r z a z a t e

[ 21:03 thursday 4 october – overnight bus ouzazate to tangier, morocco ]

andrew, cristina and i have just boarded this long-distance bus at ouzazate in the far south of morocco. i’ll be in this seat, hopefully with occasional remission, for the next fourteen hours. it’s not likely to be pleasant.

my preference would have been to take a taxi collectif to marrakech (three hours, crossing the high atlas mountains), then a train from there to casablanca (another three hours) and finally the sleeper train to tangier (i don’t how long this takes). that would offer much more chance of arriving in tangier fresh and relaxed rather than crumbling zombie-like out of this bus in fourteen hours’ time. i love sleeper trains anyway. however we wanted to spend a night in the fringes of the sahara desert and the only way we could fit this in was by taking the overnight bus back north. our moment in the desert was magical so i don’t begrudge the coming ordeal in the least.

the coach’s cabin lights were extinguished shortly after departure and the reading lights don’t work so i have to hold my diary right under my nose so i can see to write. meanwhile the coach is lurching around as we start the climb into the mountains. it’s not the easiest environment for writing but the effort is quite entertaining. andrew and cristina are in the row in front of me. niko and pau (new friends with whom we journeyed to the desert) are in the row to my right. a few minutes ago niko held the ink bottle so i could refill my pen, quite a perilous undertaking.

my smartphone continued its decline to the point where i can’t even use it as an address book now. the wretched thing lost two wanderer messages in successive system freezes, obliterating my accounts of madrid and marrakech. hence i’m writing this despatch by pen in my diary, a more trustworthy technology.

: c :

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