Trans Morocco ‘The Next Days’

Categorised as TRAVEL.

Two great mates of mine just set off on a trip which is sure to be awesome.  Jake Tilbury and Euan Storrar are a pair of carpenters from Surrey.  Both of them seem to have a real passion for travel and carpentry as well as living life as eco friendly as possible.  They recently left on a camper van trip with a VERY loose plan, a VW camper, 2 mountain bikes and 2 surfboards.  All they know is that they want to start in Ireland and finish up in Morocco. If i know the guys as well as i think i do i can guarantee they will get up to some really crazy and interesting stuff,  As well as meeting some far out characters along their trip.  Jake’s going to be sending us loads of updates when and where they can throughout their trip as-well as some photos from the trip.  Its sure to be one to keep an eye on!  Ill let him introduce their trip…..

Where to begin….. Lets start with why travel? Well I think it comes down to the same reason for most people, freedom, escape from routine and a chance to “live” your life and not let work and the system live it for you . I wont let this turn into a load of Hippy babal but im sure everyone can agree that the idea of taking off the suit, putting down the tools , turning off the computer and going on one BIG holiday doesn’t  sound appealing. People travel in many different ways and in search of many different things, I tend to try and take the old school route and get back to nature and really feel the roots of all the places I visit Living simple is a very satisfying and eye opening thing to do. It helps you understand what is important and what really is a bunch of bullshit. Like Bob Dylan said “when you got nothing you got nothing to loose” (except this trip where we seem to have a shit load to loose…get to that later) I don’t know where this is going ….. Put it this way , traveling is sick ! Lets all fucking go traveling! One thing I do say is treat everything with respect. Every person you meet , every bit of ground you step on, every ocean you swim in , treat with respect. There is too many twats in this world to be one yourself. So for this trip I got a van , a VW T25 high top called “Wedgley” or “Wedge” for short. I’ve had it for 6 months or so and its rad. So me and my mate Euan are setting off…planning was non existent really apart from we knew we wanted to go to Ireland and finish in Morocco. We loaded the van up with our bikes and a couple of surfboards to explore different terrain and shred up the European coast, 5 gallons of home brewed cider and 5 of perry that me and Euan made last year so there plenty of happy juice and good trade for food and showers. Me and Euan are both carpenters so we got some tools to maybe earn abit of petrol wonga on the way. We got a light weight tent for hiking and a shit load of books for chilling. ( a lot to lose) . Im sure we are going to see and do some crazy stuff and meet and talk with some crazy people ( we seem to attract them), but all in all hopefully a good adventure is a head.

First day….

Well i’m writing this from the port in Holyhead at 5.30am on Friday morning. Our ferry to Ireland was at 2.30am….obviously we missed it….I will get to that stupid mistake later. So first up we left Euan’s place at around 11 Thursday morning in high sprits as the sun was shinning and I had made a banging playlist for the journey. We kicked off with on the road again by Canned Heat , a personal favorite of ours. All was well. We had just got out of Dorking when we saw a hitchhiker . We swung in and picked him up. The dude was called Zack and he was sporting a Slipknot t-shirt, huge boots with flames up the side and some gnarly big black studded trousers… you can make your own judgment on that. He didn’t really know where he was heading so we settled on giving him a lift to Bristol , he was an …. Interesting character. All started off well  until I said it was alright for him to play his MP3 though the stereo….Error number 1. Never let anyone with that description take control of the stereo. We were now in for a solid two hours of him constantly skipping though a mass of heavy metal and Allanas Morriset. That’s enough to grind any an one down. On the way we told him to help himself to the cider…. He got stuck straight in.. as the booze flowed so did the mind destroying music. He played us his band called ‘Dr Steel’ and went on to tell us how he was Dr Steel and would shave his head bald and dress up as a Professor with the band members as robots….again you can make your own judgment on that. The band was surprisingly good/interesting a kind of gypsy metal opera with him “Dr Steel” on accordion and bellowing vocals. Time was dragging on and we went out of our way to drop him off in bath, by that time he was pretty smashed. We left him with a couple of bottles of home brew and set off . We were getting no where fast. A quick stop in Gloster for rice and beans then onwards…. Fuck knows how we managed to do it but we go to the port in Holyhead at 10. A good 11 hours after we set off…..Not bad for a 5 hour drive. Once there we booked a stupidly overpriced ferry for 2.30 in the morning and sat in the van and played chess. We came to the conclusion that we could fit in abit of sleep and if we where to over sleep someone would wake us up as there was a Que of cars behind us. Euan woke me up at 4 with the delightful news that everyone had gone and we had missed the the ferry . The bastards had driven straight round us . So that was one royal balls up indeed. Error number 2. Never sleep in the Que to get aboard a ferry.We meet one other dude who had done the same thing.. A nice Irish fellow .. We sat and made some tea and he told us about a festival near Dublin this weekend. So that is our next destination a small town called Leixlip. As far as first days go it could of gone better but fuck it we are in no  rush, and a quick message to all the passengers on the 2.30am ferry from Holyhead to Dublin . Fuck you.


The next few days…
So we got off the boat in Dublin and wanted to get the hell out of there straight away. It was a big city that from first impressions reminded me of London… we weren’t ready for that right now….So we stuck to plan and headed to Leixslip .. A place we knew nothing about. After a lot of traffic and an hour later we found the place.. A small town nice looking town with one street of shops and pubs and a river running though it .. There was bunting hanging everywhere to show the beginnings of the “festival”..(Euan takes over…..i’m gonna eat some breakfast). Yes bunting! There was bunting everywhere but no real signs of much action, so we just pottered around, checked out the river and bought a few supplies. We were both a little unsure of what this place was really all about and whether we actually wanted to stay there because on first impression it was a sparsely populated town, teeming with young skallies (knackers as the Irish call them) and we were pining for freedom and adventure, wide open spaces and Irish wilderness, rather than polluted rivers, litter and troubled teens. (Euan got a good five lines in) So for a brief moment we where on the road straight out of Leixslip before we pulled over and we both realized we didn’t have a clue what we were doing here or where we were going or what we where going to do. The van swung round and we were back in Leixslip. We parked up in some suburb road and noticed flocks of  girls that all seemed to have fair size racks on them…this is not a perverted statement this is an honest observation.  We got stuck into the home brew and we were soon in a merry mood, laughter and jokes. We decided to go on a bike ride that ended in us buying too much supplies to carry and me dropping half of it in the middle of a busy road while Euan was too unstable to stop flew down the hill in front. We re-parked the van a a spot nearer to town and started on the home brew again. A local 15 year old drunk kid called Alan walked past the van a stopped with a mighty curious look on his face and started chatting to us…

The story of our situation and how we ended up in his village amazed him and he climbed aboard the van … ( we couldn’t really stop him he kinda let himself in)…  Turned out Alan was an awesome guy and was a real good help to explaining where we were and about locals . He made it apparent that English people weren’t on the top of the locals Christmas card list by any means and we should try to stay out of trouble. (back to Euan i’m making coffee). This is all so confusing, I don’t even know where we are. After last night the cider’s half gone and my memory is in much the same condition but I’ll try to piece together the story. I think after meeting Alan and Alan (yes there’s another Alan, Alan’s friend Alan but anyway I won’t go into any more detail about the Alan’s except Alan 1 bought us a bag of really nice food from his Ma and charged Jakes phone which was very cool. I hate phones!) we got refused entry to the main event in town on account of my appearance and so went back to the van for our first kip down in Leixlip.  Alright I’ll make this next bit brief. Basically the whole town of Leixlip somehow knew who we were, where we came from and that we were staying in a red van, news obviously travels fast because we had become some sort of overnight sensation, branded with the very un-endearing title of ‘THE STONERS’! We explained to nearly everyone that we had no weed for sale and we didn’t even get stoned but there was no way their minds could be changed now. We were stoners and that was it! Anyway we met some Irish girls who were very friendly to us and mother you’ll be proud, we forbade them to drink our cider and we made sure they were home by midnight. They were great girls, we had a super stay in Leixlip, nobody can understand why we went there, not even ourselves but hey, we met many great people and we give you all our kindest regards. Dublin: We went to Dublin on the bus the next day to meet a friend I made in New Zealand. It rained, we went to a couple of pubs, it was a real cultural experience! The end
….At the moment we are on a organic farm with kittens, dogs and shit load of hens and a load of nice people.. But I’ll tell you about that and Dublin and other stuff soon… this last 40 mins has been too much computer for the both of us.

Peace.

Saturday 10th June 2010.

The next amount of time up untill now….

Saturday 19th June 2010

WELL a lot has happened since the last post .. So much for me to even remember…but I will try my best…it may be brief as there are some pretty nice waves breaking behind me but this is my chance to use the web of inter.

So… to follow up on Euans brief description of Dublin… We got the bus in from Leixslip and the plan was to meet a friend of his that he met whilst hitching in New Zealand. We had a good few hours to spare I think, Maybe 5 I dunno, before we plan to meet her. So we wondered around for a bit and all seemed like your standard city nothing to special really… it started to rain a shizt load so we bolted to the nearest pub where we were greeted by a handful of old Irish dudes watching the races. We decided to settle down for a Guinness and let the rain cool off… a while later after the taste of beer was in our mouth we found our self the other side of town getting stuck into a heavy session in a cool bar with aload of drunks…this bar had nothing in it apart the booze, No music, no t.v, no pool, Just booze and and two types of floor. One side was carpet the other tiles and strangely enough the beer was cheaper on the tiled side even though it was from the same straight bar. The atmosphere was great and made me realise something that lacks horrendously in English pubs.. Socialising with strangers.Everyone talked to everyone and that was that, it felt natural and completely comfortable and not once did I have to say I was going to the bar to buy some crisps just to get out of a conversation. By the time we left it felt like we were locals and some guy even shock my hand to leave and in his palm was a small lump of what he said was “potent hash” . So all in all a friendly drunken view of Dublin. By the time we met Euans friend we were pretty smashed and she led us too where she was staying a few miles out of town on this really nice small organic farm. We had a great time here helping replant tomatoes and also infect logs with mushrooms which was a cool and interesting process of drilling a series of holes and banging in small dowels that had been laced with the spores of mushrooms and then sealing the hole with melted hot wax. I would like to thank the people who own this farm for feeding us and letting us use there shower and gave us a bed outside the van.

The next day we head south to begin a quest that my dad had set . This was to find his mum/my grans old house in Waterford about 100 or so miles from Dublin and take a photo of it for him. On the way down “Wedgley” started to lose power and chug out. He did not sound well at all.We pulled into a lay by off the main road and wondered what the fuck to do , as we don’t know anything about fixing cars and don’t have any sort of cover we opted on re-heating dinner from  two nights ago and staring at the pouring rain out side (we also realised we left our only water proof jackets in Dublin) we were up fucksvill. Then a guy pulled into the same lay by as us to use his phone…. He was driving a recovery van!! Luck was on our side… he told us he will tow us to the nearest town where his friend owns a garage and will take a look at it in the morning!! What a champion of the world… so that happened, he towed us in, we took a bike ride into town.Got smashed again in some odd local bar whilst watching desperate house wives on a huge screen and the next morning the van was fixed and we were on the road again for the fee of 60 euros including the tow, things worked out good for us that time! (Euan has just come into the café im in , in his wetsuit and told me he was going in for a surf so im sorry if this get a bit rushed) We got to waterford and got the photo with ease and boomed down to the next stop. The west of cork in a small town called Clonakilty . The scencery around west cork was unreal!! Soo beautiful . Rolling hills and sparse farm land and amazing rock formations all over the place. The town was an awesome little place with colourful cool buildings and a nice vibe .. We stayed there for a night and hit a up a awesome bar that was full of music memorabilia as the bass player from the jimi hendrix experience Noel Redding used to live quite local and loved playing this place.


So there was photos of him with Bowie , Dylan , Mccartney, Ray Charles , Billie Joel and more all over the place and also the bass he used whilst recording hung on the wall.. For me this was tooo sick! We got stuck into more Guinness and over heard about a Traditional Irish music festival near by ,we inquired and we found out the location… sorry to say I cant tell you where this is as once there we were told not to let anyone know as this place as it is a slice of untouched beauty and absolute paradise and the last thing they want is “a bus full of tourist wankers all over the place” . Before we made tracks to the festival we spent a night drinking cider on the beach with a really nice couple we met that told us of some good surf beaks up the coast.

The drive to the festival was unreal up over amazing hill and sketchy paths, the scenery was out of this world. I would never knew a place like this existed so close to home.  There is only one road into this location over a hill/mountain and once over you look out on the most amazing view of land and sea, this small town with one stretch of buildings was beautifully brightly coloured and was surrounded by farm land and the most amazing beach and coast line ever… a very raw looking place. Our time there was a very drunken haze of fishing, bike riding and some of the most amazing traditional Irish music and singing I have ever heard. The festival was set in the only way the Irish know, In 3 pubs, 2 of them where next to each other. Over the weekend the pubs where packed and the Guinness was flowing, And sound of fiddles,flutes and accordions where heard all round . We were in the middle of nowhere at the end of the earth surrounded by hippies and farmers dancing to the sound of Ireland . Everyone was super friendly to us and where amazed that we stumbled upon the place.


Everyone seemed to know of us by the end (even if it was by Euan playing his bag pipes at 1.30 in the morning).  An amazing weekend and a big thank you everyone in secret town for making us welcome and all the good advise about where to visit and what to do and also a super thanks for the drunk/drugged hippy singing with his guitar at our van at 3 in the morning for making me laugh more than ever.

So after this eventful time in Ireland so far, we were drained and we came to the conclusion to get off the drink for a bit and have a detox and do some reading and chilling, And what better place to start than one of the most perfectly positioned Buddhist retreats I have ever seen.. Right on the edge of a cliff looking over the sea with amazing walks led by prey flags to a stream running down into the ocean. This place had a strong sense of peace and calm about it.. We sat in own spaces for a an hour or so and decided to head to our next destination a surf spot further up the coast that someone had recommended. On the way we picked up fresh eggs and we saw a sign for farm made cheese, as we had made a decision not to shop from any main stream supermarkets or stores for this trip and try and buy local produce as much as possible, the idea of some bad boy farm cheese was mega appealing. The signs led us to a house in the middle of nowhere… sadly there was no one in but we had a snoop around.. The place was amazing it had its own wind turbine and electric cars sitting in the drive, free range chickens running around and its own bee hive.. This is the type of place that me and Euan quite respect and enjoy so we decided to make lunch in hope of maybe the return of the owners. We ate the fresh duck eggs we bought from some miles back and waited but there was no sign so we set off. Once down the drive we where passed by the owners heading home so in a scramble to turn round at the bottom the road Euan managed to reverse the van straight into a ditch. We were most defiantly stuck.

I walked up to the house for help and was greeted by a very happy and laughing man who turned out to be English, he towed us out in his tractor and we set back up to his for some cheese.The guy Peter who we cleverly named “ The Cheese Man” was an awesome and very inspiring fellow. We hung out talking with him for a good hour all about eco living and how he makes his cheeses and about this amazing co-op shop he has set up in  his town as a non-profit organization. He was mighty impressed with our cider that we gave him a big jug of and we left in high sprits and with some high quality home made cheese. Our meeting with the cheese man led me and Euan into a long debate on many things about the future of the world and our job to save it .But that’s another story all together.

Other things have happened since then a lot of nice sights and nice people. We are now parked up at Lainch, which I guess is Kinda the Irish version of I say Croyed in north Devon. A small town dedicated to surfing…. I got Euan up at 5.45 this morning to surf some beautifully forming small waves in the morning sun. Euan is brand new to surfing so this was perfect for him. We had a nice sesh sadly the waves didn’t stick around for too long but I got some fresh waves to start the day. The weather has been amazing recently and Ireland has been such a cool place! So forget the planes my friends just get the boat over here for a touch of beauty .

So there you have it probably the most I have written in one go since I have been in school (1986 words I just looked! Mum aren’t you proud?).. Im sure I have missed stuff  and sorry about all the bad spelling and grammar but that’s all your getting for now. Im gonna go back to the ocean.

Until next time.

Peace

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