Today was all about Water.
We sat by the pool (water, get the link) most of the day.
Our plan was to take a Taxi down to the Jewish Quarter just after lunch, have a stroll, then end up at the big square for early evening, grab some food and eventually, a Taxi home.”
Well, that was the plan.
In reality, we just couldn’t get ourselves off the Sun beds.
Like giant pieces of fly paper, they clutched us in their sticky embrace, it was too hard to get off.
There was also the Cricket.
As long time readers will know, Jaki & I were witness to England’s humiliation by the Ozzies at the Gabba, a few years ago so the Ashes this year have a special meaning. It gives us a chance to even the score, to get some revenge on Mitchell Johnson for buggering up our Holiday.
So with the score currently at 2:1 the 4th Test at Trent Bridge is not to be missed.
We struggled a little trying to find the commentary.
Radio 5 live seemed to be the obvious choice but it wasn’t available on the Internet (why)?
We found a few Apps that looked promising, but delivered very little and I was on the verge of phoning Steve (my phone a friend moment) who knows everything about sport and technology, a rare combination, when I stumbled on You Tube.
What would we do without You Tube?
There looking out at me from one of the sport options was the smiling face of Geoffrey Boycott and the BBC Commentary team. Never had he looked more handsome, even for a Yorkshireman.
One click and we were in.
But when I looked at the screen (whilst it was streaming) it said. Australia 24/4.
I knew that couldn’t be right. It must be an old clip or some sort of joke? Bloody You Tube!
When the commentary started and they confirmed that it was now 30/5 or some thing similar, it was like winning the lottery.
We sat spell bound for the rest of the morning whilst Stewart Broad took the Aussie batsmen to pieces.
By lunch they were all out and so were we.
Jaki declared (see how clever I am here using a cricketing term) she was exhausted and suggested we go out later. I was more than happy with this as my tummy had started giving me a few spinners and the odd bouncer.
So, by late afternoon (England now well in the lead though Bell and Lythe had both bombed) we had spent the whole day in the sun, with temperatures getting up to 43°, we drank no where near enough water and felt decidedly dodgy. Dehydration had definitely set in, big time.
But, we needed to go do something or it would be a very long night.
We showered and made our way up to I Limoni, a small restaurant 10 minutes walk away, just past the market square where our taxi from the airport had dropped us a life time ago.
The square which looked so alien when we first arrived, looked so familiar and normal now.
The shops were doing good business, the butcher was carving hunks of meat for eager customers and the BBQ smoke where the Kebabs were cooking obscured half the square.
We made our way into the little tiled courtyard of ILemoni and took a seat. The kitchen wasn’t open till seven so we ordered a beer (Casablanca is a local beer) and waited.
The wind seemed to be getting up and it carried a dust which got in our eyes and our glasses.
Before we could react there was a crash of thunder, a bolt of lightening and it started to rain.
This prompted the most bizarre scene.
The staff completely caught off guard by the sudden down pour needed to take everything in doors and quickly. Clearly rain isn’t in the job description so they had no coats or umbrellas. Instead they made themselves Ponchos out of black bin bags, put motor cycle helmets on their heads and took off their shoes. For the next half an hour they dragged furniture inside, piled sumptuous though slightly sodden cushions in any dry space available and began Bailing ( see another cricket term) out the courtyard which was now under several inches of water.
The Fountain was the central focus of the garden but this was now submerged under 6 inches of water along with all the garden lighting.
Ice buckets were called in and used to scoop water out of the pond, which they then threw onto the courtyard allowing it to run back into the pond, before some one realised the basic physics of water.
They then attempted to lift the cover off a drain which hadn’t be raised in years. Eventually this gave them some where to pour all the water and with mops, ice buckets and Squeegees they fought to keep the water level rising high enough to come in through the doors of the Restaurant proper.
This impromptu cabaret was far more interesting than anything we’d seen in Jamma El Fna with its off time drumming groups, it’s slightly club footed ‘camp dancers’ and it’s silent one man band.
We ordered starters and a main. I had the Pastil, like a filo pastry with pulled meat (mine was chicken but they do it with Pigeon) which was very sweet, more like a pudding and very filling.
Jaki had a vegetable lasagna which was really tasty and huge. Then we both had one of the best Fillet Steaks (with Rosemary Potatoes) I’ve ever had.
Our only problem was finishing it, it was a big piece of meat.
Jaki had a few glasses of local red wine but the best I could do was wash mine down with copious amounts of water which seemed to settle my stomach, which by now was really playing up.
I also had an instant Beer headache which wouldn’t go away, aggravated by the heat and humidity of sitting indoors.
So, even though this was a really good meal, we didn’t do it justice and we vowed to return later in the week.
Once out in the street I felt a little better, the rain had cooled things down but boy had it caused some damage.
The Street was awash with muddy water, puddles of brown stew sat everywhere creating cherished entertainment for the kids who splashed through it like Hippies at Glastonbury.
There were hazards.
Part of the road had collapsed into a great hole,exposing the sewage and pipe work of the towns belly.
Walls that had only that day been rendered (and we’re still soft) had slid down to form piles of soggy blanc mange.
Several houses had been flooded and the occupants were mopping and bailing in an effort to salvage their homes. A large Palm tree next to the Mosque (that had been an early land mark for us during the day) had split in two it’s fronds top, fallen to the ground.
We had to watch where we walked as locals had pulled up manholes and drains to let the water run away. These were now hidden man traps waiting for us to fall into.
We also ran the gauntlet of kids who had discovered the joy of squirting water at unsuspecting tourist.
So, back at the Riad, we took to the pool as a means of cooling down.
During the night I got up to Pee, a long luxurious stream. The first time since we’d arrived.
Even with my ‘Old Mans Prostate’ I’d not needed to get up during the night since we’d arrived.
But this night, with all the water I’d drunk, all the rain that had fallen and all the time I’d spent in the Pool, I was fully rehydrated.
And a good thing too.