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Archive for May, 2009

Geoff and I in Morocco

May 14th, 2009 No comments

My old friend Geoff and I managed to escape our responsibilities for a few days directly after Easter and visit Morocco.  What a cool place!  It is close to where I live in Spain, so I have been able to see it on a good day for the past few years – what a pleasure to eventually get to visit.

We took the jetcat across from Tarifa. Tarifa is a really nice town just past Algeciras (and Gibraltar) towards Cadiz.  Very windy – it is the playground of kite boards and windsurfers.  The ferry dropped us in Tangier at around 9 (Morocco is 2 hours earlier than Spain) and we immediately became acquainted with the Moroccon

Casablanca Streets

Casablanca Streets

way to deal with tourists!  Hustled for money by various vaguely official looking gentlemen in order to get the official form filled in, we ended up taking longer than anyone else to get through thanks to the passport guy stamping my passport illegibly on the boat and the form filler botching that up!  No worries – Euro 20 later and we were in Morroco.

First night was to be in Casablanca.  Many a movie has been made of this!  Actually – at least one anyway.  Yes, we went to the famous bar – actually I suspect there may be a few of them as well!  What a great night after that though – walking around the old town in narrow pedestrian streets with no tourists and loads of locals.

I have to say – that is the Morroco that appeals to me, not the touristy side of it which we got to know more in Marrakesh.

Casablanca Old Town

Casablanca Old Town

So – on to Marrakesh.  Speed trapping is the new thing here – clearly someone went out and bought a container full of speed guns as every junction and many places between on the highway and smaller roads are police with speed guns.  All this police presence does make one feel safer (I have to say that I never really felt unsafe in Morroco), it also must be a nice little pick-me-up for the economy.  I imagine that the offer of cash rather than paying a formal fine is the norm.  I decided ot save money (and probably time since there were so many traps) and simply set the speed control to the limit.  As a result I think I had better fuel economy than ever before!

Met up with an old friend – Carol – in Morocco.  She sings at the Sofitel and we were fortunate to have her as a guide and company for lunch and some intenstive negotiations over carpets and lamps in the markets.

Lunch over the carpet shop

Lunch over the carpet shop

Carol and Geoff

Carol and Geoff

I found a light that looked perfect for our outside room, so sat down with the shop proprietor to negotiate a fair price.  I figured there were not many tourists who would splash out for a light this size – you certainly couldnt take it on a plane or even in a normal car (I have an estate).

The Light

The Light

Anyway – after much haggling and the inevitable cups of sweet Moroccan mint tea I was the new owner of this magnificent lamp.

I had to be back Thursday for Anton’s birthday, so I left Geoff in Tetouan and headed back over on the last ferry.  Customs took one look at me and my car and decided I was obviously a drug smuggler – one hour later and the team (6 of them) had searched the car including the engine, wheels etc, but failed to look in the parcel containing the lamp or the carpets that I bought!  So much for that then…

I leave you with a video of Marrakesh square and the local snake charmer – he didn’t take kindly to me filming without paying him so the video is a bit bumpy…

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Gamblesurf – gambler’s reference and news

May 14th, 2009 No comments

Just a short note about another site by yours truly – Gamblesurf – that offers news, gossip and recomendations on the online gambling world.  Please pop by and visit at your convenience!

http://www.gamblesurf.com

Categories: Gambling Tags: , , , ,

Serena Williams

May 12th, 2009 No comments

Serena Williams: I played because £75,000 is a lot of money to me

World No 2 Serena Williams retired from her first-round match against Francesca Schiavone at the Madrid Open on Monday with a knee injury after losing the first set to the Italian 6-4, claiming she had to play in Spain.

from the Telegraph today.

I was in Marbella at the Andalucian open where she did the same thing.  Amazing to watch such a talented player – not moving at all and still controlling the game.  After losing the first set and the first few games of the second she turned up the heat and won a bunch of games in a row to take the second, then scaled down to avoid winning the 3rd and having to play again.  She was obviously in pain but still able to dominate the game when she wanted to. Inspirational to watch.

Marbella - Andalucia Open

Marbella - Andalucia Open

Categories: Arthur Tags: ,

The America’s Cup

May 5th, 2009 No comments

I dont know how many of you have followed this saga of the Americas cup. It now looks like the race may take place in giant multihulls. Found this piccie on the web and I have to say it is just awesome – Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle trimaran – 30 knots in 8 knots of breeze anyone? I wonder how it would perform in 25 knots though ….

BMW Oracle Trimaran

BMW Oracle Trimaran

More pics available here at Yachts and Boating.