Leaving Africa in typical fashion

The P&O one-star sails again

 

 

The synth man played with the zeal of a church organist finally allowed to use the ‘electro space’ setting and the Church sound system.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than sharing a bathroom with four people, it turned out to be with ‘forty-four’ people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late, and accompanied by terrible music, it was a typical departure from a continent of which I have grown very fond.

The ferry from Tangiers, in north Morocco to Sete in the south of France, is certainly not the P&O Fairstar – though given the Dianne Brimble incident, maybe that’s a selling point.

Our departure, scheduled at 18:00, was pushed back till half past midnight while the ship awaited a “delivery” .

The captain is drunk and they are waiting for him to sober up and put his hat and pants back on, I guessed. Wrong: they were waiting for fuel.

As the sun set on the stucco white Spanish buildings of the former gay party town, we stood at the rear of the boat watching the last passengers trying to reverse caravans and assorted trailers up the ramp, none too successfully. We collectively cringed as a spanking new Mercedes grinded awfully close to a concrete barrier.

It was the best entertainment of the boat ride. For example, that night, while the ferry was still docked, the cafeteria was converted into a ‘disco’ – one man on synthesiser and another on voice. 

It was a tough competition who had the worst chords, though the synth man played with the zeal of a church organist finally allowed to use the ‘electro space’ setting and the Church sound system.

There was also a cinema onboard, which remained closed for the duration – probably on health and safety grounds after inspectors heard they planned to screen wall-to-wall Moroccan blockbusters.

But no-one seemed to care about any of this, because the African Nations Cup was on television, and the Moroccan passengers were totally captivated, gathering on plastic chairs next to the cafeteria bar to watch.

The French meanwhile amused themselves at the front of the ferry, lounging in leather sofas, though also watching the football.

And so much for me travelling in ‘comfort class’. Rather than sharing a bathroom with four people, it turned out to be with ‘forty-four’ people. 

 

It didn’t take long for the toilet to represent the Mediterranean itself. In fact, the urinal was already covered in a black plastic garbage bag when we boarded, and I soon after wished the toilets were too.  

 

 But at the end of the day, it's all about the journey not the destination, and as long as i could cram in just one more  cliche, i was pretty sure that the travel had broadened my mind.

THE END