I truly, honestly hate to admit this, but I left Cuba with a sense of relief. I had let the hustling get to me, and I knew it. The worst part? I also knew I had missed out on creating a connection with probably the most passionate people I had travelled among to date. And I loath myself for it.
My time learning how to snowboard and drawing inspiration from the winter landscape in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains has come to an end. These past months have brought to the surface memories of snow covered landscapes and life in a francophone community from my childhood in the maritimes.
The end of the ski season is looming nearer, and I spent the past week cramming in hours on the slopes with predictions of, ‘This is probably the last good day of skiing/boarding left!’ repeated from one day to the next.
I met M & E on the ride from Chefchaouen to Fes. I was still reeling from having been hustled onto the bus, impatient driver tapping toes as I carefully stowed my pack below in the cargo, insisting that I must hurry – as if we were already running late. We did not end up leaving for another half an hour.
The ride from Tangier to Chefchaouen was spent crammed into the back seat of an old Mercedes, shoulders twisted, abs engaged, one arm held out, palm flat against the seat in front to keep me front spilling into the lap of the stranger next to me. My initiation into the joys of travel by Grand Taxi was all I had heard it would be – uncomfortable.