Ok I know it’s been a while since my last confession….The thing is I’ve been recording an album out in sunny Texas. An exciting adventure in it’s own right. More about that later. Now that I’m back on the sunny shores of Old Blighty…….where was I? Oh yes.
7 Am broke sharply, as sharply as dry leaves from the cherry trees under the feet of children herding goats twenty feet below the window of our lodgings. The faint warmth of the fire in the corner whispered at my chilly feet as the cold matting stung them. Lugubriously I dressed and shuffled my way to breakfast dragging the world of sleep behind with the taste of a deep and unnerving dream still biting at my heels. The smell of hot coffee beats back most demons and I felt the excitement rise in me as we all talked of the days to come and the mountains. Suddenly and without mercy, the excitement that I had felt turned out to be a very upset stomach. Making my excuses I hot-stepped to the nearest bathroom for what could best be describes as an exorcism. Hoping for the best and fearing the worst we re grouped only to find out there were a few debatable motions being passed by this early morning court. With no option available other than to get on with it, we set off into the mountains with loo roll close to hand. Within two hours I was doubled over at the side of the track throwing up violently and unable to retain any water in my system. Dehydration and altitude are not the best combination and the rest of the day involved a nervous climb up to the refuge at around 3200 meters. A few large rocks were visited that day.
The refuge is a collection of stone huts in the valley below Mt Toubcal. Our hut was heated only by a fire in the common room downstairs. Heating was provided in the bunk areas by sheer numbers of bodies. Sixteen people in each room shuffling, farting and snoring in their sleeping bags as the condensation dripped slowly from the ceiling like light rain. My night sleep was punctuated by sub zero visits to the bathroom in the basement which requires full clothing to visit. I’m not sure weather Quentin Tarantino has ever designed a bathroom…but If he had I’m pretty sure it would look like this. Cold and stained loosely tiled walls, freezing dripping taps and the feel more associated with an abattoir than a place of cleanly ablutions. I wondered outside in the early hours to watch the dawn arrive with a welcome sigh as it bled from the bottom of the valley and showered me in warmth and hope for the coming day.