These trips are few and far between and after a couple of years of working my bum off I was given the opportunity to go to Marrakech for a few days. How could I possibly say no?
I looked forward to it for a couple of months - I would never get an opportunity like this again to see a place so amazing and in pretty luxurious surroundings.
Unfortunately you're talking about me here. A trip to Marrakech was never going to be straightforward and life it seems has been determined to give me a thorough arse-kicking in the last quarter of this year.
That night I got a pain in my back. I quashed the voice in the back of my head that said it was my kidneys and decided I must have hurt my back again.
Thursday's travel down to Gatwick didn't go well - I felt more tired than I have ever felt in my life, the pain was unmistakably across my back in my kidneys and I was starting to get shivery and fevery.
I did what any sane person would do.
I was not letting this stop me. I had antibiotics and they would kick in soon. I would be fine.
To cut a long story short I got steadily worse and worse throughout the next two days. I was unable to join the rest of the group for any dinners, I couldn't eat any food, and I mostly wanted to die. Until eventually, at a restaurant in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains I started shaking so much that the group organisers decided enough was enough and I was going to hospital.
Where I stayed for the next day or so hooked up an IV drip.
There aren't really words are there? I don't know why life hates me at the moment.
I did manage to see some sights despite wanting to curl up and die, including a walking tour of the medina, quadbiking in the middle of nowhere, a cheeky little ride on a camel and off-roading in a Jeep (which was exciting but did unfortunately make me feel like my kidneys were being shaken loose).
Unfortunately there was no bartering in the souks for me and the only money I spent was on a job lot of Argan Oil which should last me until the next time I go back to Marrakech for a do-over. I feel pretty smug about it - the amount of money some people pay for Argan Oil over here - bahaha in your faces, I spent hardly anything. BOOM.
One other good thing about Marrakech?
Cats on cats on cats on cats on cats on cats on cats EVERYWHERE.
It was brilliant. And for the most part, cats in pretty good nick and not too grotty like street cats are in some other foreign countries. These felines are well fed let me tell you. The bad part about being in a group of people you don't know - you need to keep your crazy cat lady-ness under the radar. It didn't really work, within an hour people were pointing out cats to me, but it did mean I couldn't stop anywhere near as much as I wanted to to get pictures of said kitties.
I stayed in some beautiful places (hospital clinic aside) and although I'm almost definitely not going to ever stay in these places again, unless that incredibly rich man I'm waiting for walks into my life / lottery win comes off / mysterious benefactor appears, I am eternally grateful that I got the chance to experience both the Royal Palm Marrakech and the Riad les Jardins de la Medina. Not many people get that chance.
Nor do they get the chance to experience hospital in Marrakech - it's actually not that bad although you might want to brush up on your French and/or Arabic before you get admitted, okay?
All in all - I did the best I could. I kept going as long as possible and experienced as much as I was able, which I feel was spit in Life's Eye. You're going to try and mess with me life? Well you're going to have to take me down kicking and screaming.
So who's coming with me for Marrakech Round 2?