Moroc ‘n Rollersby Samora Chapman / 23.01.2010
Part 2: Holy baptisms, forget your sins.
We woke up early and peered through the window at the dusty street scene of Aurir, a haggard little town on the coast of Morocco, North Africa. A group of men sat contemplating, covered in hooded robes and brightly coloured pointy shoes. A pack of filthy hounds rummaged in a gutter that ran blood red. Further up the road a butcher was slitting throats in the dawn.
We suited up and danced out into the white sunshine. My wetsuit flavour had matured well after 8 months of hibernation; salty, smelly and sticky; it moulded to my body like an old layer of skin. And it felt good! We scampered through the desert ghetto chanting ‘Salaam! Salaam! Hello! Hello!’ Like aliens in neoprene suits we dodged our way through a fruit market, across a smouldering wasteland and finally arrived at a set of cliffs which hovered abvove the cool, tranquil Atlantic ocean and a little left reef break called K11. There was no swell but it was clean and crystal clear. We were baptized like Shembes, wailing to the Gods in drunken ecstasy.
After our re-birth we were heading back to the hotel when a pale gringo emerged out of the dust. A local hustler was attached to his one side like a tick, and a massive 5 litre tub of water was slung over his shoulder. It was Jo, our long lost brother from back home; grinning and shining in the orange dust. We ran towards each other like long lost lovers, brothers re-united. ‘Yo blood, you fuckin made it!’ says Mook. ‘Ya bru, I cant believe I found you ous!’ He licked his dry lips and clicked his tongue like peanut butter mouth. ‘Eish this place is dry bru, gotta hydrate’. Jo had been living in a garage in Amsterdam when we dropped him an e-mail about Moroc. Two weeks later the astonishing rogue stood before us with a bottle of water and our hotel address in his back pocket.
The three of us headed back to the hotel and tip-toed across the glimerring white marble floor with a guilty pitter-patter. We then packed up and escaped the icey temple of babylon whilst a viscious Arab cursed us with fish breath and slashing teeth. Looking about we spotted a big crew of desert folk clutching treasures, childrens and goats. We joined them, watching the horizon. In moments a bus came hurtling out of the desert, scarring the distance with plooms of dust and petrol fumes. It skidded to a halt, and as the dust settled the word ‘ZE-TRAP!’ emerged into the light. Gulp. We fought our way on and took off into the desert.
Half an hour later we rounded a beautiful bay and watched as an elegant point stretched out into the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Nestled at it’s feet the crowded, vibrant town of Taghazout. Camels strolled the beach, cafés buzzed with intrepid travellers and a flashing neon sign pointed at the MOSQUE (just in case you missed it). The smell of fresh resin and cheap hashish filled the air and a crew of tiny kids flew around on their beat up skateboards. We had finally reached our destination, Insh’Allah!
We hooked a small room above a café overlooking the main road and the ocean beyond, where colourful fishing boats lined the beach. Anchor point loomed in the distance; the ruins shimmered and a tiny splash of white danced on the end of the point. The waves had arrived! Out of the square red buildings emerged a plague of surfers like ants from an anthill. Cheeseball fashionistas adorned with the freshest kit poured forth and began jogging to the point like an army of clones. We clambered out of our little loft amidst chuckles and whistles. Jo is something of an anomaly. He often looks like he got lost in a time travel machine for several years and emerged with the bedraggled aftermath of several decades of style combined. He is so un-stylish that he completes the full circle to become the essence of cool. His ancient spider murphy had been dragged through several european cities. It was mangled and only blesseed with 2 fins, giving it the illusion of being a tasteful tribute to retro. His wetsuit was salvaged from some garage sale in London. It had a paddleskier logo printed in day-glow pink and a zip up the front. It was stiff and shapeless except for his glorious bulge, which he tugged at contiuously to try and make space for his jewels.
Drawing eyeballs and gawks, we headed out on the 1.5k jog to Anchor Point, feet stinging in the desert heat. As we got closer, the greeny-brown spitting barrels grew and feathered. We eventually arrived to a circus. Photographers and babes decorated the orange rocks and about 60 surfers choked the water. We got loose, hopped off the rocks and paddled up the point into the arena. About 50 pale and flabby Europeans were flapping around aimlessly, their chins on their boards, going over the falls backwards and getting tangled in their own leashes. Years of slaving in the dungeons of Europe, muscles withering away, brains growing and eye-balls bulging with Google-glow is not the best training for 6 foot Anchor Point. At the top of the line-up about ten locals were snarling and muscling there way onto every wave that came through. We snuck up the point and began picking off waves that the locals missed. Anchors is a perfect right hander, that alternates between open face and fast freight train tube sections. The warm desert breeze blows off the orange mountains, opening up cold barrels of bliss.
The night we arrived we befriended two surf guides, Snoop and Younis. Younis looked like a teddy bear: fluffy hair, handsome and friendly. Snoop was obviously the splitting image of the original D.O double G. Our friends on the beach were entirely different beasts in the water. Swearing, vicious and arrogant, they swung fists and gnashed their pearly white teeth, greedily taking more than their fair share of waves. The chief of the pack was a sinewy 6’5’ lizard-man with a Mike Tyson head. He came hurtling down the point and got tangled up with a timid little European fellow who looked like he might be a librarian from Paris. The Chief rose his massive fist into the sky like Thor, bellowing, ‘what the fuck…what the fuck! You fuck my wave and you don’t even apologize?’ He then drowned the poor fellow to within an inch of death. Eyes averted. Cowards scattered. My heart pounded, shame hung in the air. As the day came to an end, a blinding desert storm cried down upon us. We dragged our soggy souls along the gravel road in the wildest tempest I have ever seen. Not one fellow surfer stopped his rented Subaru to offer us a lift.
Then out of the blizzard darkness came an old VW Combi with the locals Snoop and Younis grinning behind the teary drops on the windscreen. ‘Hey you fuckeeeeng boys! Jump in man. Me and Snoop saw youz running in the rain so we came back to get you!’ Our heavy hearts were forgotten as we tumbled into the van with the heavy locals. We spent the ride chooning and chuckling, as everyone fought to recount the stories of the session. ‘Hey Mook! I saw you get that beeeg barrel man. Joegz man, did you see that fuck who dropped in on me? No way is that cool man. But hey boys you see now huh? Anchors gets good huh? What you say, izit as good as J-Bay?’ Younis took us back to his home and fed us spliff and Tagine until we fell into a contented slumber. Moroc Moroc had given us our first taste of her magic potion.