There’s no mistaking I’m on a tight budget. I worked for two years to afford this trip but still, over a year away from home is a long time to be without a steady income. So after reviewing my budget for Morocco my thoughts turned to couchsurfing.
During my very last week in Belgium, as my stay in the monastery was coming to a close, I realised there was still one place I needed to visit before I left. Ghent.
Ghent is an incredibly old city in the Flanders part of Belgium. By the 1300s it was the second largest city in Europe after Paris and today continues to thrive as one of Belgium’s best kept secrets. It’s home to students, artists, musicians and anyone you can label as “alternative”. You know a city’s pretty trend when there are vegetarian restaurants everywhere and a queue outside a place that only sells soup!
My bare back slips and slides over the stone slab. The only thing that keeps me from toppling over the edge and onto the hard flooded ground is a strong Arabic woman, she firmly grasps my arm above my head. I hope I remembered to shave last night. She stands over my exposed form, dressed in damp togs, furiously scrubbing at my naked chest. I stare up at the stone ceiling, at my friend to the left, at the naked stranger to my right. The kessa mitt, or exfoliating glove, feels like sand paper on my skin, like the scorching fingers of a wandering flame. I feel exposed, vulnerable and completely out of my comfort zone. I’m in Morocco–
Is cycle tourism a thing? Where you go from country to country with the sole purpose of trying out their cycle ways, admiring the bikes and basically just geeking out over anything with two wheels? Well if it isn’t then it should be.
I hadn’t been to a gig since The Story So Far played at Whammy bar back in February (so long ago!!). So I was super pumped to get my dance on to a fantastic line up of punkrock bands, barely 20mins drive from the monastery. Yup, Groezrock was finally here!!
As more cyclists hit the roads of Auckland, it is becoming glaringly apparent that a lot has to change for cycling to become a viable option for many of the city’s residents. And you know what? Plans are finally being approved and there is now a conscious push from all sides to make Auckland a safer place for those with pedals. Hooray!
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Are YA novels getting sadder or am I just getting more in touch with my inner angsty teen?
I’d had a bit of a break from teen fiction for a while, not because I don’t enjoy it, just because I had other things taking up my time. But I decided that as I started traveling I could use those familiar books to fill in the silence of the plane, train or empty hostel.
Cue the waterworks.
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