We left stadium at 11pm on Day 7 so as to return to our Ibis Budget Hotel with the Competition Bus. While on our way, I met the very lively Eddy Dove and we really had a nice time bantering and shouting together.
Typically, there was no food to eat so I slept ‘an hungred’. Can’t afford to take even cornflakes because of the cold. Meanwhile, the Garri I brought to Morocco is still lying fallow inside my box. Cold + Garri = Aliamdulilahi!
I managed to sleep some minutes after 3am so after completing a few stories I was to send. I woke up some minutes to 9am and caught up with breakfast. The crew decided to check out at Noon (as against 2pm) in order to join a 2pm bus to Marrakesh, hoping to board a 9pm train to Tanger.
They earlier suggested we leave at 2pm and meet the 4pm bus but Yours Sincerely advised we give enough margins for errors. Little did we know it was a masterstroke advice. We got to Marrakesh about 6:30pm only to find out that there was no train going to Tangier at 9pm and the last for the day is at 7pm. What an escape.
We jumped on the train quickly – all train movements for legally accredited journalists are paid for by CAF/LOC – and started the 11-hour trip to Tangier. We slept, ate and slept inside the train until 6am the next day when we were welcomed to the truly cold Tangier.
We were disappointed when we got to our Rania Hotel Appartment (from Train Station) and were told there were no rooms left. Where do we go in this freaking cold? The hotel attendant at Rania was very helpful to us and himself went with a 3-man delegation led by the French speaking Idowu Ishmaila to a nearby hotel Apartment which was cheaper and made some in the crew excited.
Well, we got to the hotel. A spacious one but extremely cold. I don’t want to describe further but it is the coldest place I’ve been to through my nine days here, and to think I am expected to sleep here overnight. We managed to find a little fix, getting a heater for the night which meant that four of us slept in the passage… Leaving the very cold rooms.
It rained in Tangier on Thursday evening and we almost went to the training inside that rain only be to be told it was put off.
The day ended with a very sad, sorrowful news that Sports Administrator and ace broadcaster Deji Tinubu passed on. We reminisced many of the encounters we had with him and in a somber atmosphere, slept grateful for the gift of life.
Work resumes on Friday