Larache

Mooring up here was a mare; the last yacht they had here was last year, and so when we arrived they had no idea what to do with us. We had to tie up against an old boat, but in-between the boat and the shore was a coastguard life boat and a huge deep sea fishing boat, meaning that to get off the boat required climbing onto the top of the lifeboat, jumping up onto the deck of the fishing boat, climbing around cranes on the deck and then dropping down onto the shore.

After the usual questioning by the maritime police, we had made friends with a man called Jabba, who used to live here, but moved to England for work, and was back here on holiday. He advised that we go up to the ruins on the hill, so he called his friend and he took us up there.

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Jabba recommended a restaurant to us, so we had some lightly fried whole squid with a bowl of whitebait’s Moroccan brothers. Whilst eating we heard some music/noise coming from downstairs; Jabba told me to go downstairs, and to bring my camera. We descended into the smoky basement, which was like an exaggerated scene from the Wicker Man- an extremely tightknit group of semi sane locals in a likely illegal room of alcohol and drugs.

The music was coming from this group of 4 dressed up street performers, who, once they spotted me, formed a tight circle around me and started to bang castanets, sing and twirl their heads around, spinning the balls on their hats.

It was difficult to take pictures, at first I was worried if I was allowed to because of the potentially illegal activities going on down there, but when Jabba encouraged me to I tried to capture the dancers in this dark room, getting the motion, as well as the instruments where possible; I couldn’t move because they were circling me!
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When I finally escaped the shell suits, they went upstairs and this scene unfolded, with the light touching the side of one of their faces. I have had a lot of critique on this image, and the general impression is I under exposed his face slightly, so I’m annoyed about that.

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After lunch, Jabba gave us a quick tour throughout the town, and I got mobbed by about 8 small kids, who loved my camera. I think it would be fun to take a disposable camera that you could give to them for a few minutes to play with, and you wouldn’t have to worry about anything getting broken.

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This picture I think had the potential to be incredible, but I was worried about how I’d be perceived trying to take a picture of this kid by himself, and I missed the focus several times in a row, meaning I’d already spent a while on it. His big eyes, and folded arms have a story to tell, and the background of peeling blue walls really sets the scene. But I missed it.

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After a long walk home, and being involved in a collision between a motorbike and a tuc-tuc, we left the next morning. On our way out of the harbour, I spotted a few egrets flying around, and they landed in perfect spots, and then I waited for the crucial eye contact and implied movement  of the raised feet.
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Jamie

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