‘We hitch-hiked with a Moroccan drug dealer’: Stories from DUCK Jailbreak 2018
Casinos, carveries and Casablanca
DUCK's annual jailbreak was as chaotic as ever and in some instances messier than anticipated. All in aid of Amnesty International dozens of teams were given the simple task of getting as far away from Durham in 36 hours as possible without spending a penny of their own money.
Raising £3,370 in total some teams reached far flung destinations such as Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Canterbury and even Cheltenham Spa. Many failed to get far beyond Durham but a lucky few managed to wangle their way to some winter Mediterranean sun. Yet the miles on the clock were only half the story. The Durham Tab checked in with a few of this year's travellers.
Jonny, Elsa, Ellie, and Orlaith: Casablanca
Jonny, Elsa, Ellie, and Orlaith (aka two Teletubbies, a dragon and Luigi) managed to reach Morocco but their lengthy trip wasn't without intrigue.
The group said: "In Estapona we were over-run by 28 Irish firefighters on a lads trip to Spain – they were very drunk, donated 80 Euros and thought our outfits were very sexy. We then did salsa dancing in a club and ended up at the opening champagne party at a new restaurant ."
"The ferry ride was honestly the worst thing we've done in our lives. It was so rough that even the crew were being sick. Every person on that boat had a blue bag full of sick."
But dry land didn't bring the safety the group had hoped for with the group unknowingly hitchhiking in a drug dealer's car en route to Casablanca. "This guy was nuts," they said. "He was doing 120kmph in the pouring rain, on his phone and whilst he carried out two drug deals. We're talking wholesale here, massive wads of cash on the hard shoulder next to a white van surrounded by strange men staring at us".
Names unknown: Alicante
Other teams preferred not to risk their lives and health. Instead, they opted to do what most people would do – find a hot Spanish resort and have a good time. Two groups ended up in Alicante: "We decided we'd take our chances and make more money for travel at the casino and unsurprisingly lost all our money. After the casino we were quite binned and decided to go skinny dipping".
"Our friends stole our clothes and had to sprint naked to get them back. By the time we reached afters we were quite accustomed to being nude and decided to get naked but it didn't go down with the crowd. We got sent to bed by other team members as we wouldn't put our clothes on and my fellow nudist has been playing the Airbnb host's ukulele with what he called his 'prawn."
Gabriella, Patrick, and Jack: Tel Aviv
The team of Gabriella, Patrick and Jack Edwards (of YouTube fame) were the winners. Charming the public dressed as three eggs, they managed to get all the way to Israel's sun drenched coast. However, their path to victory wasn't without some hard times.
When at Newcastle Airport they said: "No one was willing to help us. British Airways even gave me a fake number in their attempt to pie me which was a real low. One particular low moment was asking a local Toby Carvery if we could order a takeaway to where we were staying and then catch a lift in the back of the delivery van on its way to drop off our food. Suffice to say, they said no."
Eventually they managed to get sponsorship to fly to Paphos in Cyprus and catch another flight to Israel.
"Tel Aviv is such a wonderful and diverse city. It was fasciniting, historic and beautiful, and the people were so welcoming and helpful everywhere we went. We're so grateful for the opportunity to explore a city we never thought we'd get to visit. Four planes, three trains, two car journeys, two buses, one taxi, and a hell of a lot of walking later, it has been such an incredible experience. We were livin' the Tel Aviv-a-loca".