Day Excursion to Essaouira, Morocco
It’s official now that I’m allergic to camel hair! The blanket on the bed kept us incredibly warm but whew, that camel hair had my allergies kickin! And then I started coughing too… The poor other people in our riad probably heard me all night. Whoops.
Today’s outing was planned for Essaouria out on the coast of Morocco. Our guide, Hassan, from the day before picked us up and we started our 3-hour drive west. Once we were outside of Marrakech we began driving through groves and groves of argan trees which are indigenous to Morocco. These trees produce Argan oil from their kernels which can be used for dipping bread, drizzling on pasta, but most popularly for high-end hair and skin products. We continued driving down the highway and eventually came to one of the most jaw-dropping things I’ve ever seen (maybe this means I should get out more often)… But we drove up to an argan tree FULL of goats. They covered the limbs of the tree up to 20 feet up! Those little guys were just snacking away on the argan kernels while their shepherds watched nearby. And of course, if you took a picture of their goats, they expected a tip! We pulled over the van to get a better look and at about this time, the police made an appearance on the horizon. Apparently, the shepherds are not supposed to allow their goats into the argan trees because they do not own the land so they were rushing to push all of the goats out of the tree. It was quite the sight!
We arrived in Essaouira just before lunch time. We wandered through the medina and concluded that there was far less hassling than in the Marrakech souk, but I’m sure that was only because it’s low season!
We did a little Christmas shopping and then walked out to the harbor where old, weathered Moroccan fisherman hovered around the most picturesque blue boats.
Lunch was in Sidi Kaouki, a little beach town south of Essaouira. You could tell that this was one busy surfing location in the summer, but for us, in the dead of winter, it was absolutely silent. We enjoyed some pizza with a patient one eyed dog waiting nearby and some not so patient one eyed cats waiting at our feet.
When we finally made it back to our riad in Marrakech, we didn’t even eat dinner because we were so exhausted. Granola bar and lights out!
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