Km travelled today/sum: 179km / 7418km
Sun shine, 22 degrees, country road
We decided to travel the back roads close to the coast, near a road following the coast more remotely. From some vantage points we could clearly see what a difference a river makes. Around the river, everything is lush and green, not far away from the river, it’s bare.
We stopped a couple of times just to take in the view.
On our way, we planned a stop to buy some Argan Oil from a womens cooperative. We thought we give the money to the people which are doing the real work. Argan oil is traditionally produced by Berber and is used for food and cosmetics. Since we bought some oil in Tetouan and it smelled beautifully nutty, we thought we replace the nearly empty oil bottle here. We saw the trees with the yellow fruit before, but all of the sudden there was one tree full of goats!
Apparently the goats are eating the fruit, but can’t digest the nut. The nuts come out again and get collected by the Berber women, before beeing further processing to Argan oil. Well, since the demand for the oil is high, I guess there are probably more moderns methods to get the fruit from the trees nowadays…
We thought there would only be one cooperative, but along the way there were several advertisements and when we arrived in Tamanar, there were two shops side by side. Both were trying to get us in…. Eventually we just picked one and went in.
Here we got shown how Argan oil is produced, step by step. Since it was a Friday, the women who produced the oil had a day off, only the sales staff were there. But it was good enough for us, since we really could take our time to see the production. We bought some oil, went to the shop on the other side, and bought some more 😁.
Not long after we arrived at our accommodation. The secure parking was a bit tricky. The bikes should be as close as possible to the fence. So we brought both bikes in, but my bike is lowered and stands more upright than Sigrid’s. This was no problem for our host. He got a piece of wood and jammed it under the bash plate. The bike wouldn’t go anywhere.
According to the Lonely Planet, Essaouira is called the ‘Wind City of Africa’. Well, the wind was blowing hard over the sand. You got a free leg peeling during a walk on the beach. The wind also created the desert shape of the beach. I haven’t seen a beach like this before. There were, of course, camels to ride and hustler to hustle, but when we explained that we have been a camel riding in Merzouga, they left us in peace.
The next day, the wind had died down. Hardly any wind at all, I was happy. So we had a great walk on the beach and enjoyed a visit in the fortress.
Essaouira also has a fishing fleet, which when moored, gives a nice picture.
At night we had a nice dinner with a beautiful sunset in our riad.
The pavement in front of our hotel was great. The tiles were completely flat, but it looked like there were waves.
Breakfast in the riad at the pool.
On our last day, we noticed that we haven’t seen the rampart, so we walked to the fortress, through the narrow alleys and to the rampart access point. The view from here was great.
On our way back, we discovered some shops, just behind the ramp to the rampart, I though it looked great.
We noticed on our beach walks in all different parts of Marocoo that there is garbage all over the place. This time, we thought, we just get a small plastic bag and collect the garbage flying around. When we arrived at our hotel, the bag was full, and we didn’t try very hard to fill it up.
In our opinion, this is a real pity, that the beaches are polluted with so much garbage. My suggestion, every visitor gets a bag and if the bag is returned full of garbage, they don’t have to pay the city tax 😁
We had a really great time in Essaouria, but tomorrow the wind will be back, so we’ll move on. Our next stop is ‘El Jadida’, a port city fortified by the Portuguese.