Italy Morocco Pyrenees

May 2015

Part 8: Essaouira

Our time in Marrakesh is running out, we pack our things and a guy from the riad's staff carries them to the parking lot where our bikes rested for a couple of days:

As we're about to leave Marrakesh behind I know I have a lot of impressions from this place to digest later. Like the one I got viewing a pre school little girl selling desserts alone sitting down at a muddy corner of a backstreet. She also had a couple of spoons in a small container of water. Was it for people to try first? No idea. Local business as usual, definitely not what we experienced as kids. Don't expect images, I don't chase clicks no matter what. I didn't even dare to picture her.

As we stop later on the road for a beverage I spot construction stuff still being carried the good ol' way:

Our fleet waiting to hit the road anytime soon:

And so we do. Boring straights on R207 so at some point I reach 180 km/h to make them less boring (not recommended):

Close to Essaouira we make a stop at Point de Vue Azlef to have an overview. We disappoint the guys who expected us to fancy picturing ourselves with their camel:

Soon we arrive at Essaouira. What a world of difference this city is compared to other ones in Morocco so far. Bright colours, shades of white and blue, laid back, store owners are MUCH more cool and you can have a look at things taking your time in absence of frustrating behaviour, much more pleasant in general. To my surprise I am able to walk the main market and only one guy stepped out trying to sell me stuff. Additionally, the prices are (finally!) real. In my excitement I really want to buy one of their traditional shirts but unfortunately they make them in only one size which is not even close to mine.

I'm happy to take my first pictures:

We stop for a drink at a cafe and I am quite attracted by its walls:

We're like just 2 minutes in there waiting for our order when a woman steps in comes straight to us out of the blue and starts shouting:

"All you tourist, you come here, you say mathafacka and fack you, all the time mathafacka"

She keeps repeating this loop in a more hilarious than Borat accent enhancing her performance with full body language and I am literally asking myself what the F is this? Pete turns at her in the most demeaning way possible and tells her to "bugger off, go back to the desert". While I'm not totally convinced if that's exactly the right way to avoid any further escalation, she repeats the loop a couple more times and leaves.

Shortly after we continue walking the city:

A bit of decadence:

Next ones from Essaouira's market:

Time to check out the seaside:

Unfortunately, except from lots of seagulls this place has also lots of guys trying to sell hash cakes. From day 1 in Morocco I got that the way to get rid off them is to either ignore them or say a clear dry NO once and for good. A lady from the group in her naivety is quite verbal to the dealer as she denies all offers which is a mistake as regardless how negative you are the more you talk the more they find it as a chance to continue. At the end we literally had to push him off her, she just couldn't escape him. Another thing good to know is this: The king has made tourist harassment illegal long ago hence if you are trapped in an uncomfortable situation you can start talking about police. Well, at least if there is any around, if they're not corrupted... you know how it goes :)

With one dealer less on our way we continue to enjoy the view of old fish boats:

Essaouira has a long beach at the Atlantic - interesting for surfers I guess but I am not tempted to swim there:

Later in the evening we decide to visit a pizza house, some short of stomach recovery celebration as all of us (except Pete) are fine. He might have got the least sever symptoms but he suffers for the longest time. Glad I almost died but was OK in a day or two. He's like this for a week. Outside the pizza house a tiny kitten catches my attention:

Morocco's cities are flooded by stray cats. Feels like there's millions of millions of kittens.

Inside I'm busy with some delicious stuff:

That's how we end our last night at my most favourite Moroccan city so far (and by far).

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