Italy Morocco Pyrenees

May 2015

Part 9: El Jadida

A nice day begins at Essaouira as I pack my things ready to leave this nice city. Downstairs at the lobby John offers me a Morocco sticker and I don't hesitate to decorate my bike accordingly:

We soon drive on the N1 heading North and I enjoy riding between those trees:

Later the scenery becomes more bare:

We take a wrong turn to Safi which leads us to a terrible road full of gravel parts, dust and trucks on top speed. Terrible but kinda fun if you make it scratch free:

The Atlantic coastline offers great chances for pictures like this (taken at Ouled El Fatmi):

Some interesting vegetation there:

We make a stop for some fish food at Oualidia on the R301 and later, close to Ouled Chaoui we pass by the largest power plant of Morocco. Massive but (surprise surprise) one of the least scenic places:

We reach our destination, El Jadida, leave our stuff at the hotel and walk up to the beach to enjoy the pleasant weather:

The main attraction of this rather unattractive city is the Portuguese influences at its Medina and the local fortress:

The above image is here for an extra reason other than the obvious "nice view to the sea". What looks almost like a black dot on the water is a guy who went fishing on the tightest budget possible: He is on an inflated tire tube and uses a DIY electric motor to move around.

As we entered the area of the fortress a guy approached us trying to convince us he could guide us around. He spoke no English therefore this couldn't be the case but he looked so desperate that we decided to let him do his thing and tip him later no matter what. A quite awkward moment trying to handle both the depressive scene of his poverty and the comic way he was trying to "guide" us around.

As we walk back to our hotel we stop to buy some ice cream at a mini market. As soon as we open them we find out that all of them were melted and refridged. We return them and (fortunately) got our money back as the whole scene took place in front of the owner. As we later queue for an ice cream we spot a woman down on the sidewalk with a toddler in her hands. We couldn't miss her cause the toddler was trying to escape her hug to reach out for the grilled corns some of us were having in hand. Without much thought we give her one of them, she accepts it with s super thankful smile and gives it to her kid. I won't forget how fast it was consumed. Straight on we give her another one for her. Only by looking at them becomes obvious that the hardest question is to answer when it was the last time they had a proper meal. I won't forget that scene, especially how she smiled as "thank you" in her despair...

In general El Jadida is an ugly poor city with rare exceptions of attractive buildings, the following one being among them:

After all that our hotel looks even more like a 1st world parenthesis:

My feelings after these mixed impressions get even more complicated when I drop my laptop at my room for the first time ever by stepping on the charger's cable as I rushed to the shower. Fortunately the laptop survived and so did its charging port though the latter became more loose. First world problems...

Click below to continue: