|OiLibya for an O'Clean and the truckers mosque.|
We then headed for Essaouira further north and on the coast. What we wanted to see goats in trees. We knew there was the “Goat Tree Tourist Trap” en route, which we planned to avoid as we wanted to see the real thing rather than a goat tied up in a tree and 10 D’s for picture of you holding a goat. We also wanted to see the cascades at Imouzzer. That required going cross country and relying on the sat-nav and the map – uh oh! After turning off from highway N1 we climbed and climbed, the views were stunning and snow capped mountains picked out from the haze in the distance. The terrain was dotted with Argan trees which grew more and more stunted as we climbed.
|Yet more stunning scenery|
|Real goats up the argan tree....|
Shortly after we approached the main road to Essaouira and turned north. Arriving at Essaouira we had to leave the car parked outside and walk into the medina as our hotel was inside and there are no cars allowed inside. As we walked through the medina we bumped into Jane and Michael who we had arranged to meet there. After a brief exchange we parted to meet later for dinner. Our hotel was on the north outer seawall of the medina and had the waves crashing below - a great location.
We did a brief foray around the town and got onto the
ramparts with a long row of impressive looking cannons. The view from the ramparts is fantastic as
they’re literally on the sea edge as is our riad. We then wandered around various fairly
similar looking alleys all lined with shops.
Strangely, there was no hassle from the merchants and most things seemed
to be fixed price – I almost missed the hassle and haggling from before! There are also loads of cats here in all
shapes and sizes – most of them in very good condition. The same can’t be said of the people. We haven’t seen so many beggars anywhere else
or deformed or crippled people or others seemingly somewhat deranged and
obviously suffering from mental problems.
Initially we liked the feel of the town, but scratch very lightly under
the surface and the seedy, scruffy and slightly unsavoury nature of the place
soon becomes apparent.
|Cannons on the ramparts|
We all met up back at the hotel at about 6pm and went to have a drink in a bar overlooking the ocean. It was pretty chilly due to the strong cold wind coming off the ocean and it wasn’t long before we were the only people mad enough to be there. So, we decided to forgo a 2nd drink and go to the restaurant next door early. There we had a very nice fish dinner ( Michael had lamb) and I had the best John Dory I’ve ever had whilst Chris had the largest sole I’ve ever seen! After dinner we decided to have a night cap back at the hotel only to discover tht it’s a dry hotel – Qeul horreur!! So, we broke into our emergency supplies and had our last bottle of Spanish plonk which was just the ticket.