02/25/2012 Essaouria


It’s 180km, a two day cycle from Marrakech to Essaouria. There are lots of shops along the way selling Argane oil. This is a very expensive oil squeezed from these hard berries.

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But wait- there’s more to the story- and who put the goats in the tree?

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The goats climb the trees to eat the berries. The goats pass the berries through their digestive tract which dissolves the hull of the seed enough to make it possible to gather the dung, filter out the seeds, and press the oil.

He didn’t make that up! They’re tasty!

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Life on the ground.

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Essaouria and the ocean appear. P2244281

Essaouria is a walled city with a harbor. Here’s an entrance to the walled part of the city. Essaouria is a world heritage city.

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The harbor is one of the most interesting places. It is Morocco’s 4th largest port, but very small.

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Nothing wasted.

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Wooden ships are being built here. These craftsmen are carving a ships rib.

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A breakwater protects the harbor.

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It is a great hangout place

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for cats and bicycles and boats.

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Allways lock your bike.

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Cannon on guard.

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A glance through the wall

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and through the entrance.

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Blue Boat maintenance.

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Bleu boat at sunset.

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The fleet.

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There’s more to the city than blue boats. Get away from the tourist areas and you get Morocco.

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I considered cycling north to Casablanca where my flight leaves from. But a combination of things made me decide to stay here and to take the bus up. 1, I like it here. 2, No hotels in a days ride going up the coast. 3, My rim crack is spreading. 4. A 10 mph headwind blows pretty constantly. This area is known for that and is a good kitesurfing area.

So I am settling in for a week. It’s nice to be where I can hear seagulls.

3 thoughts on “02/25/2012 Essaouria

    • That’s interesting that you can tell I am a seashore guy from my photographs. You are right!

      When I started this journey I just took pics “for the record.” But now, surprising me, they have become popular. So, now I am trying…

      I would rather that my writing was well liked!

      I’m drinking OJ for you Sage!

  1. I have a hard time with the extreme religiosity. This is not a place for an atheist to speak his mind. The calls to prayer that reverberate through every city five times a day (and night) work to brainwash you into thinking that life is about Allah and his 6th century prophet. As much as American politicians lie and say they are Christians to get elected, I feel that that intolerance is ten times stronger here. I have only met one person, a woman, who alluded to not believing in Allah et all by agreeing with me that “it is important to think for yourself.” With so much peer pressure, it is discouraging to think of Morocco advancing into a more secular nation.

    I love the people, they are friendly, helpful, and some only try to pry a little money, nothing else. Others are scrupuously honest. Most when I say I am an American, extend a hand and say “welcome.” I am the only American I know of here.

    I am tired of broken up sidewalks, dirt everywhere, Muslim dress, tiny stores, no traffic rules, poverty. Even donkeys don’t draw a second look. I am dying to get back to the clean world of fixed prices and many choices, and very thankful that I have that option.

    I am impressed by the numbers of young men. You also see many many children. The teenage girls are trim, but as the women get older almost without exception they become rotund. The men are all slender. When I ask for directions, a lot of people can’t seem to read the written address I show. It’s common for kids to be working, they are everywhere.

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