Morocco – Essaouira

Oulidia - perfect beach not so perfect campsite

Oulidia – perfect beach not so perfect campsite

Managed to find the smallest road possible out of Oulidia, complete with cattle, dogs, cyclists, potholes and hundreds of donkey carts.  Village markets were in full swing, meaning that donkey cart taxis were the order of the day, transporting all sorts of wares to and from the various villages we passed through.

We then turned back to the coast, via Safi, where the wonderful green glazed tiles that cover most of the mosque roofs are fired, as well as the centre of the (very smelly) sardine industry.  We passed beautiful Kasbahs in the distance (but didn’t risk the dirt tracks to get close to them) as well as wonderful Atlantic coast vistas.

Reached Essaouira early afternoon; it certainly lives up to its windy reputation.  Set up camp (Leigh spent about an hour hammering in pegs to ensure the tent stays grounded) and then explored town on the bikes – wonderful walled town, with a souk to be explored properly in days to come and lots of kite and windsurfing places along the beach.

Morocco

Caught the ferry from the sleepy port at Tarifa over to the chaos that is Tangier. It took a while to get through immigration and customs and fight off the fixers who all wanted to take us for a ride! We were relieved to make it out of the port … but the roads were even more chaotic – cars, pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and cattle all veering into the road without warning – we certainly knew we were back in Africa.

We drove a long way down the coastal road, wanting to avoid the chaos of Casablanca.  We headed to the beautiful Oualidia which meant the last 2 hours in the dark, watching like hawks for bikes without lights (the cyclists usually in black top to toe), scooters, pedestrians and animals. Oualidia is beautiful but unfortunately the “campsite” no more than a car park full of motor homes so we won’t be sticking around. After some good coffee and a catch up on the news (free wifi – hurrah!) we’ll head on to Essaouira.